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Level 9


(Spectrum only)

See World of Spectrum for
downloadable versions

Title Year
Colossal Adventure 1983
Adventure Quest 1983
Dungeon Adventure 1983
Snowball 1983
Return to Eden 1984
Emerald Isle 1985
Saga of Erik the Viking, The * 1985
Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, The * 1985
Red Moon 1985
Worm in Paradise, The 1985
Colossal Adventure 1985

Jewels of Darkness **
- Colossal Adventure
- Adventure Quest
- Dungeon Adventure

Price of Magik, The 1986
Silicon Dreams **
- Snowball
- Return to Eden
- Worm in Paradise, The
Growing Pains of Adrian Mole *** 1987
Gnome Ranger 1987
Archers, The * 1987
Knight Orc ** 1987
Ingrid's Back 1988
Time and Magik ****
- Lords of Time
- Red Moon
- Price of Magik, The
Lancelot **** 1988
Scapeghost 1989

* Published by Mosaic Publishing Ltd

** Published by Rainbird Software

*** Published by Virgin Games Ltd

**** Published by Mandarin Software

Level 9 were amongst the most prolific, and certainly the best known, publishers of adventure games for the Spectrum. The company specialised in adventure games for the 8-bit machines throughout its six-year existence, producing some of the best such games ever seen on the Spectrum.

The brains behind Level 9 were the Buckinghamshire-based Austin family: brothers Pete, Nicholas and Michael doing the programming, sister Margaret doing the marketing and father John managing the company. Although their games were often not especially original - Tolkein and Larry Niven were major influences - they nonetheless stood out by virtue of being well paced, large and with many tricky and often amusing puzzles. The games benefited especially from Level 9's sophisticated parser, unsurpassed until Magnetic Scrolls came on the scene in the late 1980s.

Level 9 published initially under their own name, by mail order, but later benefited from a distribution deal with Rainbird (one of the labels of British Telecom's software arm, Telecomsoft) and later with Mandarin. The company also produced a number of tie-in games with the book publishers Mosaic. The company tried but failed to make a successful transition to the increasingly dominant 16-bit market at the end of the decade and subsequently broke up.

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Chris Owen 1994-2003