to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a
new featured game on this page. The game may be good,
average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter!
Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia!
:-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you
would like to contribute
a game article for this page you're more than welcome
to! Every article we receive will be considered!
by Pete Austin, Peter McBride & Godfrey Dawson
text of the present article comes from the Amiga review
published in the forty fourth issue of the British C64
magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: November 10th, 1988) and
the C64 review published in the forty sixth issue (street
date: January 12th, 1989).
9, Amiga £19.95
never yet met a gnome that I haven't eaten. In fact,
if I ever come across Ingrid in person it'll be goodbye
Nettlefield, goodbye Flopsy and hello after-dinner snack.
That should keep her away. The last thing I want is
tiny busybodies messing up all the billy-goat trophies
knocking about in my hole.
do you mean, what am I talking about? You remember Ingrid
don't you? Her mum and dad made the mistake of sending
her to the Institute of Gnome Economics for a bit of
education. When she came back, they wished she hadn't.
A faulty transportation scroll was designed to make
sure she stayed away forever (and good riddance). Trouble
is, Ingrid came back.
time, one or two people are actually glad to see her.
Nothing to do with absence making the heart grow fonder:
gnomes aren't into all that sentimental claptrap! Nope,
it's more to do with the fact that Jasper Quickbuck
has taken over as Little Moaning's most hated gnome.
He's planning to raze the village to the ground and
put a great big enormous yuppy homes development in
its place. What a meany! Boo! Hiss!
Ingrid won't stand for it. She's got her territorial
uniform out of storage, sawn off the end of a sub-machine
gun and gathered together a few grenades (it doesn't
make her look any better -- what she really needs is
a shave) and now she's ready for action.
Bottomlow's campaign is conducted in three parts. First
off, she has to get as many people as possible to sign
a petition. Easier said than done, but somehow she manages
it. Not that it puts Jasper off making a quick buck
-- he just gets out his steamroller (plus troll cronies)
and tries to flatten her farm. Once she's stopped that,
all Ingrid has to do is infiltrate Quickbuck's manor
as a maid and come back with enough evidence to put
rabbit-features away for good.
Well, in the tradition of Knight Orc and Gnome
Ranger, the first part is a lot easier than the
other two. It's more of a beginner's section really,
which shouldn't take all that long to solve. Unless
you've been spending the last three years hibernating
under a rock somewhere in Siberia, you won't be surprised
to find that interaction is definitely the key to the
whole adventure. Ingrid can converse with everybody
she meets, and needs to enlist the help of plenty of
other characters to succeed. Not only that, Flopsy,
her favourite dog (judging from Ingrid's size, I reckon
Flopsy must be a chihuahua) is always ready to help.
yeah, the trolls. Ingrid isn't very nice to them at
all. In fact, Ingrid's machine gun would look very nice
next to the billygoat trophies on my wall. Think about
it, Ingrid. Think about it a lot.
apart, I found this a lot more fun to play than Gnome
Ranger. There isn't so much redundant landscape,
the puzzles seem to have more structure and there's
always something going on. Little Moaning is full of
gnomes leading ordinary lives: fishing, shopping, surveying,
playing darts, buying concrete humans for their gardens
-- you name it, they do it! You can really enjoy wandering
around the landscape instead of just wishing that the
next puzzle would turn up.
hand-drawn, hi-res graphics aren't quite as impressive
as you might expect but they are colourful, atmospheric
and very quick to redraw. There certainly isn't as much
disk-accessing as you'd get with Magnetic Scrolls .
addition to a copy of Ingrid's Gnettlefield Journal
(part 2) and a full-colour portrait of the gnome herself,
£19.95 buys you a typical Level 9 parser which accepts
complex sentences and has plenty of useful abbreviations
plus options to SAVE or RAMSAVE. Using the mouse, you
can manoeuver the graphics up or down the screen and,
to save laborious moving about, you can GO or RUN TO
all of Little Moaning's locations.
I was a bit disappointed with Level 9's first interactive
adventure, Knight Orc -- there were loads of
different characters and locations but in the end most
of them turned out to be irrelevant. Gnome Ranger
was a definite improvement on that and Ingrid's Back
is even better. The interaction really is worth it this
time. I just hope, for Ingrid's sake, that I never meet
her front . . .
Talk about lousy weather -- black ice on the bridge
every day, not a billy-goat in sight and no gnomes either
-- bah! Still, eating that skinny mainstream computer
game reviewer PG helped settle my stomach, even if there
was very little meat on it. Reviewers aren't as hardy
as they used to be -- a quick snap of his neck and it
was all over. Yeah well, Gordon's now scared of me,
so I've got the chance to ask you lot one or two questions.
off, are you happy with the way in which Amiga and 64
adventures are reviewed separately? I am, but you never
know with puny humans, so if you've got any strong opinions
either way, let me know before I bust your face trying
to find out. Right. Next thing: remember there's a £30
software voucher on offer EVERY MONTH (ooh) for some
ever so lucky individual who decides to send in a few
measly tips and has them printed. Not much to do is
it, just for a bit of software? OK, that's it, I've
had enough - grab a billy-goat and head for the holiday
. . .
