Hamurabi is a text-based game of land and resource management and is one of the earliest computer games. Its name is a shortening of Hammurabi, reduced to fit an eight-character limit.
Doug Dyment wrote The Sumer Game in 1968 as a demonstration program for the FOCAL programming language, programming it on a DEC PDP-8. The game has often been inaccurately attributed to Richard Merrill, the designer of FOCAL. Once a version of BASIC was released for the PDP-8, David H. Ahl ported it to BASIC. The game spread beyond mainframes when Ahl published an expanded version of it in BASIC Computer Games, the first best-selling computer book. The expanded version was renamed Hamurabi [sic] and added an end-of-game performance appraisal. This version was then ported to many different microcomputers.
Like many BASIC games of the time, Hamurabi was mainly a game of numeric input. As the ruler, the player could buy and sell land, purchase grain and decide how much grain to release to his kingdom.
The end-game appraisal compared the player to historical rulers (e.g., "Your heavy-handed performance smacks of Nero and Ivan IV."), a tradition carried on by many contemporary strategy games.
Source: Wikipedia, "Hamurabi," available under the CC-BY-SA License.