INGRID Bottomlow, the well meaning but tactless young gnome-
Her ideas were sound, but the outcome of nearly all efforts ended in disaster. When Ingrid's progressive attitude annoyed her traditional gnome family too much they gave her a magic scroll that "accidentally" transported her far away. Ingrid's journey home gave us an adventure that was both amusing and devious.
Ingrid's Back begins shortly after her return, and while the family is still trying to think of a way to get Ingrid out of their hair local events and overtake them.
There is a move afoot to transform Little Moaning and the Dribble Valley into a Yuppie Homes development and a Gnorse
The adventure is divided into three parts, any of which may be played independently. In the first of these, Ingrid must get all the locals to sign a petition. Not everyone likes to be around when Ingrid's busy at something, and a certain amount of subterfuge will be necessary to get some of the signatures.
The only creature that really trusts her is Flopsy the dog, and o one or two occasions it is only with canine help that Ingrid can win through.
PART two brings back memories of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Silas, armed with a steamroller and several trolls, sets out to steal the deeds of Ingrid's home, Gnettlefield farm.
Ingrid, again with Flopsy's help, must immobilise both the steamroller and all the trolls, trying not to destroy her family in the process.
Having drawn a temporary halt to Jasper's plans in the first two parts, a FINAL SOLUTON must be sought in part three. Ingrid now goes undercover. Posing as a maid, she goes to Ridley's Manor to unearth evidence of Jasper's nefarious dealings. Her cousins Daisy, already employed at the manor, proves to be a willing conspirator.
The descriptive text maintains the right atmosphere and is often very amusing. There are plenty of good quality graphics to complement the story line.
The command interpreter is similar to that used in Level 9's Lancelot and is in may ways better - and certainly easier to use - than that used by Magnetic Scrolls. It even understands both "give me the letter" and "give the letter to me".
The flow of play is not restricted, as only the first four letters of a word need to be entered in most cases. The arrow keys will bring back commands issued earlier, either to be used again or for editing. Ingrid's Back also makes use of Level 9's GO TO and RUN TO commands. Simply enter GO TO MANOR or GO TO FARM rather than giving a string of compass directions - really useful once you have mapped out the terrain.
The instruction booklet includes a few hints on adventuring in general and Ingrid's Back in particular. It also has a copy of Ingrid's Diary. Catch up on what has happened since her last adventure.
Ingrid's Back is great fun to play and has to rate as a must for any adventurer. Part one involves a great roller coaster sequence in a dog cart and part two brings out Ingrid's lethal logic to the full. The twist at the end of part three is completely unexpected and makes yo wonder if Level 9 can get her un-knotted for a third tale in the future.
No game from Level 9 is ever easy, but an excellent hint sheet is available if you get stuck. It is laid out to give you clues without giving away too much that may spoil the rest of the game.