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Maze War originated or disseminated a number of concepts used in thousands of games to follow, and is considered one of the earliest examples of, or progenitor of, a first-person shooter. Uncertainty exists over its exact release date, with some accounts placing it before Spasim, the earliest first-person shooter with a known time of publication. Gameplay is simple by later standards. Players wander around a maze, being capable of moving backward or forwards, turning right or left in 90-degree increments, and peeking through doorways. The game also uses simple tile-based movement, where the player moves from square to square. Other players are seen as eyeballs. When a player sees another player, they can shoot or otherwise negatively affect them. Players gain points for shooting other players, and lose them for being shot. Some versions (like the X11 port) had a cheat mode where the player running the server could see the other players' positions on the map. Occasionally in some versions, a duck also appears in the passage.