Yesterday, March 11, was Douglas Adams' birthday. Did you know you can celebrate by playing the 1984 Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy game in your browser at work this instant?
Although games made with a text parser -- you know, where you type commands like TURN ON LIGHT or LOOK IN POCKET or S to travel "south" through described space -- are increasingly a lost art, the Hitchhiker's Guide game, made by Adams and Infocom's Steve Meretzky, was radically accessible for its time. The game playfully teaches you how to succeed at its opening circumstance by letting you die repeatedly in ways that quickly acclimate you to its sense of time, space, and humor.
The frustrating thing (or the beautiful thing, if you're like me) about old text games is the limitations of what they can understand. But the Hitchhiker's Guide game was downright literary for its time, empathetic to uncommon commands, skilled at understanding what the player wanted to do. It holds up well even today.
Give it a try. Maybe help each other out in the comments?
You can also emulate it a little more neatly with help from this crucial abandonware repository and an emulator like DOXBox or similar.
I have been loving Shieldwall, a strategy game where you and your Roman legion attempt to kick the crap out of other Roman legions! This game reminds me of a 3D Starcraft, with (thus far) a lot less complexity. You start with one base and attempt to take others from other CG teams! More bases […]
This cat sure appears to be having a fun time.
Matt Ruff is one of science fiction and fantasy's most consistently brilliant and innovative authors, whose recent work includes The Mirage (an incredible alternate history in which the Global War on Terror is kicked off when Christian crusaders from the blighted, tribal USA fly a plane into the United States of Arabia's Twin Towers in Dubai, giving the hawkish CIA chief Osama bin Laden the chance to launch the all-out war he's been champing for), and Lovecraft Country (an anti-racist reimagining of Cthulhu set in Jim Crow America where the real horror is white supremacy -- now being adapted for TV by Jordan Peele). In his new novel, 88 Names, Ruff adds to the canon of MMORPG heist novels (Charlie Stross's Rule 34, Neal Stephenson's Reamde, and my For the Win, to name three) with a unique take that he dubbed "Snow Crash meets The King and I."
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Dealing with all the COVID-19 fallout is one of the new realities of our ever-changing world — and that isn’t likely going away anytime soon. It’s also prompted a rash of existential questions for parents. Questions like how do I protect my kids? Or how do I soothe their fears? And there’s also one of […]
If you’re already incredibly bored in your social distancing situation, now is a great time to pick up a hobby. Actually, now’s a great time to pick up multiple hobbies, and nothing will make that easier (or nicer to look at) than this very cool AquaSprouts® Fountain: Aquaponics Water Garden. What the heck is an […]