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Story File
For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
Java-playable version online
Somewhat clunky online version.
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Illustrated version, playable online
BBC's 20th century anniversary version of the game
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

by Douglas Adams and Steve Meretzky

Science Fiction/Humor/Literary

(based on 131 ratings)
5 member reviews

About the Story

Don't Panic! Relax, because everything you need to know about playing The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is contained in the pages of this manual. In this story, you will be Arthur Dent, a rather ordinary earth creature who gets swept up in a whirlwind of interstellar adventures almost beyond comprehension.

As the story begins bulldozers are waiting to reduce your house to rubble to make way for a motorway bypass. While you attempt to deal with this problem, your rather strange friend Ford Prefect drops by to tell you that the Earth is about to be demolished to make way for an interstellar bypass! If you survive this double threat, you'll embark on a series of inter-galactic misadventures even funnier than your worst nightmares!

A special note for people who have read the book "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". Although the opening of the game is fairly similar to the book, the story quickly diverges, with lots of new material and different twists. Although familiarity with the story may make a few of the early puzzles easier, if you rely too heavily on this previous knowledge you will certainly end up getting misled.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: 31
License: Commercial (Out of Print)
Development System: ZIL
Forgiveness Rating: Cruel
IFIDs:  ZCODE-47-840914
TUID: ouv80gvsl32xlion

Spoofed by Coke Is It!, by Lucian P. Smith, Adam Thornton, J. Robinson Wheeler, Michael Fessler, Dan Shiovitz, and David Dyte


32nd Place - Interactive Fiction Top 50 of all time (2015 edition)

Editorial Reviews

Adventure Classic Gaming

The game is richly described, backed by an excellent forgiving parser, and more fun to play than you can shake a stick at. The only dark spot in an otherwise sterling effort is Adams' convoluted sense of logic, compounded by an unsatisfying ending. Other frustrations of the game owe more to the paradigm of game design from the early era of interactive fiction than anything Adams has done himself.
See the full review

Gaming Enthusiast
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is notorious though for its difficulty level and generally being “mean” to the player.
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The writing is some of Infocom's very best, which is fortunate because the game itself is a little too short (only The Witness and Seastalker have fewer locations). The atmosphere produced is almost exactly like that of the book, even if specific details of the plot are often changed. The puzzles (including the legendary Babel Fish puzzle) are based on a brand of "consistent illogic" that is rather reminiscent of Lewis Carroll, and make the game one of those few that many will some day play again even after having solved it once. Hitchhiker's is one of the more literate text games on the market, as you will often have to pay more attention to how things are worded than you might in other games.
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[...] the game follows the book pretty closely in parts but, naturally, can't go into the same detail. It is worth reading the book as it will help with some parts of the adventure - of course, it's well worth reading the book anyway as it is so terrifically funny. But I think that even though the game is standard level, certain bits would be quite tricky to solve without the benefit of reading the book first.
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This game was my introduction to Infocom adventures, and what an introduction. It took me two weeks to get past that bulldozer [...] (Kedenan)

I was a bit disappointed by the ending of HHGTTG which was rather abrupt and suddenly bumped your score up when you'd thought you still had a fair way to go. What was more of a shame was the lack of the promised follow-up. A good game, though, and certainly a 'must' for any fans of Douglas Adams. (Sue)
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Member Reviews

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Number of Reviews: 5
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Most Helpful Member Reviews

9 of 14 people found the following review helpful:
Evil, But Enjoyable, July 8, 2008
by Nathaniel Kirby (Pennsylvania)
Hitchhikers is one of those games at times so dastardly, so unfair, so evil, that it shouldn't be enjoyable to play. But thanks to the wonderfully enjoyable writing of Douglas Adams and Steve Meretzky, HHGTG is an enjoyable puzzle-fest.

Sure some of the puzzles take dieing and restarting to solve, others take immense amounts of obtuse logic to complete. Because of the difficulty, HHGTG is very fulfilling if you complete it. It's a must play for fans of a) Douglas Adams or b) Classic puzzle-laden Infocom IF.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Frankly, I just used a walkthrough and enjoyed the show, September 8, 2015
by MathBrush
Related reviews: Infocom
Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy is co-written by Douglas Adams, and the strong prose shows this. The game is very imaginative and vibrant.

On the other hand, the puzzles are (I assume) by Steve Meretzky, who is one of my least favorite puzzle writers from Infocom. Sorcerer, though great, was my least favorite Enchanter game, and I get tired of Planetfall early on. So when I started this game, I was scared of any misstep sending me on a wild goose chase into an unsavable state.

So I just used a walkthrough and sailed through the game, enjoying the witty prose. I plan to go back and read more of the room descriptions and the actual guide. I often find that this approach works with very difficult or unfair games, because the second playthrough can be done without a walkthrough, allowing your memory to help you on some puzzles but still having fun with those you forgot.

The game has several puzzles that are frequently referenced in interactive fiction reviews and forums: the Babel-fish puzzle, and the tea. It may be worthwhile to play through with a walkthrough just to see these.

Note that Douglas Adams released this game for free when Activision went a long time without selling it. I don't know the current status of it, but he intended to freely distribute it at least once in the past. It is not available on Lost Treasures of Infocom for iPad, my usual go-to place for Infocom games.

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Convoluted, but fun, November 15, 2007
by Michael R. Bacon (New Mexico)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was my first experience with IF, and it was very frustrating, but in a way that entertained me greatly. The game unforgivingly kills the player again and again for oversights so ridiculous that the player was obviously not expected to even guess at them until after dying. If that's not something you enjoy, the deliciously witty prose is worth the effort, even if you resort to using a walkthrough, step by step.

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Recommended Lists

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Some IF I recommend by RedTulip
These are some games I really liked. You should try them out. My first list.

Games with a Time Travel Puzzle by tggdan3
Maybe the whole game isn't about time travel, but I really got into some games when they had a time travel puzzle in it- especially when it can be difficult to implement such a puzzle.

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The following polls include votes for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

Outstanding individual puzzles by Jeremy Freese
I'm interested in examples of excellent individual puzzles in IF. In other words: not 'Spider and Web' so much as 'getting out of the chair' in 'Spider and Web'

Your very first game. by DustyCypress
Do you still remember when you played your very first IF? How did you get drawn (and perhaps addicted) to IF and have been playing still? What was the title that started it all for you? I started with a collection called "The Adventure...

Games that inspired you to MAKE a game. by MyTheory
Whether it was the witty dialogue, the charming atmosphere, or the cleverness of the puzzle - you played "this" game and it inspired you to write your own. Selfishly, I'm looking for my own inspiration, but I am also very, very curious...

See all polls with votes for this game


This is version 12 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 17 September 2013 at 3:38pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item