The next game in the One Game To Rule Them All series is the 1989 text adventure game The Crack of Doom and is a straight sequel to the previous game in the series found here.
Like the games so far you can pick up versions of this game for the Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, Apple II, DOS, the Commodore 64 and a Macintosh.
The game was not published by Melbourne House but instead Addison-Wesley Publishing Company Inc but was still developed by Beam Software.
The Crack of Doom:
Graphics and Gameplay
Like most games of the time and the same Being a text-based adventure, “Lord of the Rings: Game Two” relied heavily on descriptive text to convey the story and environment.
The graphics like the previous titles, were limited, which is completely typical of games from that era and genre. Gameplay involved players typing commands to interact with the environment and characters, solving puzzles, and progressing through the narrative.
Although very limited the graphics do seem to have a slight increase in quality from the prior two games.
Story and Faithfulness to the Source Material
Different to the previous two games in The Crack of Doom you play only as everyones favourite gardener Samwise. There were numerous reviews at the time that complained about this as “Sam is not the main character of Lord of the Ring”, which we now know from Tolkien himself is not the case as he saw Sam as the central hero of the books.
The game picks up from the end of Shadows of Mordor. You start outside Cirith Ungol to rescue Frodo from capture, and as Sam you fight and puzzle your way through numerous locations, or do you take the ring for yourself and attempt to scale Mount Doom yourself.
This is one of the differences to the source material throughout the game, however this all depends on how you play the game. For instance, if you play the game as the books unfold you will have no problem keeping close to the original material.
Like mentioned before there were numerous reviews from Macworld and others about how it is not similar to the source material, and you play as Sam and not Frodo but for true fans this is not a huge issue.
This final part of the game series also worked to fix much of the problems faced in the previous two as far as gameplay smoothness was involved.
The legacy of this game truly is that it finished a full series on a high note, showing other developers that adapting Tolkiens works into video game form is a viable option.
One Ring Rating
4 out of 5
Check back soon for the next game in this series called ‘War in Middle-Earth” released in 1988.