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As the Snowball 9 approaches Eden, something goes wrong. A crew member murders her shipmates, destroys the communication system and sets the ship on a collision course with the sun. The robots, being little more than automata, continue their everyday operations oblivious to the danger but the ship's computer, capable of thinking, awakens Kim Kimberley before the deranged crew member destroys it. She exits her modified stasis chamber with the goal of finding a way to reach the control room and avert disaster.
Snowball was originally released during 1983 as the company's fourth adventure game using the A-Code system. Nick, Mike, and Pete Austin headed development. Though Level 9's previous games featured a fantasy theme, the Austin brothers chose a science fiction theme. The original release used version 1 of this system and was initially released only for the BBC Micro, Sinclair ZX Spectrum and Nascom, but was later followed by versions for the Commodore 64, Camputers Lynx, Oric-1, Atari 8-bit as well as for the Memotech MTX, Amstrad CPC, Enterprise and MSX. It is noteworthy for including over seven thousand locations. To achieve this sixty-eight hundred locations on the passenger disks form a colour-coded maze with minimal descriptions.
Another peculiar aspect of the game was the confusion behind the main character's gender. In an interview for Sinclair User, Chris Bourne asked, "Is the androgynous Kim a man or woman?" Pete Austin pointed out that "there's a credit at the end for the design of 'Ms Kimberley's costume,' " but also admitted that Kim Kimberley was "a deliberately unisex name." The debate came to an end with the release of Return to Eden, where it was made more explicit that Kim was not a man, because the surviving crew members confuse her with the woman who tried to destroy the ship.