Is Infocom’s Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy still a good game?

I know it is one of Infocom’s biggest titles, but is it still fun to play or just tedious? I know the difficulty is high, will this affect someone new to IF but experienced with other games? Or would A Mind Forever Voyaging be a better introduction?


Well it’s still funny even when you’re hopelessly stuck and don’t even know it. AMFV has several long stretches of you just walking around. Hitchhiker is fun to play, just don’t expect to win (or even survive).

I thought it was hilarious but I personally had to use a walkthrough the whole game. I would consider it “hard”.

A Mind Forever Voyaging Is a good introduction. Also, their “kids” game Wishbringer is surprisingly mature and cool, and a gentle introduction that has adjustable difficulty (you have an item that can grant wishes to get you out of bad situations, but you lose points).

Anyone who hasn’t played HHGTTG before: you basically need hints to win this game, but do not use a walkthrough. The official Infocom invisiclues were co authored by Douglas Adams and are hilarious in their own right. I consider them to be an official part of the experience.

Even if you’ve beaten the game, you might enjoy perusing the clues now, just for fun.


Thanks for the tip! I should replay!

If you play Hitchiker’s with the first three books fresh in your memory, it can go pretty smoothly without hints. Some things that would be completely non-obvious are a lot easier to guess with the books in mind.

For example, stopping the bulldozer or making yourself invisible to the bugbladder beast. Other things like setting up the babel fish are pretty far removed from the books, though.

A lot of these puzzles I still remember somehow, so it’s hard to gauge how hard it is for a first time run.

If you like the book and you identify with Douglas Adams’s comic futility of universal bureaucracy, you’ll appreciate it knowing nowadays there’s help for when you get stuck. If you appreciate the Infocom style, the Adams via Meretzky is delicious.

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What the. I had no idea that Douglas Adams wrote the game’s invisiclues?! This despite that particular volume being far more memorable to me than the game itself, and now that I think of it almost a work of interactive fiction unto itself…

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To be clear, I don’t think Adams wrote the whole thing. He just spiced it up here and there. But that’s more than enough reason to use the hints instead of a walkthrough!

Adams self-identified as a serial procrastinator–

‘I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they go by.’ - Douglas Adams

–and it’s been documented how Steve Meretzky was primarily responsible for encouraging him along and filling in lots of gaps.

From Digital Antiquarian:

As everyone at Infocom would learn all too well before the company wound up, counting on Adams to deliver anything on time — or at all, for that matter — was usually a fool’s game. It was typical of him to start a project with huge enthusiasm; thus things went pretty swimmingly over that first week in Cambridge. But once Adams returned to Britain Meretzky found it harder and harder to get any work out of him. He wasn’t the only one: Adams was supposed to be working on that fourth Hitchhiker’s book, also to be in stores in time for Christmas, and had yet to even begin. His various handlers encouraged him to get away from the distractions of a London chock full of far too many shiny objects. So he packed his Saab with books, files, and computers and checked into Huntsham Court, a tiny hotel in Devon. It didn’t help much. In ten weeks there he wrote not a page of the would-be book, although he did develop a new hobby of comparative champagne-shopping and generally enjoyed himself immensely.

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