October 20th, 2006


Warrior of Middle Earth

If waving a plastic sword about in front of your TV and looking like a proper wally sounds like fun, then run, don't walk, down to Woollies, where Lord of the Rings - Warrior of Middle Earth has been reduced to £4.99 - approximately 87% off the original price.

I'm game for a laugh for a fiver, and brought one home this evening. You plug a box of tricks shaped like a "castle turret" into your TV set or VCR by way of the AV input, then waft the sword about until the system and you are in agreement that it is sufficiently well calibrated. Then you hack and slash your way along Frodo's route to Mordor, pretending you're Aragorn or some other knuckle-headed sword-wielding barbarian (mentioning no Boromirs in particular).

Bearing in mind I am pretty clueless when it comes to computer games of any kind, I was a bit concerned when I waltzed through Level 1 without even breaking sweat. However, I have yet to beat Level 2 (the Watcher in the Water is a bit tough), and there are nine levels in all. I would feel a bit ripped off if I'd paid full price, but it looks like a fiver well spent.

I'm not quite sure how it works; there are four LEDs on the front of the castle, and a ring that has to be stood on top, so it could be a combination of electro-magnetics and reflectivity, but the instructions seem to concentrate on the LEDs.

There are a number of special moves that trigger special effects: the Fire of Arnor, the Axe of Durin, the Sword of Gondor,the Arrow of the Valar and the Command of the Dead. I found the two I've been introduced to so far a bit tricky to reproduce consistently, but I was getting better.

As always with such things, it doesn't include batteries, but it does have a socket for a transformer (also not supplied, but I had one lying around).