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SACRILEGE! Hitchhiker's Guide game's back ... and it TWEETS at you

Boss. Er ...it's big data social media gamification research

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We've all heard that things were better back in the day. But when it comes to computer games, El Reg has uncovered concrete evidence that the past was pretty rubbish.

The Beeb has re-released an old text adventure based on Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the day it first hit the shops.

What's likely to shock fans more than being slapped about the face with a wet towel is the fact that not only are you expected to tweet tediously about your achievements a la every game on the market today – which surely no one does on purpose but a few fumblers are bound to have done – the game will tweet about you... "whenever it feels like it".

If you've the long memories of our Reg hacks, you'll also remember the flash-tastic 2004 20th Anniversary Edition, released to coincide with the first broadcast of Tertiary Phase. You'll find edition One and Two, complete with artwork submitted by fans, here.

According to Auntie, the old text-based game sold 350,000 copies in 1984 before falling out of fashion when games with proper graphics came along.

The text adventure is both hilarious and impossibly difficult, with the tiniest slips rewarded with instant death.

Didn't eat the peanuts? You're going to die of protein loss.

Walk into the wall one too many times in the opening scene? Bad luck, your house has been bulldozed and a fleet of Vogons have destroyed the earth to make way for an intergalactic bypass.

Having fun yet?

In this interview with some excitable American or other from back in the '80s, Adams admitted: "It is full of extraordinary ways of dying.

"This is not the game where you shoot aliens or chase them around mazes. This is really turning a book into a game, you become one of characters.

"This is the first game that moves beyond being user-friendly. It is actually user insulting because it lies to the user. It is user mendacious."

Sadly, the Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses packaged with the game upon its first release have not been reissued by the Beeb. Makes you wonder why we bother paying the licence fee. ®

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