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Video game reviews
The Hobbit review for PlayStation 2
 
Gamermall.com rating:
7.5
The Hobbit was a good game with a frustrating AI
The Hobbit is a game released for the Commodore 64 in the mid-80's. The game was a text-based graphic adventure game which replayed the story found in the popular book 'The Hobbit' by J.R.R Tolkien. The game was released in a variety of formats which include tape and disk. The floppy disk version of the game I believe might have had slightly better graphics but I cannot verify this. I know when I picked up the game way back in 1985 it came in a special package, it included the game disks, a quick reference sheet which also had a map of Middle Earth, the instruction manual and finally, the actual book by Tolkien. Melbourne House who I believe published the game did a really nice job of putting this together. Again this is for the North American version of the game, the UK version packaging was very different.

Ok, so lets talk about the actual game itself. It was quite good, especially if you enjoyed Zork type text adventures. The 'Inglish' word parser was pretty good so the frustration level was not that bad compared to other text adventures. The game included graphics of each area you entered along with the appropriate text of what you see. The Commodore 64 version in the later years also included some really good sid music, a bit repetitive at times but excellent nonetheless. There was also one good/bad thing about the game and that is the AI of the creatures and other inhabitants of the world. The good thing that the programmers wished to accomplish was to have the creatures and other characters in the game behave differently every time you play the game, well the idea was good but the programming could have been better if possible. The main reason because it seemed to me that a lot of the characters and creatures in the game acted semi-randomly, they seemed to disappear and re-appear in the game at odd times. For example, trying to get the ring from Gollum or to 'tell' bard to 'shoot' the dragon didn't always work. At times it was funny to see the huge dragon flying down at you, jaws open wide, only to hear Bard say 'No' when your screaming at him to shoot the dragon.

The ending which I only recently was able to accomplish was fair and the story line follows the book pretty accurately. One thing to note is that this is one of the more harder text games out there due to the random character actions in the game. Frustration? Yes. Fun? yes…at least at the time, these days you might groan at the graphics and interface. Here is an overall rundown or rating of the game in terms of the year it was released and other games it would be comparable to at that time period:

Graphics (Floppy Disk version): Pretty good painted like graphics. A lot of panoramic views. At the time the graphics would have been considered better than average. 4 out of 5.

Music/Sound (C64 disk version): Very good. The tunes seem to be crafted by a master sidsman. Very catchy but some of them can get old real quick. 4 out of 5.

Gameplay: Here's where the game loses its luster a bit. Very frustrating game play and I'm not talking about the language parser. 2 out of 5.

Overall: The game is enjoyable in a sense, the gameplay isn’t too good but the music and graphics make up for it in a small way. 3 out of 5

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