Strangely in game called Hitchhiker you don't actually have to hitch a ride. You start the game riding along with grape farmer Vern, on his way to deliver a load of raisins, in the first of five rides that make up the story. If this high-octane start isn't enough for you, it would seem that you have carelessly lost your memory and your girlfriend, but I won't say any more as that would be spoilerish – it is a 'mystery game', after all..
Hitchhiker is a simple game to play and has extremely basic controls; 'A' is interact/confirm and 'B' is cancel, and you look around with the left stick, which is a bit weird as the vast majority of gamers have gotten used to using the right stick to look/aim.
Hitchhiker has a simple conversation mechanic whereby you choose from a few responses to questions from NPCs, but there are usually only 2 options and they don't seem to make any difference to the story's outcome, so you can't make a right or wrong decision.
There are a few riddles and simple puzzles to solve during the 5 rides, but it's mostly you listening to the drivers prattle on about seemingly irrelevant past experiences while slowly advancing the game's confusing, surreal plot. I'm not sure what the writer, Dan Mayer, eats before going to bed, but I hear that eating cheese late at night can give you weird dreams. I imagine spicy pickles were involved too.
I'm going to be generous and say that, technically speaking, Hitchhiker is no great shakes and it displays pop-up and pop-down even on an Xbox Series X/S, which is inexplicable and inexcusable in an on-rails game with graphics as basic as this. The voice acting is okay but I couldn't help feeling that the actors didn't know what the heck their dialogue was about, and if I do tell you my take on (what we'll laughingly call) the "plot" – then it might spoil the game's outcome for you.
Might, but I doubt it.
With a completion time of no more than a few hours and a price of £16.74/$19.99 Hitchhiker isn't exactly my idea of value for money, and as it would appear to be impossible to miss any of the achievements it has no replay value – but for this reason maybe it'll be incredibly popular with achievement/trophy hunters. My verdict? Hitchhiker was an interesting concept that overdid the weird, abstract and surreal parts and never fulfilled its promise of a mystery, unless the mystery is 'how did it ever get made?'
Special thanks to Laura at Plan of Attack for the review code.