The Hobbit is a game that everybody knows so I shall not bore you with tales of Bilbo Baggins and Bag End; rather, I will discuss this, the latest implementation of the game from Melbourne house.
The BBC Micro tape version of Hobbit was a bit of a disappointment as the text was trimmed down slightly and there was none of the graphics that featured in any of the previous versions. This was due to the miserly amount of memory that a BBC Micro is left with.
This latest disk version of the game solves all this by having all of the graphics and some of the text on disk, so constant disk accessing is called for.
By using this method much better graphics can be achieved than the 'all in at the same time' type of Hobbit and the text descriptions and other aspects of the game can be improved upon. This is because using the disk as a virtual memory system, you have the equivalent of a 200K game.
The original disc has everything compressed on it and for playing you must expand this onto one 80 track or two 40 track discs of your own. The original disc is twin-sided so that you need to swap it over every now and again.
When you copy these discs, the copier that does it will not allow you to copy across two disk drives - even if you have them, so it can take a long time.
The graphics are displayed in mode 1 graphics in a small part of the screen that you toggle between and the text display. The pictures are very good and mottling is used to good effect.
This is a very good game and this is one of the best versions yet to appear. Only the Commodore disc version with its incredible graphics is better - there is certainly nothing better for the Beeb that I have seen.
Note: There is a problem with the copy protection of the game. The protection is so heavy that it will only run on the very lowest level of unexpanded disk BBC Micro. If you have a BBC+ or a non-standard DFS then you can forget it. Melbourne House have no plans to launch an all-machine compatible version.