9, C64 £14.95 cassette (text-only) and disk (graphics)
said it before and I'll say it again -- gnomes taste
extremely good in a steaming, slime-topped pie. Schlurp!
Miss Bottomlow would make a particularly welcome addition
to my favourite savoury -- I like it extra-specially
fat and greasy . . .
Amiga-owning Chuck Vomit fans (no requests for autographs
please -- I'm far too busy) will know all about that
version of Ingrid's back . . . er . . . side (snigger,
snigger) but I reckon all those mega-important 64 owners
out there deserve a review of their own.
you've played Gnome Ranger, you'll know how Ingrid
got back from the wilderness they'd arranged to send
her to by means of a cleverly sabotaged transportation
scroll. Her family and the rest of Little Moaning had
just begun to breathe a sigh of relief (no more Mistress
Bossyboots telling them when to fart and pick their
noses) when everybody's favourite Bottomlow returned.
still, a certain Jasper Quickbuck made his appearance
at exactly the same time and he doesn't just want to
reorganise Little Moaning -- he wants to pull it down.
Ingrid sweeps into action straight away -- a three part
mega-epic details her attempts to save the Gnome Counties.
One is a bit of a Level 9 tickler designed to give you
a gentle introduction to the game instead of a belt
in the stomach (which is what I would do). Bottomlow,
accompanied by her ever-faithful hound, Flopsy, has
to collect as many signatures as possible to fill a
petition -- easier said than done, because the inhabitants
of Little Moaning don't like her all that much (and
not surprising, if you ask me).
rowdy bunch of locals -- just my scene
Quickbuck, of course, fails to take the blindest bit
of notice, so Episode Two has Ingrid trying to stop
his steamroller before he flattens Little Moan Farm,
I can't emphasise strongly enough how much I disapprove
of Ingrid's behaviour towards trolls here, but rest
assured, Miss Bottomlow, if I have anything to do with
it, you'll get exactly what you deserve.
the time she's reached Part Three, Ingrid's had to become
a proficient hole-digger, diplomat, turnip reorganiser
and order-abouter (well, she's always been good at that).
Infiltrating Quickbuck's mansion should be a piece of
depend largely on interaction, but unlike Gnome Ranger,
where you could get stuck for hours wandering about
with nothing to do, they're extremely well-structured
and the locations are full of hints. The design of the
game as a whole is extremely tight (more than you can
say about some of Level 9's previous efforts) and, even
better than that, unusually original. Not only that,
constantly ongoing background activities (you know,
ordinary little gnomes getting on with their ordinary
gnome sort of lives -- selling garden-people, throwing
darts, fishing and all that -- make the interaction
even more amusing.
graphics (only the disk version has them) are among
the best I've ever seen on the Commodore -- brilliant
pictures of Little Moaning, windmills, Quickbuck's mansion,
which are definitely worth seeing. In both cassette
and disk versions, each part (they can be played in
any order) loads singly, so there's no messing about
with multiloads or mind-numbing disk access, and response
time is pretty quick.
parser, as per usual, has more mod-cons and abbreviations
than I can eat billygoats in one go (a lot) and generally
reflects the sort of sophistication we've come to expect
from top class adventure houses nowadays. I've noticed
though that if you don't start typing immediately after
the prompt arrow (ie. on the next line because you've
pressed shift twice) it doesn't always recognise speech.
Bit messy that. Still, trolls like a good stinking,
intestinal mess -- especially on Fridays.
now and again you can feel a bit let-down because the
64 version of a mega-hyped adventure turns out to be
a graphically inferior long-winded bore. Well, don't
get your leather knickers in a twist because Ingrid's
Back definitely isn't one of those. In fact, I'll
throw caution to the winds (my own) and say that it's
the most creative and compelling of the recent crop
of Level 9 adventures yet.
interactive element is really starting to come together,
the game design is excellent and there's enough humour
(anti-troll excepted) to keep the most sour-faced slime-bag
party pooper guffawing for . . . er . . . well . . .
for a bit (and I mean a big bit). If you've got a disk
drive, the brilliant graphics come as an extra bonus
-- if you haven't, the gameplay is worth it anyway.
9 have such a good reputation that any new release,
hot or not, is bound to do pretty well. This one actually
deserves to. Pity it's about gnomes, though . . .
you want a walkthrough, visit
Jacob Gunness' Classic
Adventures Solution Archive or
C64 Adventure Game Solutions Site
tape text-only version (above screenshot) contains a
lot more text in descriptions etc, since there is no
need to reserve memory for graphics.
Back Complete Artwork Gallery!
Pictures Count: 
Kiminas (30 Sep 2007)
The screenshots in the Amiga review were replaced by
their C64 equivalents. Only the screenshot of the Inn's
interior existed in the original C64 review.
"Games of the Week!"