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The Hobbit

Moby ID: 3893
ZX Spectrum Specs
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Description official descriptions

Relive Tolkien's The Hobbit as Bilbo Baggins. A piece of Interactive fiction (with graphics to illustrate locations), you follow the plot of Tolkien's book (before the Lord of the Rings trilogy), starting with an encounter with Gandalf and Thorin. The other characters can make their own moves independently of the player and their actions can sometimes result in a situation where it is not possible to complete the game. Every character and object in the game has a calculated mass which affects how they can be manipulated by the player.

The implementation is rich enough that you can play entirely without pictures if you wish. Also, gameplay happens in realtime, uncommon for interactive fiction. The game's parser, called Inglish took as long to develop as the rest of the game. In contrast to other text-based games of the period which were based on simple verb-noun parsers, Inglish allowed for complete sentences to be entered.

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Credits (ZX Spectrum version)

6 People

Illustrations based on drawings by
Cover drawing by



Average score: 85% (based on 13 ratings)


Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 45 ratings with 1 reviews)


The Good
The game's graphics were good for the time period, and the realtime aspect was unusual for a text adventure, and seemed to have involved some rather intricate programming.

The Bad
The game just got plain weird sometimes. You could break stone doors with your hands, and the other characters in the game just walked around at random it seemed.

The Bottom Line
Odd. But definitely worth trying; Melbourne House released it as freeware, so you can probably find the C-64 ROM online rather easily. Then just get yourself an emulator and you're ready to go.

PC Booter · by Andrew Carter (12) · 2001


1001 Video Games

The Hobbit appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


There is a very famous bug, that you can put yourself inside the chest, close the lid and still walk around in the game and look at things


The original releases of The Hobbit also included Tolkien's full novel as an added bonus.


  • ACE
    • February 1991 (issue #41) - Included in the list Greatest Games of all Time, section Adventure Games (editorial staff choice)
  • Computer and Video Games
    • Golden Joystick Award 1983: Winner Strategy Game of the Year
  • Zzap!
    • May 1985 (Issue 1) - #3 'My Ten All-Time Favourites' (White Wizard)

Information also contributed by Guy Chapman

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

BBC Micro, Macintosh added by Trypticon. Apple II added by Guy Chapman. ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 added by Kabushi. Amstrad CPC added by Martin Smith. Oric added by Pseudo_Intellectual. MSX added by koffiepad.

Additional contributors: Yakumo, Alaka, Nélio, Patrick Bregger, Jo ST, FatherJack, ZeTomes.

Game added April 21st, 2001. Last modified August 30th, 2023.