If you’re as old as me you probably remember when all the geeks you went to school with were reading “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” – and you probably read it yourself. Then you may have tried the computer game version, which came out in 1984. Well, it’s 30 years later, and it looks like the game will be newly available, in a browser-based HD version set for a March 8 launch.
The phenomenon that is “Hitchhiker’s” began in March 1978 thanks to a series of radio plays on BBC Radio 4. They were written by Douglas Adams, and spawned novels, a feature film, three stage shows, a TV series, audio books, comic books, and towels. Yes, towels. If you read the books you know that a towel is the most useful thing in the universe. If you haven’t read them, why haven’t you? How else would you know the significance of the number 42?
The game is a high-definition remastered version of the original, a text-based adventure from Infocom that was notoriously difficult and odd, and rarely missed a chance to kill players in inventive (read: infuriating) ways. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy game was previously revived in a new edition for the series’ 20th anniversary, and that version won a BAFTA award for “Best Online Entertainment.” It was also a bestseller from the get-go; the BBC says that within the first three days after its 2004 launch, over three million moves had been made in it.
This new Hitchhiker’s, which is web-based and can be played on tablets and other Internet-enabled devices, lets users share achievements over social media via the official Twitter handle @h2g2game. It’ll be made available via Radio 4 Extra’s website.
BBC Radio 4 Extra will also present series one and two of the original “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” on March 8, 36 years after they first aired, and additional episodes will air weekly. Listening to “The Primary and Secondary Phases” will help players, since they may need to know the plot in order to solve some of the puzzles. And they’ll need all the help they can get, if this version is as crazy as the ones before it!