The Hobbit

by Philip Mitchell and Veronika Megler

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

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Number of Reviews: 3
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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.


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Pasha, January 22, 2022 - Reply
Fair review. I agree with a lot that you brought up. I think the amount of stars The Hobbit receives is because, although it leaves a lot to be desired nowadays, it was an eye-opening innovator when it came out. Also, many consider the emergent play of the wandering NPCs to be part of its charm. Too bad your review will get lots of down-votes because it doesn't CONFORM with the rest of the CULT's opinion.
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