Hello, me old pals, me old beauties! This is the evergreen story of country folk transferred from steam wireless to computer chip. Yes, it's The Archers, the original radio soap which has been telling the everyday story of the farming community of Ambridge for around 30 years.
The game is in four parts, and the objective of each part is to increase the audience figures by one million.
This is achieved by selecting one of three choices in plot direction, offered at intervals throughout the narrative of the script, which contains a number of sub-plot themes. In each part you follow the events from the viewpoint of a different Archers character.
Starting off, you are Jack Woolley, self made man and the owner of Grey Gables country club. He is having trouble with Higgs, who breaks a window one night when drunk. Should you sack him, dock his wages for the repair, or speak severely to him? Your decision affects his subsequent behaviour, and your chances in the Chrysanthemum Show - without Higgs the blooms may start to wilt! Is Higgs in love, going mental, or his behaviour a family trait?
The shop is losing money. the restaurant is losing custom, there's a poacher out in the woods at night, and high jinks around the swimming pool. If you're not careful, you could spark off a revolt in the village, and arouse the indignation of the moral minority!
The outcome of your script results in regular memos from the Controller of Radio 4, giving the audience research figures on interest, realism, and standards, as well as the total number of listeners.
It is not easy to increase the figure from two million to three, but even if you do, you are not home and dry - the Controller has pressure groups and the Governors to worry about!
Upsetting them puts him in an awkward position, and if you've got the Tories up in arms about left wing bias, even 3.5 million listeners won't save you from getting the sack - and having to start the section again!
Having achieved three million, you become Elizabeth Archer, 19-year-old femme fatale, who has problems with the boys. Nigel's a wimp but is after you, Tim ignores you, but you fancy him.
It's end of term at the Tech, and you have to earn your keep throughout the summer hols. Should you look after the sheep, tend the pigs, or feed the chickens? If on pig duty, shall you arrange for one to escape into the village, for Elizabeth to fall in the slurry, or get bitten on the ankle? You are writing the script - remember?
Scripted by real Archer's scriptwriters and produced by Level 9, this game features the now familiar Level 9 adventure format, except that input is by number, selecting from the list of choices offered.
If you're an Archers fan, you'll enjoy this game.