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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 26 ratings)
3 reviews

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Unknown
License: Former commercial
Baf's Guide ID: 866
IFID: Unknown
TUID: 6dzy6mc93tf0nzfs

Spoofs:
The Boggit, by Fergus McNeill and Judith Child
The Hobbit: The True Story, by Fredrik Ramsberg and Johan Berntsson
Referenced in A babó (The Hobbit), by Robert Olessak

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
See the full review

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
See the full review

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(7)
4 star:
(11)
3 star:
(3)
2 star:
(4)
1 star:
(1)
Average Rating:
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.


4 of 7 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.


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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Polls

The following polls include votes for The Hobbit:

Your very first game. by DustyCypress
Do you still remember when you played your very first IF? How did you get drawn (and perhaps addicted) to IF and have been playing still? What was the title that started it all for you? I started with a collection called "The Adventure...

Works With Impressive Emergent Gameplay by Martin Wrensleather (Boy Genius)
I'd like to know more about works out there that feature mechanics/npcs/etc that can lead to interesting emergent gameplay. The classic example of "emergent" is The Hobbit text adventure with its npcs Thorin and Gandalf who traveled in...

Wandering NPCs by Fredrik
I have always been fascinated with games that have several wandering and independent NPCs, especially when you have the ability to try to order them around. This sets the stage for a game where no one session is like any other, and even...

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