The Hobbit (1982 video game)

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The name The Hobbit refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see The Hobbit (disambiguation).
The Hobbit
The Hobbit Software Adventure
Video game
DeveloperBeam Software
PublisherThe Hobbit
Melbourne House
Sinclair Research Ltd. (re-release)[1]
The Hobbit Software Adventure
PlatformThe Hobbit
Amstrad CPC
Commodore 64
Dragon 32

The Hobbit Software Adventure
Apple II
Commodore 64
Release date1982
GenreIllustrated text-adventure

The Hobbit (also known as The Hobbit Software Adventure in North America and Australia) was the first licensed video game based on Tolkien's work, being the first part of The Tolkien Trilogy (also known as The Tolkien Software Adventure Series). The game was designed by Philip Mitchell and Veronika Megler,[1] and illustrated by Kent Rees.[3] The game was considered large at the time of its release and included 80 locations, of which 30 were illustrated.[3] The game was released by Melbourne House for Amstrad CPC, BBC B, Commodore 64, Dragon 32, MSX, Oric-1 and ZX-Spectrum in most of the world,[2]Fredrik Ekman, "The Hobbit / The Hobbit Software Adventure", Tolkien computer games (accessed 30 December 2014)</ref> whilst Addison-Wesley released it as The Hobbit Software Adventure for Apple II, Commodore 64, Macintosh and MS-DOS in North America and Australia.[2] After its initial success, it was re-released by Sinclair Research Ltd.[1] Beam Software also developed editions for Amiga and TRS-80, but were never released.[2] Every game also included a copy of The Hobbit and an instruction book.[3]

In 1984 David Elkan published a book, A Guide to Playing The Hobbit, to help players complete the game.[4] Beam Software originally planned a sequel, Where Hobbits Dare, but was cancelled.[5] Instead, it was succeeded by Lord of the Rings: Game One.

In 2012 the Hobbit environment "Wilderland" was published (see external link below). It runs the original ZX Spectrum game code in an emulator and reveals what is going on in the background of the game.


The Ruins of Dale.

The player controls Bilbo Baggins - the main character - on his quest to the Lonely Mountain, in company with the Dwarf Thorin. On their way, they meet characters like Gandalf and Gollum and are confronted by Trolls, Wargs and Goblins. Eventually Bilbo and Thorin reach the Lonely Mountain and plunder the lair of Smaug.[3][6]

The Trolls' Cave.

Featured Characters

Featured Locations


With a retail price of £14.95,[7] The Hobbit, sold over 100,000 copies in the first two years,[8] and had sold over a million copies by the end of the decade.

In 1983's Golden Joystick Awards it was the winner of the category Best Strategy Game and came second in the category Game of the Year.[1]

See Also

External Links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "The Hobbit", World of Spectrum (accessed 30 December 2014)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Tolkien Games (retrieved 16 August 2010)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Phil Garratt, "Software Review: The Hobbit", World of Spectrum (accessed 23 December 2011)
  4. David Elkan, A Guide to Playing The Hobbit (1984: Melbourne House) ISBN 0-86161-161-6
  5. Fredrik Ekman, "List of computer games and MUDs with a Tolkien theme (long)", (accessed 16 August 2010)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Phil Garratt, "Software Review: The Hobbit", (accessed 23 December 2011)
  7. Rusel DeMaria and Johnny L. Wilson, High Score!: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games, (Berkeley, California: McGraw-Hill/Osborne,2002), p. 347, ISBN 0-07-222428-2
  8. Mike Gerrard, "Adventuring into an Unknown World", in The Guardian, 1984-08-30, section Micro Guardian/Futures, p. 13
Licensed video games set in Middle-earth
 Melbourne House: The Hobbit (1982) · Lord of the Rings: Game One (1985) · Shadows of Mordor (1988) · War in Middle Earth (1988) · Crack of Doom Software Adventure (1989) · Riders of Rohan (1990)
 Interplay Productions: The Lord of the Rings, Vol. I (PC) (1990) · The Lord of the Rings, Vol. II: The Two Towers (1993) · The Lord of the Rings, Vol. I (SNES) (1994)
 Vivendi Universal: The Fellowship of the Ring (2002) · The Hobbit (2003) · War of the Ring (2003)
 Electronic Arts: The Two Towers (2002) · The Return of the King (2003) · The Third Age (2004) · The Battle for Middle-earth (2004) · Tactics (2005) · The Battle for Middle-earth II (2006) (The Rise of the Witch-king (2006)) · Conquest (2009) · Heroes of Middle-earth (2023)
 Turbine/Standing Stone Games: The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (2007-) (Mines of Moria (2008) · Siege of Mirkwood (2009) · Rise of Isengard (2011) · Riders of Rohan (2012) · Helm's Deep (2013) · Mordor (2017) · Minas Morgul (2019)) · War of Three Peaks (2020) · Fate of Gundabad (2021) · Before the Shadow (2022) · Corsairs of Umbar (2023)
 Warner Bros: Aragorn's Quest (2010) · War in the North (2011) · Guardians of Middle-earth (2012) · Kingdoms of Middle-earth (2012Armies of The Third Age (2013) · Shadow of Mordor (2014) · Shadow of War (2017) · Rise to War (2021)
 Glu Games: Middle-Earth Defense (2010)
 Traveller's Tales: Lego The Lord of the Rings: The Video Game (2012) · Lego The Hobbit (2014)
 Daedalic Entertainment: The Lord of the Rings: Gollum (2023)
 North Beach Games: The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria (2023)