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BBC launches update of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy text adventure

To commemorate the game's 30th anniversary, BBC has launched an updated version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a text adventure based on the popular science fiction series' of the same name.

"The game was spotted languishing on these pages, quietly ticking over with up to 70 visitors on a good day," BBC wrote on the game's about page. "The time seemed right for a spit and polish and to re-house it on a shiny new server just before the old ones were switched off for good. An already cantankerous game with a penchant for killing people in a variety of amusing ways, the game has not become more friendly while sulking unloved and unnoticed."

The game, which draws from English author Douglas Adams' works, was first released in 1984 and received an update in 2004. The BBC reports the game sold more than 350,000 copies when it first launched. The version currently on its website still includes the original content written by Adam and programmed by veteran developer Steve Meretzky — players still type in word commands to navigate the title — but has been updated with HTML and will send tweets on its own based on players' actions mid-game.

"We then decided that rather than having a simple functionality where the user could tweet, we would allow the game itself to tweet, based on the actions of users in the game," BBC explained. "This was when the games' personality started to shine through. This may or may not prove to have been a good idea."

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is available to play for free on BBC's website. BBC has also posted a how-to-play guide for game newcomers.

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