Don’t Panic, Bring A Towel, And Check Out The Updated Hitchhiker’s Guide Text Adventure
Before people worried about display resolutions, and even before the NES arrived in American households, text adventures were king. We explored Zork, fought vampires, and wished upon a stone all using our vocabulary and descriptive text.
One of the most well known titles in the interactive fiction genre is based on Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and penned by the author himself. The title was released in 1984 (and again in 2004), but has just received an update on the BBC website in honor of its 30th anniversary.
The title was programmed by Steve Meretzky of Infocom (the studio that produced Zork and many other text adventures) and sold 350,000 copies in its first year. The 2004 20th anniversary release included illustrations, though nothing that would detract from the original design and intent.
Now, in honor of the game’s 30th birthday, it’s been given a new coat of paint and Twitter integration. You can now tell your friends about your wonderful towel and that you are quite the hoopy frood (but we already knew that because you have your towel).
You can check out the re-polished version of the classic text adventure on the BBC website. Good luck. You’re going to need it.
I'm old enough to remember playing the Infocom classics when they were new. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was one of the most difficult, and I kept coming back to it as I got older and read through Adams' books. If you have a love of sharp, witty writing, this is worth your time.