|You are Arthur Dent, an Englishman with a bad hangover wearing a
dressing gown containing a much needed buffered analgesic and some fluff. Your house
has just been destroyed, followed shortly thereafter by your planet Earth (mostly
harmless). You’ve been rescued by your friend Ford Prefect, who’s not actually an
out-of-work actor. He has given you a book (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), a
towel, and is now telling you to put a fish in your ear. It must be a Thursday;
you’ve never quite gotten the hang of Thursdays.
The game is based on Adams’ BBC radio series, television series, and the series of
subsequent novelizations. It’s one of the classic Interactive Fiction games produced
by Infocom and next to the Zork series, one of the bestselling. Though divergent
from the source material, the main characters, locations, and concepts are here.
Unlike the book, death can come quickly if Arthur fails to observe his surroundings,
collect inventory, talk to people, and consult the Guide. DON’T PANIC!
It's generally considered to be the first interactive fiction game to intentionally
cheat players. Adding to its reputation for deviousness was "The Babel Fish
Dispenser", a wickedly complicated puzzle appearing very early in the game. Failure
to "solve" the Babel fish puzzle did not kill the player, but rendered the remainder
of the game unwinnable. Another fiendish puzzle involved the ten tools scattered
throughout the game's locations. It was later rereleased in a Solid Gold edition
which 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.
Also see: #Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Remake