Developer: Kabam
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 2.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Playtime: Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

I must confess that I’ve never read the Lord of the Rings books. I’m a fan of the movies and everything else but I just haven’t dedicated the time to reading the books. That being said, I really enjoy the storyline and all the characters that Tolkien lovingly created. The game The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle Earth puts players in charge of managing their own Middle Earth and creating and defending their own cities.

For a city-building sim game, The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle Earth is on par with others in the genre. The object is to build up, expand and defend a Middle Earth city. At the beginning of the game, players are given the option to join sides with the Dwarves or the Elves. Each race has their own different set of buildings and unique items but the gameplay is the same regardless of which side players decide to join. Certain materials like gold, wood, food and stone are collected and used to constructed building and farms. The game is generous with these items and gives players a good amount at the beginning to be able to get their city off to a good start. The game lays out specific quests for players to complete that will help the city thrive. Completing each quest yields rewards of additional food, gold and other important items. All of the buildings require one other important thing: time. Each building and upgrade needs different amounts of time to elapse along with all the other materials to be constructed. This can be frustrating at times for people like me who want constant action. The game moves very slowly and requires more and more time to build and upgrade as it progresses.

This game has a large social aspect to it and encourages players to unite with others and form alliances There is even a chat function built in that allows players to communicate and strategize with the members of their alliance, which is a welcomed feature for those who enjoy social games.

The graphics and sound fit nicely into the world of Middle Earth. The music is soft and unobtrusive but adds a soothing element to the gameplay. I did notice some lag when scrolling in some portions of the game and it can sometimes take a while to load, but other than that I’d say it performs well. For a free-to-play game, The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle Earth is a fair competitor for others like it. It is sure to appeal to fans of this game style and Lord of the Rings fans alike.

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