The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is an interactive fiction computer game based on the seminal comic science fiction series of the same name. It was designed by series creator Douglas Adams and Infocom's Steve Meretzky, and was first released in 1984 for the Apple II, Macintosh, Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST and the IBM PC. It is Infocom's fourteenth game.
After being rescued from open space by the Heart of Gold and figuring out how to activate the Infinite Improbability Drive, the player is hurled through space and time, assuming the roles of Ford Prefect, Zaphod Beeblebrox and Trillian at various intervals. (The question of the player character's identity at any time can be answered by the WHO AM I command.) For the majority of the game, Arthur Dent is the main player character.
An in-game virtual edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy provides a variety of major and minor characters, locations, and miscellany from the series that can be referenced, if not directly encountered. Topics ranging from Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters to Galaxia Woonbeam can be looked up with the command CONSULT GUIDE ABOUT
The ultimate goal of the game is casually mentioned by Zaphod in an offhanded manner: finding the legendary lost planet of Magrathea. While the other characters relax in the ship's sauna, however, Arthur has to jump through a number of hoops to collect a bizarre array of tools and four types of fluff before the Heart of Gold gets anywhere near the planet. The problem of managing this burgeoning inventory is neatly handled by a humorously ill-defined object called "That thing your aunt gave you which you don't know what it is", which has two important attributes: a nearly limitless capacity for holding other objects, and a penchant for showing up in the player's inventory after seemingly being lost.
When the characters finally set foot on Magrathea, the game ends with the never-fulfilled promise of a thrilling sequel.
Most Infocom games contained "feelies", bonus novelty items included to enhance the immersiveness of the game. The feelies provided with this game included:
Curiously, the player is seldom given an actual purpose, apart from the implicit goal stated by the inventory item of "no tea". Much of the game is spent simply reacting to situations, such as the impending deaths variously threatened by bulldozers, matter-transference hangovers, the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, or nuclear missiles. This lack of direction had little effect in deterring fans of Adams' work.
Like many Infocom games, an InvisiClues booklet was available for this game, as a separate product.
The Infocom version of Hitchhiker's Guide quickly became a fan classic; it was one of five top-selling Infocom games to be produced in Solid Gold versions, with a built-in hint system not included in the originals. The game was re-released by Activision in several collection packages before rights reverted to Adams, enabling The Digital Village to re-release it as a web-based Java applet. Originally published as a fund-raising tool on the 1997 Comic Relief website, it took up permanent residence on Adams' own website the following year.
On September 21 2004 the BBC launched the 20th Anniversary Edition to coincide with the initial radio broadcast of the Tertiary Phase. Sporting a Flash user interface, and illustrated by Rod Lord (who also produced the guide animations for the Hitchhiker's TV series), it won the Interactive BAFTA Award for Best Online Entertainment.
Once BAFTA judging had completed, the BBC re-launched the game in two distinct versions to showcase new artwork for scenes and objects deliberately omitted from the first release. While both editions retain Rod Lord's illustrations, all placeholder graphics were replaced by artwork designed and sent in by contest participants. One edition includes the artwork of overall winner Nolan Worthington, the other features the work of runners-up.
The original text-only version appeared in an exhibition called "Game On", which has toured museums worldwide since 2002, representing the text-based genre of computer games.
The game has 35 locations (or "rooms"). By some accounting, it only has 31 rooms, but 35 also counts the rooms that the player has to visit in the maze.
A proposed sequel, Milliways: The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, which was to continue from the ending of the original, had problems from the start in 1985, until it was cancelled in 1989. This was due primarily down to the facts that there was 'no solid game design, nobody to program it, and the backdrop of Infocom's larger economic problems'. The beginning stages of the game were leaked in April 2008, however the majority of it had yet to be written by the time it was canceled.
Well, the most famous and certainly a must-play is what you can find at the BBC site, a text-based game with visuals, created by fans after a short contest for the 20th anniversary. Also another Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy game, created using AGS(Adventure Game Studio), is in production and will probably be released this year, attempting to transform the text-based game into a complete point and click game.
USPTO Issues Trademark DAM THEM WILDS to GENESIS IP for Computer Game Cartridges; Computer Game Cartridges, Discs
Nov 30, 2009; ALEXANDRIA, Va., Nov. 30 -- GENESIS IP, LTD CORPORATION, Connaught Place, Central Hong Kong, has been issued the trademark DAM...