It's always been tricky to find fault with Level 9's adventures on technical grounds. They have had one major drawback though - the £9.95 price tag! Let's hope that Emerald Isle represents a change of heart - it retails for £6.95. The question is, of course, has the quality of the game suffered? Well, as far as I can see the answer's no; there are still over 200 locations and bags of atmosphere and puzzles.
You are the pilot of a light aircraft, forced to bail out while flying through the Bermuda Triangle. At the start you're to be found hanging by your parachute (nasty Ed.) from a tree on a strange island. Once you've come down to earth, you're faced with the harder task of finding a way off the island - and only the ruler of the land is allowed to leave. The good news though is that the throne is up for grabs - the bad news is that you have to prove yourself worthy!
Every location has long textual descriptions along with a picture filling the top half of the screen. It's a shame but the pictures don't really add a lot to the game and I tended to turn them off after a while to speed things up. The atmosphere is maintained by loads of different messages and you'll get a 'clever' response to most of your inputs. I wasn't too sure about the 'I nearly understand' message though - I'm sure it means nothing of the sort!
If you're a fan of Level 9, then all you need to know is that they've done it again. If you're new to adventuring or if you've always shied away from paying a tenner for a game, then Emerald Isle could be just the introduction you've been waiting for.
Level 9's Emerald Isle - a full-blown adventure for a budget price