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War In Middle Earth logo   CU Screen Star

Melbourne House
Price: £19.99

W War In Middle Earth ithout a doubt, one of the best books ever to appear was Tolkien’s ‘Lord Of The Rings’(Oh, undoubtedly Tone - Ed), a massive four book (including ‘The Hobbit’) epic that spanned the entire story of the acquisition and eventual destruction of One Ring. I won’t go into plot because we have not the space, but in a nutshell, the One Ring was the most powerful of a group of 12 magical rings, forged many years ago, within the fires of hell itself (or home sweet home as I like to call it).
As the fires of hell are pretty hot, the metals were forged in such a way that the only way they can be broken is through the same hell fire. Eleven of the rings have been discovered and destroyed. Only one remains. The One. (Should that not be The ne? – Ed). The same one that Bilbo Baggins found as an adventurous young hobbit. The One Ring is special because whoever wears it has complete control over the other eleven rings, pointless as they would seem. It also grants the bearer with the gift of invisibility, if the ring is worn. Now the bad news, the evil forces of Sauroman (an evil wizard) are after the ring.
To get the ring, he has sent out his Black Riders, known as the Nazgul. The Nazgul have the irritating habit of being able to sniff out the ring whenever it is used, and the Nazgul are after you.

In War In Middle Earth, you are god, insofar as you are in control of all the ‘good’ people, including Frodo, Sam and Pippin, the trio of hobbits who are the initial ring bearers. What you have to do is get the ring from the Shire (Frodo’s home) and get it to the other end of the map of Middle Earth to a place called Mount Doom, an opening to hell itself.

War In Middle Earth The game is icon controlled and set over three scales. The first is the battle map overview. With this, you too can cry ‘How goes the battle?’. This shows you the entire map with all friendly units marked.
The next view is a semi-close up of the map. Ground detail is now visible, as is definition of what units are. A unit can comprise of almost anything, from one singular important character, such as Gandalf, Gollum or Frodo, to small armies of a hundred or so men or dwarves.
The final level of the map is the animation level. It is at this level that you participate in battles. In this mode, you can also watch your units go to wherever they want to go, first hand.
The battles are visually enacted by the characters jumping about swinging weapons. You can leave it for the computer to fight out, or you can lend your hand to a bit of barbarian swordplay by selecting what you want each character to do, you have the choice to charge, fight, defend or run.

Getting to the ring from The Shire to Mount Doom is bloody difficult, despite there being many ways you could do it. You can try and amass one huge army and storm across the land, obliterating anything that comes near you, or you could go silently and try and sneak it in. Either way, it is a challenge.

The graphics are wonderful, especially in the animation mode. I sat and watched Frodo and company walk across the Shire and into Mordor for hours. All the backdrops are exquisitely drawn and every one is different. Rivers are animated, leaves fall from trees, the works. Every so often, Frodo and the lads camp down for a while and sit around chatting for a bit, before finally laying down and going to sleep. Sweet.
The sound consists of a nice intro tune and some fairly basic in-game effects. Different selection sounds, along with battle noises are so far as WIME’s forte goes.

WIME is fab. Graphically wonderful, fun to play, challenging and involving. If you have got a brain in your head and you want to use it, or even if you are a fan of the books, buy it. You won’t be sorry.
Tony Dillon

CU Amiga, April 1989, p.p.42-43


War In Middle Earth logo  Zzap! Sizzler Front: 'Down Roly!' Back: 'Shatit, mr Vimmicum!'

Melbourne House, Amiga £24.95

War In Middle Earth When JRR Tolien wrote his chronicles of Middle Earth, he wasn't simply creating a legend, he was generating a whole new world – a parallel civilisation, where men exist among elves, dwarves and hobbits and where the enemy isn't a fellow race, but the force of evil itself. Where magic works and decides the fate of the populace.
The beginning of this story isn't exactly earth shattering. A hobbit burglar, by the name of Bilbo Baggins, tricks a pale-faced creature called Gollum out of a small golden ring. This ring just happens to be the most powerful artefact on Middle Earth. Sauron, the ultimate evil force, had attempted to use it in a bid to take over Middle Earth but his plan failed and the ring was lost – until now.
The only way to ensure that its powers aren't used for evil again is to throw it into the crack of the volcano, Mount Doom. Unfortunately, Sauron has since got wind of the ring's discovery and has sent out his ghostly messengers, the black riders (or Nazgul) to find and retrieve the ring which is now in the possession of Bilbo's nephew, Frodo.
And it's as Frodo that you're charged with the mission of carrying and ultimately destroying the dangerous jewel.

