Befunge (without the 'r' at the end!) is a two-dimensional esoteric programming language invented in 1993 by Chris Pressey with the goal of being as difficult to compile as possible. (Source:

Befunger is an interpreter for Befunge written in Ruby. I wrote this as an answer to this Kata on codewars.


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'befunger'

And then execute:

$ bundle install

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install befunger


require 'befunger'


This is the original problem statement I wrote this for:

Your task is to write a method which will interpret Befunge-93 code! Befunge-93 is a language in which the code is presented not as a series of instructions, but as instructions scattered on a 2D plane; your pointer starts at the top-left corner and defaults to moving right through the code. Note that the instruction pointer wraps around the screen! There is a singular stack which we will assume is unbounded and only contain integers. While Befunge-93 code is supposed to be restricted to 80x25, you need not be concerned with code size. Befunge-93 supports the following instructions

  • 0-9 Push this number onto the stack.
  • + Addition: Pop a and b, then push a+b.
  • - Subtraction: Pop a and b, then push b-a.
  • * Multiplication: Pop a and b, then push a*b.
  • / Integer division: Pop a and b, then push b/a, rounded down. If a is zero, push zero.
  • % Modulo: Pop a and b, then push the b%a. If a is zero, push zero.
  • ! Logical NOT: Pop a value. If the value is zero, push 1; otherwise, push zero.
  • ` Greater than: Pop a and b, then push 1 if b>a, otherwise push zero.
  • > Start moving right.
  • < Start moving left.
  • ^ Start moving up.
  • v Start moving down.
  • ? Start moving in a random cardinal direction.
  • _ Pop a value; move right if value = 0, left otherwise.
  • | Pop a value; move down if value = 0, up otherwise.
  • " Start string mode: push each character's ASCII value all the way up to the next ".
  • : Duplicate value on top of the stack. If there is nothing on top of the stack, push a 0.
  • \ Swap two values on top of the stack. If there is only one value, pretend there is an extra 0 on bottom of the stack.
  • $ Pop value from the stack and discard it.
  • . Pop value and output as an integer.
  • , Pop value and output the ASCII character represented by the integer code that is stored in the value.
  • # Trampoline: Skip next cell.
  • p A "put" call (a way to store a value for later use). Pop y, x and v, then change the character at the position (x,y) in the program to the character with ASCII value v.
  • g A "get" call (a way to retrieve data in storage). Pop y and x, then push ASCII value of the character at that position in the program.
  • @ End program.
  • (i.e. a space) No-op. Does nothing.

Here's an example:

v456<  :
>321 ^ [email protected]

will create the output 123456789.


After checking out the repo, run bin/setup to install dependencies. Then, run rake test to run the tests. You can also run bin/console for an interactive prompt that will allow you to experiment.

To install this gem onto your local machine, run bundle exec rake install. To release a new version, update the version number in version.rb, and then run bundle exec rake release, which will create a git tag for the version, push git commits and tags, and push the .gem file to


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at This project is intended to be a safe, welcoming space for collaboration, and contributors are expected to adhere to the Contributor Covenant code of conduct.


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.