The hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy

Title           The hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy
Game type       Adventure
Company		Infocom
Players         1
Compatibility   All
Submission      jonny johansson

 The title shouldn't really need an introduction, Douglas Adams' epic
story of a dumb and horrible disaster and some of its consequences has
been a better success than Oolon Colluphid's trilogy of philosophical
blockbusters; "Wher......

 Well, if you don't know what I'm ranting about, you're in for a nice
surprise - Mr.Adams' humour has a childish pseudo-intellectual appeal to
any childish pseudo-intellectuals out there.

 I can't really imagine there is anybody who is not familiar with the game
genre, but nonetheless; here is a quick rundown for the Playstation

 It's all words.

 Yes indeed. The idea is that you are an entity who can move between a
number of locations (usually known as "rooms") and perform actions, beyond
jumping, flicking switches and firing mega-o-zap killer rays that is.
 Rooms and events are described to you and you interact by typing
instructions for the game character, such as "Open the door", "Pick up
the tuna sandwich and eat it", or "Ask the author why I have to do all
this typing".

 "The magic word is xyzzy" from the Colossal cave adventure and "Red
herring" from Zork are only two expressions which have pounded the English
language into its current shape. :)

 The biggest producer of these games, must have been Infocom. They
referred to their products as "interactive fiction". This is indeed a very
good description of the game format, which by its very nature is extremely
portable - Infocom churned out ports of their titles, new and old, for
just about any new platform made available.

 A thousand words say more than a picture is a philosophy Infocom lived by
and they persisted longer than most in not adding pictures to their
 Today they are long gone, but their classic Zork series are continued in
a way that is quite opposite, as far as the ratio of words and pictures
present is concerned.

 The hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy was an Infocom publication and
in their good tradition it came with lots of great junk in the box. :)

 If I'm not totally misinformed, it was actually Douglas Adams who got
into contact with Infocom, rather than the other way around, having
realised that his series of books is very well suited for the interactive
fiction concept.

 He co-authored the game with Steve Meretzky, one of Infocom's star

 The beginning of the game follows the book to such a degree that having
read it helps a lot. Being the unfortunate Arthur Dent, you get to witness
the destruction of your house, your planet and your conception of things.

 Tagging along with your friend Ford Prefect (yes, that is his name) as he
hitchhikes with one of the spacecrafts commissioned to knock down Earth,
to make way for an interstellar hyperspace bypass, you are thrown out
in a universe, which is not quite the universe you'd expect.

 Any bad points? Well, that's a matter of taste of course. There is the
odd do-this-and-that-within-so-and-so-many-moves thingummy, which I
personally loathe and back in these days, you could rarely make a mistake
and go back to correct it. Save regularily.

 Otherwise I can't fault this classic. I could not get through it without
utilising the neat built-in hintbook system, but that says more about my
mental capabilities, or lack thereof, than the puzzles, which DO require a
flair for.....scewed logic. :)

 "Was that all?"....The adventure feels rather smallish once you've
completed it. Mind you - it should take you some time. The intent to make
a sequel was there, but it never happened.

 The Infocom parser (which interprets your input) was alway fine and that's
really all you need, but should you dislike the non-rescalable window,
there are other programs to play games in Infocom's story format, freely
available on Aminet.

 To sum it up:

 If you're the kind of person who lives under the delusion that "the film
was better than the book", then this is not a game for you, but for those
who have a hint of imagination and a twisted sense of humour, it should be
just your cup of no tea.

 (  At the time of writing this, Mr.Adams has signed a deal with Disney
   for a Hitchhiker's guide motion picture, so the former group [those
   of them who haven't seen the TV series] should see themselves catered
   for as well. Let's all hope the Yanks don't screw it up. :)              )

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