Thirty years ago today, a groundbreaking game version of the groundbreaking science fiction novel and radio series was released on the game hungry masses. The defunct software giant Infocom released the text-based computer game based on Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. And now the BBC is celebrating this momentous day in gaming history with a re-release of the famous game on its website. [Image via kreg.steppe/Flickr]
The game may seem primitive by today’s 41 megapixel graphics interface video games but The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy really was groundbreaking for its time. Besides being an intentionally funny sci-fi adventure, it managed to create and construct an entire world using nothing by lines of text and a few simple commands. Players took control of the story’s central hero Arthur Dent as the story unfurled before his eyes as he’s plucked from Earth by galactic hitchhiker Ford Prefect just moments before its destruction. The game became an instant hit selling more than 350,000 copies in a year but it fell by the wayside as computer graphics improved and people could actually see the things that games were described on the screen rather than in their heads.
It saw a resurgence when the Internet brought the game back to life in the early 2000’s. This latest version is actually the third reincarnation of Adams’ gaming creation. We wouldn’t start playing it if you’ve got a lot on your to-do list today because it is quite addictive and your character will die A LOT.