Many moons ago in a far away land, a small band of fellows embarked on a task that no-one but them believed possible. How, the doubters said, could they turn Lord Of The Rings into an adventure game? Night and day they toiled together and at last they triumphed. Now the Grim Reaper considers whether their game really does run rings round other adventures.
Prepare to go on a quest. You will be away a long time and you will face many dangers. You will travel the length and breadth of the land in pursuit of your final goal and many times you will lose both your way and your will to continue. You will meet many tall, dark, not at all handsome strangers and they will kill you. Your quest is as perilous as the one that Frodo the Hobbit embarked on when he travelled with his companions to Mount Doom to destroy the Evil Lord Sauron's ring. It is that quest...
Even if you haven't read Lord Of The Rings you'll know what an enormous book it is. Maybe that's one of the reasons you haven't got round to it yet. And when you consider the limitations of the Speccy's memory you can appreciate what a formidable task Melbourne House has taken on with its new adventure and what an amazing job it's made of it.
Lord Of The Rings, the game, follows the plot of the first book in Tolkien's trilogy, The Fellowship Of The Rings, pretty accurately. Not only that but it also manages to capture the rich atmosphere of the book - not that there can be a real substitute for sitting down and reading it. Luckily, the book comes as pan of the package 'cos if you haven't read it you're in for a pretty tough time trying to crack the adventure. Your best bet is to make a start on the beginner's game on side two of the cassette. There you'll find that the map is slightly different from the main game as it's only meant as an introduction.
Talking of maps, this one's a real Ordnance Survey job but it's well worth taking care over if you want to find your way around. Oh, and don't forget to save the game at strategic positions - you'll find you get killed fairly frequently at the beginning. The main game is split into two parts so you'll have to save the game when you complete the first part if you want to take some of the objects you've collected with you.
Lord Of The Rings is a true adventure - the graphics are only included to jazz it up a bit - the ones in The Hobbit are probably better. No, the big attraction with Lord Of The Rings is it's like the TV Times (or YS? Ed) - there's just so much in it.
You can choose to play the part of any one of the four main characters in the game, Frodo, Sam, Pippin or Merry. You can even be all four if you like though this tends to slow things down somewhat. The command interpreter is one of the most sophisticated I've ever seen on the Speccy. You can almost talk to it in English - Inglish anyway. My only real criticism of the game is that you have to reload the game each time you're killed but then again you can't have everything with a game this size.
All in all, the sophistication of the program and the subject matter combine to make Lord Of The Rings one of the all time great adventures and it deserves to be as successful as The Hobbit.