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beebgames.zip *
This game requires an interpreter program - refer to the game's documentation for details.
melbourn.zip *
This game requires an interpreter program - refer to the game's documentation for details.
zx.zip *
This game requires an interpreter program - refer to the game's documentation for details.
C64adv.zip *
This game requires an interpreter program - refer to the game's documentation for details.
Sols2.zip *
solution
hobbit.step
solution
jgunness.zip *
solution
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The Hobbit

by Philip Mitchell and Veronika Megler

Episode 1 of The Tolkien Software Adventure Series
Literary, Tolkienesque
1983

(based on 28 ratings)
3 reviews

Game Details

Editorial Reviews

PC Gamer
The world is condensed down to hilarious levels, especially if you’ve seen the sweeping vistas of the movie, to the point that Bilbo’s house is essentially next door to Rivendell, the Lonely Mountain, and probably close enough to Mount Doom to use it as a garbage incinerator. The actual plot points though are surprisingly close in a different way, including duelling with Gollum and persuading Bard to kill Smaug the dragon, meeting up with Elrond and finally making it back alive with a chest of gold and some vaguely nifty magic ring.

The main catch is that all the random elements really get in the way – they’re cool, on a technical level, but a real bloody nuisance in practice. Characters routinely disappear when you need them, or take endless cajoling to do what you need, and a world where Bilbo can beat up Thorin is a world that has no problem beating up Bilbo at a moment’s notice.
-- Richard Cobbett
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SPAG
Overall I can't really recommend The Hobbit except for historical interest. It requires a lot of patience and random inspiration to solve (even with a walkthrough!) and doesn't offer much in reward. None of the puzzles have any outstanding "Aha!" moments; one of the puzzles might have were it not for the fact that it's in the book. None of the situations are interesting or inspiring.
-- David Jones
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50 Years of Text Games, by Aaron A. Reed
Thinking back on Adventure with the prospect of designing her own game now at hand, she realized the root of her boredom was its static, unchanging structure: “It played the same way every time. Each Non-Player Character (NPC) was tied to a single location, and always did the same thing.” She decided her game would be different.
[...]
the result was a simulated world at turns frustrating and fascinating: no two games would be exactly alike. In one, Gandalf might have wandered off and gotten killed by a warg; in another Elrond’s secret directions might change, or he might refuse to give them at all; a carefully made map of the goblin dungeons on one playthrough would be altered by the next; and the sword you were counting on for defense might have shattered because you used it to break down a locked door.
[...]
It proved to be a landmark event in early British computing, leaving an indelible impression on players and reviewers who found it sometimes compelling, and sometimes maddeningly frustrating.
[...]
Despite its quirks or because of them, the game would become a massive bestseller, even priced at three times the typical £5 for a Spectrum adventure. It was ported to nearly every other platform that could run it, and is often credited for helping to jump-start the British home computing market.
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Member Reviews

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Number of Reviews: 3
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
A classic game with some difficulty due to randomization, August 15, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: more than 10 hours

This is one of the best selling IF games ever. It has graphics and runs on Spectrum emulators (like Fuse).

It has graphics, and is intended to cover the same material as the book The Hobbit. It does so with a great deal of NPC independence, which ends up (to me) being somewhat frustrating. Back in the early days of text adventures, many of the companies (especially outside of Infocom) hadn't really thought about player guidance, and so games devolved into 'guess the verb' on every occasion.

Still, this game has a good deal of charm, and I've had fun exploring it.

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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
A relic best left in the past., January 22, 2022

This was one of the first text adventures I ever played, maybe the first, and it taught me that text adventures were bad. I wanted to experience the world of Middle Earth, an enormous place with interesting, and often funny inhabitants. In this game you no more than step out the door than you're in Rivendell and you can cross the Misty Mountains in not much time more. As a kid I think I decided to quit it complete during the wood elf portion in Mirkwood. And decided not to play another text adventure again.

I guess my first question is, where's the text? Room descriptions are sparse, and there's nothing to stoke your imagination. I guess the horrible drawings were suppose to be a replacement for Tolkien's text, as though they could possibly do that.

My next question is, where are the characters? There sure are a lot of them. The game is constantly telling you which dwarves are in your vicinity and how they seem to move in and out of the room, but does it matter to you at all? Even as a kid, this portion of the game seemed artificial. It had no effect on anything.

As an adult, around the time Anchorhead and Cryptozoic Zookeeper came out, I gave text adventures another shot, and I'm glad I did, I found just how much they could do and even can do some things graphical games cannot. Some of the best I've played are new ones like Thaumistry by Bill Bates, but now, during the pandemic, I've had time to reach back farther, and there are just as good ones from the 80's like the Enchanter trilogy, the games by Magnetic Scrolls, and the "electronic novels" by Synapse, even the original Zork trilogy. This Hobbit game does not deserve a higher greater number of stars on this review site than its contemporaries. I'd love it if somebody could explain to me why it isn't sitting down near zero. And I hope people who might be interested in trying it, don't do so and then discount all the other wonderful adventure games out there, imagining them to be similar as I did. And if you want to try some early computer games set in Middle Earth, I would say the two RPG's by Interplay are perhaps still the best games made with the license. They do everything I'd hoped this game would, they make Middle Earth seem just as big as in the books and let you explore every cranny of it.

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
The Hobbit, January 12, 2009
by Zagrebo (Glasgow, Scotland)
Related reviews: fantasy

Famous and still-popular game based on Tolkien's novel. Because of the limited amount of memory early home computers used the number of locations is relatively small but much of the original novel is squeezed in there with some good puzzles (although even today people get furious at the notorious Goblin Dungeon) and characters: "Thorin sits down and starts singing about gold."

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The Hobbit on IFDB

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Polls

The following polls include votes for The Hobbit:

Best non-infocom games of the commercial era of the 1980s and early 1990s by Mikalye
There were a bunch of commercial games released in the 1980's and early 90's. In the UK, Magnetic Scrolls release 9 games between 1984-1990 Level 9 released 24 games and a port of Colossal Cave between 1981-1991, Delta 4 released 9ish...

One Hit Wonders by deathbytroggles
Good games by authors who apparently retired after their one gem.

Bugs that you can take advantage of by Fredrik
Bugs are an annoyance, usually, but in some rare cases, bugs can actually make the life of an adventurer easier. Some bugs can help you in certain situations, perhaps even to bypass puzzles, and they can sometimes provide positively...

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