Escape a Maze

Geoffrey Challen // 2021.4.0

Let's get some more practice with algorithms by escaping from a maze! Implement a public class MazeEscape that provides a single public class method named escape. escape accepts a single parameter, a Maze object with methods explained below. Your goal is to manipulate the maze until you reach the exit, and then return it when you are finished. If the passed maze is null, throw an IllegalArgumentException.

To navigate the maze, using the following Maze methods:

  • isFinished(): returns true when you have reached the exit of the maze
  • turnRight() rotates your character 90 degrees to the right
  • turnLeft() rotates your character 90 degrees to the left
  • canMove() returns true if you can move one cell forward, false otherwise. Your path may be blocked by a wall!
  • move() moves your character one cell forward and increases the step counter

The passed Maze object represents a simply-connected or perfect maze: one that contains no loops. As a result, we suggest that you pursue a classic maze escape algorithm: wall following. Simply put, in a maze that contains no loops, as long as you continue following a wall you will eventually reach the exit. In a corn maze, you might implement this by simply maintaining contact with a wall (right or left) until you complete the maze. However, you'll need to think a bit about how to implement this algorithm to finish this problem.