War in Middle Earth

War in Middle Earth is a real-time strategy game released for the ZX Spectrum, MSX, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, DOS, Commodore Amiga, Apple IIGS, and Atari ST in 1988 by Virgin Mastertronic on the Melbourne House label.[4]

War in Middle Earth
War in Middle Earth
Box art
Developer(s)Synergistic Software
Publisher(s)Melbourne House (part of Virgin Mastertronic)
Designer(s)Mike Singleton,[1] Alan Clark, Robert Clardy[2]
EngineWorld Builders
Platform(s)DOS, C64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, MSX, Amiga, Atari ST, Apple IIGS
Genre(s)Real-time strategy[3]
Gondorian soldiers and the city of Minas Tirith

The game combined both large scale army unit level and small scale character level. All the action happened simultaneously in game world and places could be seen from the map or at the ground level. Individual characters could also be seen in larger battles (in which they either survived or died — Gandalf alone could easily defeat a hundred orcs). If the battle is quite small (less than 100 units approximately) it can be watched on ground level. Otherwise it will be only displayed numerically. On ground level characters could acquire objects and talk with computer-controlled friendly characters (such as Radagast or Tom Bombadil).


The game was reviewed in 1989 in Dragon #147 by Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers gave the game 3 out of 5 stars.[5] Computer Gaming World gave the game a mixed review, noting that, although it faithfully recreates the events of the books, genuine strategy is lacking and the game plays very similarly on subsequent playthroughs.[6] Compute!'s review was more positive, only criticizing an anticlimactic ending to "an otherwise impressive game" that was "faithful to the Middle Earth story line".[7]

The Spanish magazine Microhobby valued the game with the following scores:[8] Originality: 80% Graphics: 70% Motion: - Sound: 50% Difficulty: 100% Addiction: 80%



  1. ^ IMDB Game Page
  2. ^ Moby Games Game Page (DOS Version)
  3. ^ "J.R.R. Tolkien's War in Middle Earth". AllGame. Archived from the original on 2014-01-01.
  4. ^ "Back Cover Scan". Spectrum Computing. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  5. ^ Lesser, Hartley; Lesser, Patricia; Lesser, Kirk (July 1989). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (147): 76–83.
  6. ^ Lombardi, Chris (May 1989), "Mordor, They Rode!", Computer Gaming World, no. 59, pp. 10–11
  7. ^ Gingher, Robert (October 1989). "War in Middle Earth". Compute!. p. 134. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  8. ^ (Spanish) War in Middle Earth - ZX Spectrum (1988) - article on Soloretro
  9. ^ "CVG Magazine Issue 089". March 1989.
  10. ^ "ACE Magazine Issue 20". May 1989.
  11. ^ "Commodore User Magazine Issue 67". April 1989.
  12. ^ "Your Sinclair Magazine Issue 40". April 1989.
  13. ^ "Info Magazine Issue 29".
  14. ^ "Crash - No. 62 (1989-03)(Newsfield)(GB)". March 1989.
  15. ^ "ZZap!64 Magazine Issue 048". April 1989.
  16. ^ "Kultpower Archiv: Komplettscan Powerplay 4/1989".
  17. ^ "The Games Machine Magazine Issue 17".
  18. ^ "Amstrad Action Issue 042".
  19. ^ http://www.kultboy.com/index.php?site=t&id=1505[bare URL]

External linksEdit