The Hobbit

The Hobbit is an action RPG that was released by Inevitable Studios, published by Sierra, and released for the Nintendo GameBoy Advance, GameCube, the PC, the Sony Playstation 2, and the Microsoft Xbox on November 11, 2003.

Developer: Inevitable Studios
Publisher: Sierra
Release Date: November 11, 2003
Platforms: PS2, Xbox, GameCube, GBA, PC
JustRPG Score: 83%
+Great for fans of the franchise.
+Pleasant visuals.
+Fun combat system.
+Lovable characters.
-Weak story line.
-Repetitive gameplay.
-Appeal limited to fans of the movies.


The Hobbit Overview

The Hobbit is an action adventure role playing game that puts the player in the shoes of Frodo, the leading star of the classic novel, The Hobbit. The game has a rather enjoyable combat system that has pretty easy to learn controls. The story is very similar to the novel, but seems to fall short of expectations. Overall this game can be fun if you are a fan of the franchise, otherwise it is hard to recommend.

The Hobbit Screenshots

The Hobbit Featured Video

Full Review

The Hobbit Review


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For those needing a break from wandering through our favorite gaming genre, 50-hour-long RPG’s, The Hobbit, an action adventure with nominal RPG overtones, provides a welcome change. The game presents 10-15 hours of cartoonish, third or first person, puzzle-laden, quest solving, platform jumping, furious real-time combat, character interaction, Zelda-like, exploratory gameplay. All this is noticeably faithful to the book of the same name, in which J.R.R. Tolkien first introduced Middle Earth. Many of the book’s locations and incidents are portrayed in the game. (The Hobbit and Tolkien’s subsequent Lord of the Rings Trilogy was the inspiration for the creation of Dungeons and Dragons.)

While this review covers the Xbox version, it appears that the Playstation 2, Gamecube, Gameboy Advance and Personal Computer versions are substantially the same, except for the graphics special to each platform.

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GameplayAs Bilbo Baggins, in league with Gandalf the Wizard, and some ticked off dwarves, the player must negotiate 11 vast, attention-grabbing levels that graphically hit the mark, depicting in 3D the novel’s colorful and varied environments. (At the end of each level, a store appears allowing Bilbo to stock up on necessities.) The levels range from creepy caves to dark, mystical forests to the idyllic, pastoral hobbit home, Hobbiton. Each level contains multiple quests. Level 1, Hobbiton, alone, has 23 quests. Most quests advance the daring plot to restore the dwarves to their habitat in the Lonely Mountain, from which they were cruelly driven out by Old Smaug, a nasty dragon of epic proportions. Short and sweet cut scenes efficiently advance the plot. Some are very humorous, and others invoke the fantasy of the novel. Many puzzles must be solved along the way. Expect to find and use the legendary “One Ring” to make Bilbo disappear for a time. And, do not fear, Gollum rears his ugly head.
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An arcade-challenged gamer like myself was very wary of all the jumping, ledge grabbing, rope climbing, and sneaking required to complete each level. Bilbo can even pole vault to traverse great distances between locales. Fortunately, there are many save spheres scattered conveniently about the world so the hero’s demise is eased by restoring a saved game close to the regrettable and premature “Game Over”. Games like this invariably have choke points, or areas that must be solved in order to progress. Some of the puzzles involve precise stealth, plus quick and accurate timing. Several times, I had to replay a portion of the game as many as 10 times to finally pass. Because of this, young children, who should enjoy this game immensely, might want to have a convenient elder nearby to help.

Bilbo’s life meter can be stretched out considerably by picking up colored crystals that increase so-called courage. When enough courage is accumulated, Bilbo earns another increase in his life meter, much like leveling in a typical RPG. Defeating one of the plot-sensitive bosses in the game, solving a puzzle, or even completing a side quest earns Bilbo gems aplenty.

Chests containing valuable items, like Health Potions, are scattered throughout. Most are locked, and a button-pressing frenzy, involving skillful precision, ensues to unlock the chests. (I died several times from the damage that trapped chests caused from my clumsy opening attempts.) Truth be told, many times I succeeded in opening these chests by simply rapidly smashing the buttons on the Xbox console. Not pretty, but sometimes successful. Keys scattered all over make chest opening a breeze.

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Combat is in real time. Bilbo starts with his trusty staff and the ability to throw rocks at foes. Eventually, he finds the legendary sword, Sting. Each melee weapons has several attack moves, the more advanced earned from finding scrolls the deeper the player proceeds in the adventure. The over 30 monsters are the familiar ones from Middle Earth, the ever-present goblins, trolls, orcs, and much more. Bilbo may easily target these monsters.
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The controls are fairly typical of an action adventure. After a time, they become very intuitive and natural. There’s a great tally screen letting you know how well you are progressing on a level, for example, how well you are doing with the level’s quests and courage points gained.

The game manual is excellent and far surpasses many of the shoddy, incomplete manuals that accompany many games recently. To help the novice, the game’s first level and 23 quests essentially comprise an excellent tutorial. As for controls, button press prompts appear at convenient times, and the first time the player must do something complex, an opportune ingame message tells you what to do.

Certain times during some levels, I wish there were a map feature, but, generally, your path is fairly linear and presented clearly. As with most games of this type, camera issues can appear, but I found them few and far between.

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Bottom Line

The Hobbit is a game of short to medium length, with plenty of action, and plenty to do. While the whole package seems intended for children, it also should appeal to those of us looking for something not too deep or too long.

Final Grade: 83%


The Hobbit Screenshots


The Hobbit Videos

The Hobbit Gameplay


Guides / Links

The Hobbit Guides / Links

The Hobbit Wikipedia Entry