Build Your Kingdom to Save Middle Earth in The Hobbit iPhone Game – Review

The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle Earth (free) is a massively multiplayer online strategy game where the objective is simply to rebuild your kingdom to defend against attacks from the enemy. Playing as Elves or Dwarves, tasks include managing resources, building structures, researching new technology and forming alliances. However, each action takes a certain amount of real time to complete, making it a title for only the most patient of gamers.

This is one of those games that makes extensive use of the ever popular in-app purchase. It is a free download, but to get the most out of the game, it becomes incredibly tempting to spend real cash in order to purchase additional game content. The basic premise is to build key structures, research technology, and train your army in order to defend against Goblin attack. Each task requires a set amount of real time before it is completed. For example, it may take you two minutes to build a house, or thirty minutes to upgrade your barracks. That is all in real time. The further you get in the game, the longer it takes to complete each task, and unfortunately, you can only do one thing at a time. While waiting for a structure to be built, one way to make the time pass is to use the game’s chat feature to strategize with your alliance. After joining an alliance, it becomes easier to defend against attacks from enemies. Special powers are also available to speed up time and build your structure much faster, or even instantly. However, this option requires that a real purchase be made. This is where one needs to be extremely careful. A few bucks here, a few bucks there and it really adds up to an expensive “free” game.

Throughout the game, quests are your main guide. Simply open the quests page and Gandalf dictates what to do next. Upon completion of a quest, the player is rewarded with experience points that help to level up and unlock additional content.

While navigating the menus is quite simple, the buttons feel a tad unresponsive. When tapping on a button, the corresponding sound clip is delayed, making the experience feel clunky. Unfortunately, the graphics are nothing special either. The map is a static picture with the occasional passing cloud. More animation would bring some much needed life to this very stagnant interface.

For those that are into this genre, The Hobbit is a worthwhile download. However, patience (or lots of cash) is key to really enjoying this game.

[easyreview title="Our Score" cat1title="Overall" cat1detail="" cat1rating="3 "]