Milliways: the Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Max Fog
Ok my longest game played yet in the competition. This is an old style parser game, that’s a direct sequel to Infocom’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy game, which I know well. I’m not sure how well this game would work for people unfamiliar with the Hitchhiker’s universe, but would be interested to hear!
I played for two hours and nearly got to the end, but ran into a bug with an object that kept disappearing (the heatproof tray has a horrible habit of disappearing at times after you’ve got it) so couldn’t finish it. The game has some bugs, over and above it being traditional old style. To be fair it would be an almighty task for playtesters to work through thoroughly! And I do admire how so much has been coded by a modern author in ZIL. I’m going to include some notes for the author at the end.
However … I was wowed by the imagination, and the use of Hitchhiker’s locations, and characters, and jokes. And I just had a very happy two hours of play time. Again I’m not sure how well this would work for someone unfamiliar with the Hitchhiker’s world. But this Hitchhiker’s fan was very happy. I also liked the hub like structure based on a classic Infocom puzzle, which was rather forgiving, albeit with so many more spokes than in the original Infocom game that sometimes it could take you a while to get to where you might need to go next, and you could be cycling through a lot.
The game has a comprehensive walkthrough which I peeked at at times, especially one place where I was ridiculously stuck (the philosophical word), but wanted to play on. And in game hints, which are appreciated. You also have the Guide that you can look things up in mid game, which is a lot of fun, and like Infocom’s game.
I’d like to see a polished version of the game produced in future that irons out some of the bugs and also adds a little better object handling re disambiguation. But this is very good.
This is where I got to score wise:
Your score is 310 of a possible 400, in 835 turns. This gives you the rank of Not Your Ordinary Person.
Notes for the author:
I’m really sorry: I didn’t think to make a transcript. So sorry! But hope these notes help.
The crater lip continues northeast and southeast here, and below you is a ledge.
[You can't see any ledge right here.]
[You can't see any ledge right here.]
- that sort of thing is a little exasperating!
In the gargle blaster puzzle I had real problems with the heatproof tray vanishing after I’d taken it. That also happened at the very end of the game, for no apparent reason. Also with the cupboards I would often be unable to take something after I’d put something in. Though some of those may have been me struggling to get the exact words needed to refer to something for the parser to recognise what I was wanting.
This appeared mid game:
>give blaster to idiot
[Which blaster do you mean, the quantity of pan galactic gargle blaster in the wine glass, [FOO!! Bug #02!], or the bottle of Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster?]
I spent ages trying to give the wine glass to the idiot in the Dining Area. It didn’t occur to me for ages to try giving it to him in a different location.
The junction leads off randomly in different directions. If you want to exit, you can go in one of in the four cardinal directions.
- typo: should be “one of the four”
(in the room with all the coloured buttons)
[You can't see any red right here.]
>press red button
- would be nice if could just type former
>give blue frob
You can't give the blue frob to a blue frob!
>give blue frob to slartibartfast
"Of course. The blue frob - although you will need to find its true form for it to work."
- Slarti’s the only other person in the room. Would be nice if GIVE X defaulted to him.
Putting the blue test tube in the rack was a bit excruciating. The game should support PUT BLUE TEST TUBE IN RACK as well as ON RACK - the former tells you it’s full.
>put blue test tube in rack
You search for an opening in the rack of tubes but find none.
>put blue test tube on rack
Did you have a direction in mind?
You head east, then south briefly, and finally a short while to the west.
absolutely had no idea about the magic word!
had to use the walkthrough
The top line of the computer apears with the text: - should be appears
I don't thinkhe would appreciate that.s
- also ditto for Ford and Trillian
“OOPS!” yells Clyde as he trips over his own leg and sits directly on the microchip, smashing it to hundreds of pieces.
Quickly thinking, Clyde dashes all the pieces under the safe. He explains that if a mess was found, he would get in trouble for it.
- oh i feel bad now! I’m back to thinking of H2G2 robot Colin!
A keychain with a bunch of keys on it, for many different purposes. One is them is allegedly Hotblack Desiato’s, but it would take years to find the right one all by yourself. You count through a few to prove that this is, in fact, true: One… two… three… forty-two … You get the idea.
- looks like 2 spaces before “prove”