Play The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Video Game Free Online, Designed by Douglas Adams in 1984

We’ve told you about a fair few vin­tage video games that you can play free online. Here’s anoth­er one to add to your col­lec­tion.

Back in 1985, Dou­glas Adams teamed up with Info­com’s Steve Meret­zky to cre­ate an inter­ac­tive fic­tion video game based on The Hitch­hik­er’s Guide to the Galaxy. Designed before graph­ic-inten­sive video games real­ly hit their stride, the orig­i­nal Hitch­hik­er’s Guide game (watch an unbox­ing above) was played with text com­mands on the Apple II, Mac­in­tosh, Com­modore 64, CP/M, DOS, Ami­ga, Atari 8‑bit and Atari ST plat­forms. And it found instant suc­cess. The adven­ture game sold 400,000 copies, mak­ing it one of the best-sell­ing games of its time, and it was named the “Game Of The Year” by var­i­ous mag­a­zines.

In 2004, the BBC released on its web­site a 20th anniver­sary ver­sion of the game, and then an enhanced 30th anniver­sary ver­sion last year. Before you start play­ing, you will need to reg­is­ter for an account with the BBC, and then you would be wise to read the instruc­tions, which begin with these words:

The game remains essen­tial­ly unchanged and the orig­i­nal writ­ing by Dou­glas Adams remains untouched. It is still played by enter­ing com­mands and press­ing return. Then read the text, fol­low your judge­ment and you will prob­a­bly be killed an inor­di­nate num­ber of times.

Note: The game will kill you fre­quent­ly. If in doubt, before you make a move please save your game by typ­ing “Save” then enter. You can then restore your game by typ­ing “Restore” then enter. This should make it slight­ly less annoy­ing get­ting killed as you can go back to where you were before it hap­pened. You’ll need to be signed in for this to work. You can sign in or reg­is­ter by click­ing the BBCiD icon next to the BBC logo in the top nav­i­ga­tion bar.

You can find some impor­tant game hints here, or watch a walk-through on YouTube here.


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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Back to Bed: A New Video Game Inspired by the Sur­re­al Art­work of Esch­er, Dali & Magritte

Play the Twin Peaks Video Game: Retro Fun for David Lynch Fans

The Inter­net Arcade Lets You Play 900 Vin­tage Video Games in Your Web Brows­er (Free)

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.