Finally, a whole new generation can get the Babel fish.
It's been nearly 30 years since Douglas Adams and Infocom's Steve Meretzky combined forces to make one of the most infamously difficult adventure games of all time. And, to celebrate, the game is getting a brand-new re-release. The BBC will be releasing an online version of the game on March 8 that will feature updated graphics, tablet support and, naturally, a means to share your gameplay on all of the many social media services the kids use nowadays.
This isn't the first time The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy game has gotten a new release. Ten years ago, the game was rediscovered by millions of gamers and even won a BAFTA for Best Online Entertainment. Which is some pretty stellar proof that this oddball title holds up.
If you're wondering about the Babel fish, the game could be nigh unwinnable, even for hardened gamers. There is a point pretty early on when, while on the Vogon ship, you have to do a number of odd and specific things within a limited number of turns to get the Babel fish. If you don't, you literally cannot beat the game. Yes, this thing was a beast, albeit a beloved one.
The only thing that's really missing in this 30th-anniversary edition is the trademark Infocom feelies. For the uninitiated, "feelies" are the extra goodies that usually come with a special edition version of a game. Well, three decades ago, Infocom used to be famous for these. And Hitchhiker's came with a ton of fun stuff, including:
- A "Don't Panic!" pin
- "Pocket Fluff"
- An order for the destruction of Arthur Dent's house
- An order for the destruction of Earth written in Vogon
- One Official Microscopic Space Fleet (may or may not have just been an empty, plastic bag)
- "Peril Sensitive Sunglasses" (high-tech cardboard for the eyes)
- The advertising brochure How Many Times Has This Happened to You?
- A liquid that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea
If the BBC really wants to do right by hardcore Hitchhiker's fans, they should make a new Infocom-style special edition. Just putting that out there. Maybe one that includes a towel. Ya know, just in case.