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Lord of the Rings
Cast your mind back to the golden age of gaming on the Spectrum and what better way spend many a satisfying hour (or ten) than on a good old fashioned text adventure. Actually, to be fair, I spent most of my time on the usual plat formers of the day, but one text adventure that sticks in my memory and conjures that special warm feeling of nostalgia is ‘The Lord of the Rings’.
Released in 1986 by Melbourne House following the success of ‘The Hobbit’ some years earlier, LOTR’s was a full and wonderful joy to play through with its now added ability to play not as just one character, Frodo, but also with friends you could control the other three Hobbit’s via the new control page system. Of course, if you had no friends, then you could of course control them all yourself!
At the time the game featured a new system vocabulary known as ‘Inglish’ which due to its new and vast selection of words and actions would speed up the game at a lightning rate. Or so I seem to remember…
No longer having a copy of the original game to play on my much beloved and treasured grey machine, I headed straight to my favourite emulation site to download a copy. Good grief! How many hours must I have wasted in front of a TV screen, firstly trying phrase after phrase, in an attempt to make my company of furry footed chaps to perform even the simplest of tasks. What happened to the new ‘Inglish’ system with its new larger dictionary? Then I come to my second gripe. The afore mentioned multiple character feature, which sounding great in writing, unfortunately slows the game down incredibly as dear old Frodo could quite happily indulge in a foot pedicure as he waits for his companions to enter the same scene as him, one by one.
This being said, the game is incredibly complex and very true to the original book, to the point where you can even collect a pipe, pipeweed and enjoy a smoke, Hobbit Style. The game itself is extremely difficult and despite its flaws remains very addictive and I lost a good part of my life to the game last week whilst I played it.
This just leaves me with the question, what text adventure do I play next…