Any new program from Level 9 is guaranteed to have adventure fans rushing to their local stockist. To encourage this mass migration even further, Level 9, in a decidedly benevolent frame of mind have cut the prices of their latest game to only £6.95.
Emerald Isle is the title of the new game, a strange place which few people visit and from which even fewer return. You chanced upon this unfortunate place when your plane was destroyed in strong winds somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle. At the last minute you parachuted to what you hoped would be safety, and the game starts with you dangling from your parachute at the top of the mangrove. Rumour has it that only the ruler of the land can escape and so the object is to get yourself promoted to king or queen.
The game boasts over 200 pictures but not all versions have graphics and, quite often, the same picture is used in several different locations. The graphics aren't wonderful but at least they are produced quickly, and you can turn them off if you want to. Personally, I don't like graphics in adventures and I get the impression that the brothers Austin from Level 9 don't like them either. Why put them in when their previous games full of pages of imaginative text were so brilliant? Apparently, shops don't like displaying text-only games; they like pictures instead.
This is the first of Level 9's adventures where I have been unable to picture myself in the locations though I'm not sure why. Certainly some of the old humour is there (you come across the Conqueror's Log - a tree trunk!) but some of the logic is a bit dodgy (You can see... a rack of long levers... Then, when you type in Pull lever, it responds "You can't see any levers").
The drop in price of this game corresponds with a drop in quality. Admittedly, this drop is only from excellent to average and Emerald Isle is still a lot better than most other adventures. Let's hope, for Level 9's sake, that this is a one-off occurrence and that they revert to top-quality adventures in future.