Ingrid Bottomlow stands out from her family of gnomes - she's a gifted student, with a degree from the Institute of Gnome Economics. As a result, they exile her using a teleporting spell, leaving her lost in the forest. It is your job to keep her safe in this interactive fiction game.
The game is split into three tasks, broadly relating to animal, vegetable and mineral in that order. The first involves defeating an evil witch, the second is the Riddle of the Shrinking Teapot, and the third involves precious stones.
Commands such as FOLLOW, FIND and GO TO make travelling the game world much easier, and put an emphasis on object-manipulation and character interaction, rather than map-making.
Instructions can be issued to other characters, with words like THEN, FIND and GIVE to join them. This co-operation is essential to solve many puzzles, and takes place in a world where characters have their own aims and motives. There are BRIEF and VERBOSE modes of text. The screen display adds a 'g' to the start of all words beginning with n - 'gnorth' and 'gnugget' for example.
Gnome Ranger is a fun tongue-in-cheek fantasy adventure that follows the exploits and misadventures of Ingrid, a good-natured but exceedingly accident-prone gnome, who has been banished by her village and must find her way back home.
Gnome Ranger debuts Level 9's new parser that is a vast improvement over their previous efforts (that ends with Knight Orc) and quite comparable to Infocom's famous parser. You can now tell Ingrid to FIND any object or person if you have met or seen them before. This is a very handy command, especially if you've dropped an item by mistake and can't remember where, or need to find someone in a hurry. You can also GO TO and RUN TO any location you've been, FOLLOW a person, or WAIT FOR someone to show up. Puzzles are challenging but fair, and make good use of new parser commands. With refreshing (if a bit overused) humor, colorful characters, and well-written plot, Gnome Ranger is a must play for every Level 9 and Infocom fan.
Note: The manual link below is the PDF version of the very amusing Peter McBride novella that came with the game.
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Gnome Ranger 2: Ingrid's Back, Gateway 2: Homeworld, Frederick Pohl's Gateway, Guild of Thieves, Gene Machine, The, Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist, Eric The Unready, Great Escape, The
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