Andy has become the gaming world’s equivalent of Howard Carter uncovering the Tutankhamun’s tomb of a hard drive from Infocom containing details of the never-released sequel to The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy game. In his post, he picks out the salient points from the Lost in La Mancha-like story. In the comments, much hand-wringing ensues about what is and isn’t journalism (answer: who cares?).
I missed the Hitchhiker’s game when I was growing up. I cut my teeth on 8-bit computers; first a ZX-81 and then an Amstrad 464. While I didn’t have the chance to play Douglas Adams’ meisterwerk, there were plenty of other text-only adventure games that sucked me in. I recall some quality stuff coming from the Level 9 studio.
I remember learning BASIC specifically so that I could try create my own adventure games complete with mapped-out locations and a simple verb/noun parser. Adventure games seemed like the natural extension to the
choose your own adventure books but far more open to exploration (even if that openness was just a cleverly-crafted illusion). Hypertext—a term used these days almost exclusively to refer to Web-based documents—seems an entirely appropriate way to describe this kind of interactive fiction.
Later this year, I and my fellow adventure game geeks will be able to wallow in nostalgia when the documentary Get Lamp is released. The film will feature interviews with some of the Infocom movers and shakers featured in Andy’s archeological treasure trove.