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Everyone's favorite writer Douglas Adams was so nice to allow everyone's favorite adventure game company Infocom to create a game based on everyone's favorite book called Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Now isn't that just fantastic!
The game closely follows the plot of the book but still includes some new things, mainly to make the game interesting to everyone, even those who read the book at least once a year. The game is filled with great humor, weird locations, people and all that made Guide to Galaxy such a great creation.
The game is completely text based and has no sound at all. Still, the game is GREAT and I strongly recommend it!
Arthur Dent has had a lousy day, first his house was demolished and now he's stuck on a space ship solving strange (and very funny) puzzles. Yup, it's the game of the book. And what a game it is. It retains all the humour and absurdidty of the books (Douglas Adams was one of the people who made the game). You play Arthur Dent (but you get to play some other people from the book too) and you have to guide him through his strange adventures in space.
There are some of the most feindish puzzles evere devised for an adventure here, the babel fish is a great example. Most of them seem impossible when you first encounter them, but when you've cracked one you look back and wonder why you didn't figure that out sooner. There's even a great hint system (and you'll use it regularly) and there's even a function for reading footnotes.
It's all played out through text. No flashy graphics, no nice music. Just text. But that's not a problem with this game (Perhaps because oo how great Douglas Adams is with text) and you'll soon get used to it. A great adventure that'll take a long time to finish.
Hey, where's the graphic??? Yep, right - this one's a Text-Adventure. For those of you who are too young to remember this era of computer-games, let me tell you - it IS possible to do without. Playing without graphics is in some respects even more interesting, you gotta use your imagination. So, for those of you who read Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, this game's a must. For those of you who haven't read it - sorry, you won't survive a minute. This game is really hard! I read the book (more than once) and I got killed ten times within five minutes or so. Be sure to save often - VERY often. Ah, one word to those never having had the fun of reading Douglas Adams' GREAT book - buy it, read it, read again and then... come back and try this great Infocom-Classic.
A little technical note: As in all Infocom Adventures the parser is powerful and you'll feel at home within minutes (just around the time of your 10th death ;) ). Overall a masterpiece for the advanced textadventure-player.
Arguably the best Infocom game ever made, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was an instant hit when it was first released in 1984. So it is no surprise that it was chosen as one of five games to be updated and re-released as "Solid Gold" edition in 1987. The entire Solid Gold line was sadly not very well known, perhaps because most people assumed it was simply a re-release of the original game. This is not the case: the Solid Gold edition games include Infocom's "InvisiClues" hints as an in-game feature, the game engine ("Z machine") was updated to version 5 (which features a more versatile parser), and most bugs squashed. The Solid Gold therefore became the best edition of Infocom classics to own and play.
As to this particular Solid Gold release, HHGTTG needs almost no introduction - if you grew up during the 1980s, you'll bound to have heard of this classic. Graeme Cree sums up the reasons why the game is a must-play in this review for SPAG:
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was Infocom's first game based on a novel (Shogun was the second), and is certainly their most famous product. As such, it faced heavy expectations both from the text game crowd and from fans of the book (I saved this game until I had played all of Infocom's 34 other text games, hoping to guarantee finishing with a winner). Fortunately, the game meets most expectations.
For those who don't know, you begin the game as Arthur Dent, a typical Englishman whose home is about to be demolished to make way for a new highway. Soon afterward, the earth itself is destroyed to make way for a new interstellar spacelane, and you must escape the holocaust with your alien friend Ford Prefect; first to a Vogon warship, and then to the Heart of Gold, run by Ford's friend Zaphod Beeblebrox. Once there, your goal becomes to land safely on the lost planet of Magrathea. To do this, you must search various corners of reality (changing identities a few times along the way) to acquire several different pieces of fluff, which when used properly will produce an item that will give you the clairvoyance necessary to open the hatch and set foot on the planet.
The writing is some of Infocom's very best, which is fortunate because the game itself is a little too short (only The Witness and Seastalker have fewer locations). The atmosphere produced is almost exactly like that of the book, even if specific details of the plot are often changed. The puzzles (including the legendary Babel Fish puzzle) are based on a brand of "consistent illogic" that is rather reminiscent of Lewis Carroll, and make the game one of those few that many will some day play again even after having solved it once. Hitchhiker's is one of the more literate text games on the market, as you will often have to pay more attention to how things are worded than you might in other games.
...Perhaps the biggest disappointment is the absence of the promised sequel. The story does not really end, it merely pauses and gives you a "to be continued" message just as you set foot on Magrathea. Though the sequel was promised many times (such as in the New Zork Times, and in the crystal ball in Beyond Zork, it never materialized. Since Infocom no longer has the rights to Hitchhiker's, it is unlikely that it ever will. (For those of you keeping track, the sequels promised by Infocom/Activision that [have never come out] are: Hitchhikers 2, Journey 2, Leather Goddesses 3 [and Planetfall 2: The Search for Floyd]). Despite this, Hitchhiker's plusses massively outweigh the negatives, and the game remains one of the great classics of interactive fiction." If you enjoy IF games, you can't call yourself a fan until you have played this masterpiece. And if you're not yet a fan, this is the one game that may change your mind. A true classic in every sense of the word.
Coming a close second to Zork for the position of Infocom's moast famous title, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the adaption of Douglas Adam's story of the same name. You play Arthur Dent, and your home (and planet) has been destroyed by a Vogon constructor fleet to make way for a hyper space by-pass. Rescued by your friend (who, unknown to you, is an alien) you will travel to alien worlds and into the past and future to discover the true nature of your, and mankinds, existance.
Most of the plot elements and great characters from the book have been transposed into the game, and it is this that is the game major shortcoming. Fans of the series will find little challenge in the game at all, everyone else will find some of the puzzles to be HIGHLY obscure and difficult.
This is a hard thing to disregard but if you can you will find The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy to be a interesting game, utterly faithful to the original story. Not one of my favourites, but I recommend it anyway.
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Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The screenshot
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