J.R.R Tolkiens: The Lord of the Rings: Vol. 1 was released back in 1990 and developed by Interplay Entertainment. This was a new attempt after Beam Softwares series of games as an RPG adaptation attempted to bring J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy world to life in an interactive format. The game was published on the DOS, Amiga and PC 98, after originally being designed for the Commodore 64 before developers changed to a newer platform.

J.R.R Tolkiens: The Lord of the Rings: Vol. 1

Graphics and Gameplay

Graphics are rudimentary by modern standards, consisting of sprite-based characters and environments.

The visuals attempt to capture the essence of Tolkien’s world, but limitations of technology at the time result in a basic presentation.

The game is an early RPG with a top-down perspective. Players control Frodo Baggins and his companions on a quest to destroy the One Ring.

Gameplay involves exploration, puzzle-solving, and turn-based combat. It features an open-world design for its time.

The interface may feel clunky by contemporary standards. Early RPGs often had complex interfaces, and “The Lord of the Rings, Vol. I” is no exception, and with this along with the controls being challenging makes this a possibly difficult game to play for modern gamers.

Story and Faithfulness to Source Material

The game follows the events of “The Fellowship of the Ring” and aims to stay true to Tolkien’s narrative.

Players encounter familiar characters and locations from the source material, attempting to create an immersive experience for fans of the books.


The game received mixed reviews. While some praised its attempt to adapt Tolkien’s work into a video game, others criticised its dated graphics and interface.

The turn-based combat system and navigation were points of contention, with some finding them engaging and others frustrating.


The Lord of the Rings, Vol. I, holds historical significance as one of the early attempts to bring Tolkien’s world to the gaming medium. Despite its limitations, the game may have a nostalgic appeal for players who appreciate its role in the development of fantasy-themed RPGs.

In summary, “The Lord of the Rings, Vol. I” is a product of its time, attempting to translate a beloved literary work into an interactive experience. While it may not have been groundbreaking in its execution, it played a role in paving the way for future adaptations of Tolkien’s universe in the gaming industry. If you’re interested in experiencing early RPGs or have a particular fondness for Tolkien’s world, it might be worth exploring for its historical value.

One Ring Rating-3.5 out of 5