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Beau-Jolly Ltd
Not Known
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Mike Gerrard
Chris Bourne

This is a release that took everyone by surprise, with Beau Jolly, the compilation company, taking the very enterprising move of releasing a bumper box containing the first three Tolkien adventures.

Inside the dandy pack you get two tapes containing The Hobbit, Shadows Of Mordor, both parts of Lord Of The Rings and even the beginner's adventure for Lord Of The Rings. No +3 disk version, old chums. The machine you need to get the best of these games is the original +2 Speccy. This allows you to consecutively load in the two parts of Shadows Of Mordor, the text-only game and the additional graphics file, to create a graphics version of this adventure. With 48K machines, the +3 and the recent version of the +2, the +2A, you can only load the programs separately.

A 16-page booklet is included, and for once someone's gone to a bit of trouble with it. There's everything you need, including backgrounds to the games, loading instructions, recognised words (though not all are mentioned), general hints and so on.

No point in going into detail about the stories, as (a) how do you explain The Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings in 100 words, and (b) most people know them already. It's just great to see all the games made available again at a bargain price. The Hobbit was, of course, the adventure that started it all, and got so many people hooked on adventures in the first place. Despite its faults it's one of those games that everyone ought to play, a landmark in adventure history. It's already sold a few hundred thousand copies, so if you don't have it already, where have you been?