Nose Play is divided into three map-based sections. The main map shows the whole of Middle Earth, with units under your control shown as flashing dots. Using icons, you have the power to move the units, be they individual characters or whole battalions, by means of the second playing area.
This is a blown-up version of the first screen, showing the main map in more detail. As it covers several screens full of information, you use the mouse to scroll from location to location.
When meeting between characters or armies occur, the third playing area is utilised. This takes the form of an animation screen, which displays the characters themselves as they interact: chat, rest, and collect objects and fight. Further icons and menus (giving you a selection of possible fighting moves, for example) appear as your choice of action makes them necessary.
Ken D Fish: Shuttes Queenie! Much of your strategy will involve proving yourself to other forces of good and getting them to trust you. At the start of the action, the map is brimming with large numbers of potentially helpful people, which haven't yet got the power to control. Until you've taken them objects which prove your allegiance to the cause, they won't be interested in offering any aid.
There are an almost infinite number of ways to complete War In Middle Earth. Are you hobbit enough to try them out?

Zzap! Issue 49, May 1989, p.p.80-81

Can't say I was mad keen on the 64 version of War In Middle Earth, but I was impressed by its good points – especially the way it manages to co-ordinate everything and still stay fast enough to be playable. Well, the Amiga version's just as playable and it's got loads and loads of good points. The best thing about it is that it manages to combine different elements of strategy, adventure and arcade action and still comes across as a really gripping wargame. It really manages to capture the atmosphere of the book: the struggles, the agony of defeat and the jubilation of victory. The graphics are of a high standard, especially on the animated screens and the sound is admirable. They also make this a lot more accessible to people (like me) who wouldn't go out and by a more traditional sort of strategy game. In other words – it's dead good. Go out and buy it.
Kati & Randy
I am not a staunch strategist, but I thoroughly enjoyed War In Middle Earth. Its sheer depth is just incredible! With the amount of events happening at the same time, the whole thing must really eat away at the computer's processing power. Everything is presented in a neat and concise way, from the informative and entertaining manual, to the uncluttered screens, to the limited icon use needed to carry out orders. Graphics are well above average (pretty unusual for a game of this type) with some lovely landscapes on the animation screens. And as if that's not enough, there are a veritable host of smashing tunes and effects to capture the game's atmosphere perfectly. You don't deserve an Amiga if you miss out on War In Middle Earth.

Rockford: Hello Princess!

I Gordo am glad the latest adaptation of Tolkien's works wasn't another adventure because, fun as they may be, they don't have much scope for continued play once you've finished them. Which can't be said for War In Middle Earth: it might not be impossible to complete, but there loads of different ways to approach the game so you'll be playing for ages to come. Every little thing you do affects the eventual outcome, and a silly move, like forgetting to go to Rivendell for the rest of the Fellowship, could (and usually does) spell bitter defeat later on. The programmers have definitely made the most of the animation screen with lots of well-implemented touches such as characters limping if they've been wounded in battle! As long as you're not a totally way-out junky, give this a really good go.

Eye-icon Gives status of enemy and units under your control.
Map-icon Flick from animation section to orders screen, and from there to the main map.
Magnify-icon Gain a closer peek at the unit selected.
Hourglass-icon Alter the rate at which game time passes.
Arrow-icon Move the chosen unit to a specified location on the map.

Useful and entertaining instruction manual, with loads of information on people, places, strategy, etc. Well laid-out screens and very simple icon control.
Detailed but easy to follow map screens. Colourful animated sprites against beautiful backgrounds.
Masses of atmospheric tunes and effects. –some of which are sampled.
Everyone loves the theme of the game, and it's just sooo easy to get into.
A large number of possible strategies should keep you engrossed for a very long time.

A superb game, which fully captures the spirit of the original novels. Do not miss it!

Thing: Tough!