The answer to the meaning of life, the universe and everything will finally be within our grasp (again) next week as BBC Radio 4 invites gamers to delay any inklings of panic in order to play a new and improved version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Game online.
Available starting next Saturday, March 8, interested adventurers will be able to play the Hitchhikers game directly from their browser, as well as enjoy a special airing of the original radio drama broadcastings of the deliciously off-the-wall series at the BBC Radio 4 official website. I did a bit of poking around on the site and it looks like everything is on the up and up for us Yanks, so whether you live in the UK, the US (or anywhere else in the galaxy, it would seem) you should be able to get in on the fun.
A true classic, next Saturday will mark the 36th anniversary for the original Hitchhiker’s Guide radio broadcast, and the 30th anniversary of the game that followed. While many best know the Hitchhikers series for the series of books, author Douglas Adams actually launched the IP with his radio dramas back in 1978. The game and books followed, along with comics, TV series, a movie, stage shows and towels. Lots and lots of towels.
The game itself first came about in 1984, the brainchild of Adams and Infocom’s Steve Meretzky. A 20th anniversary edition followed back in 2004 and, now that it’s 2014, we can all tuck in and enjoy a 30th anniversary edition featuring HD graphics and the ability to share your achievements through social media. Being a web-based game available through BBC Radio 4’s Extra website, the game will also be compatible with tablets and various other net-ready devices that aren’t a PC, meaning you’ll be able to play it at home, on the go, or at work when the boss isn’t looking.
The game will launch day and date with a re-airing of the radio dramas, which fans will absolutely want to tune in for. That goes double for those who want to play the game, as some puzzles tie in directly to said broadcasts. I’m sure you could just look up the answers online, but where would the fun be in that sort of behavior?
“Douglas was a true visionary and in his own glorious way foresaw all the technology we now take for granted,” said Radio 4 Extra Commissioning Editor Caroline Raphael. “Radio 4 Extra is delighted to host this game alongside the first two series. Hitchhiker’s fans will be rewarded for their loyalty over the years and newer fans have a real, but fiendish treat in store.”
The 20th anniversary version of the game received a BAFTA for Best Online Entertainment so, with the added bonus of updated graphics, there’s a pretty decent chance that the latest version of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Game is at least worth a look see.