The Hobbit is a short, yet quite enjoyable adventure game. Playing as Bilbo Baggins, you get to join Gandalf, Bofur, Thain, Oin, Gloin, and all the other dwarfs as you set off to the Black Mountains to reclaim the golden treasures from Smaug the dragon.
This game is all about fighting, adventuring and solving puzzles. As you travel from place to place, you will come up against various types of enemies from birds, to wolves, to spiders and goblins. There are several weapons to choose from in dealing with the enemy. You get good ol\' Sting (Bilbo\'s famous sword), a wooden stick, various types of darts and arrows, and even some firecrackers. You can assign weapons to the B and L buttons. Typically, I just used Sting, but you will find yourself using pretty much all of the items at some point. The game has many puzzle elements. The puzzles are usually geared towards pushing a lever or dropping a barrier, allowing you to enter otherwise restricted areas. Several of the puzzles may have you stumped for a bit. Solving the puzzles will sometimes lead you to treasure. You may end up finding a treasure chest with meat (food) in it, which isn\'t all too exciting given you are rarely short of food in the game. Other treasures have runes in them. These runes can increase Bilbo\'s characteristics such as increasing maximum health, receiving better armor, or gaining better accuracy. The bosses can be a bit tricky, but none of them take too much effort to defeat. One thing I wish was different were the save points. The save points were generally placed after you defeat a boss. I would have liked to have save points before the boss as well. Instead, when you are killed by a boss, you sometimes have to replay several minutes of the game just to reach the boss again. The only major disappointment I had with the gameplay was the part with Smaug. This is one of the climaxes of the story and the whole reason the gang is on this particular adventure in the first place. I had sort of expected it to be one of the more difficult puzzles/bosses. Instead, it was rather simple and lasted all of about 45 seconds to complete.
The graphics were generally OK. I was never confused as to what I was seeing, but the characters were a bit blocky and jerky moving. The animation in cutscenes was a bit like watching a claymation where the movements were not fluid. Both the outside and inside environments looked nice. On some rare occasions I would sort of get lost. This is because some of the areas are exact duplicates of other areas. I ran into confusion at those points thinking I had been there before, when in reality I had not. These are rare instances, but does show the lack of variety in some of the outside terrain maps.
The sound effects in the game are perfect. There are pitter patter of feet as Bilbo walks and splashing as he walks through shallow water. The enemy sounds (barks for wolves, caws for birds, grunts for goblins, and many others) all sound great and fit well with their expected voice. Each weapon has its own sound as well. Unfortunately, the music was disappointing. It was a little on the annoying side and early on, I turned it way down. The music did change sometimes relating to action on the screen. It would be suspenseful when something scary was happening or light when you were in a safe location.
This is a relatively clean game. The game does have you killing other creatures with your sword, darts, and firecrackers. There is no bad language. As I mentioned earlier, there are runes you find which can increase Bilbo\'s attributes. These runes are in no way tied to any type of Druidic or mystical influences, but they do magically increase your health, armor, weapon accuracy, etc.
Overall this was a very fun game. The graphics fit well, and the storyline does follow along with the book. There is a good mixture of action and puzzles. Its replayability is rather limited and the game is also short. There are a few points with some mini-games, but they are so mini, they are not really worth mentioning. The game does include saves. I recommend this game if you want some good, clean, fun, but due to its short length, I\'d wait for a sale price.