An unexpected app for an unexpected journey
With the release of the Hobbit films coming soon, here is a chance to play a Middle Earth themed strategy game. It doesn't follow the plot of the books but it does offer an enjoyable strategy game with a Tolkein theme.
Read more: Gaming downloads
The Hobbit requires an internet connection while playing and the first step is to choose between playing as Dwarves or Elves. Choosing the Elves produces Legolas as your guide to the game.
The initial tutorial covers the basics of the game including building homes for your city's workers and the various
Once the tutorial has finished, the quests give you a sense of progression through the game. There are plenty at the beginning and they appear to develop a balanced city ready for the multiplayer aspects of the game.
As with many games that are free to install and start playing, The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth has an in-game currency, Mithril, that can be used to buy various upgrades to the game. These range from ways to speed up building or upgrade buildings, give more experience to the Heros working for your city or to buy resources directly.
We couldn't find any way of earning Mithril within the game beyond the 10 Mithril given at the beginning of the game or the 75 offered for creating an account with Kabam. So the only alternative is to buy Mithril with real money. If the iPad or iPhone is used by children, adding a password to the iTunes accounts would be a very good idea.
There's no need to leave The Hobbit running while building or research is continuing so it becomes a game that it best played every so often.
Signing up for an account with Kabam.com offers 75 free Mithril, the ability to save game process and exclusive offers.
Beginners are further helped as their cities won't be attacked for the first 7 days of game play or until their keep reaches Level 5.
One criticism of this game in the comments is the similarity of the game to another game from Kabam, Kingdoms of Camelot. Quickly installing Kingdoms of Camelot makes this very clear as the early quests are identical. If you've never played either game, this is probably not a problem as you can decide which one you would like to play.
Read more reviews
A well designed strategy game for the iPad
Updating your subscription status