The Hobbit: Armies of the Third Age
- Release Date: January 29, 2013
- Publisher: Kabam
- Developer: Kabam
- Genre: Strategy
The Hobbit: Armies of the Third Age is a free-to-play strategy title from Kabam that is inspired by filmmaker Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated movies. But Armies of the Third Age is going to be browser-based only.
In this game, you will choose among Dwarves, Elves and Orcs and then command an army of your own and attend the PVP or PVE battles. Whatever it is, you’d better devise your best tactics and spare no efforts in keeping your soldiers alive, among which are your favorite heroes such as Gandolf and Bilbo Baggins.
Despite that it is a strategy game, The Hobbit: Armies of the Third Age differs from Kingdoms of Middle-earth in that it exposes players to exciting fast-paced combat.
In the game, players build farms, mines and other resource structures to supply themselves with enough food, coins, wood and stones to raise troops, research technology, and enhance their power. Over time, players are going to create a powerful army that could sweep around, crushing all the opposing players while claiming as many resources as possible.
Should you ever get any experience in a strategy title from Kabam, you don’t find much things unusual in the pictures of The Hobbit, which portrays yet another fantasy world where tiny structures can be deployed to serve their various functions and where a weird combination of clear structures are set against dizzily unclear background. Players enjoy a slightly tilted top-down perspective towards those structures. Although starred by vividly painted characters including Legolas and Gollum, the game provides only motionless pictures in most cases.
If there is anything in the Hobbit that distinguishes it from other Kabam’s titles, it would be the simplified interface and easy controls. Over a dozen of buttons are on the interface and with the major ones such as BUILD, RESEARCH and TRAIN too big to be missed near the right edge, the controls can be as easy and intuitive as you can ever imagine.
Resources remain a key focus in the game. And although they are produced at a high rate, say 500 wood per hour, you still run into resource shortages now and then. Although dozens of tasks are offered simultaneously, multi-tasking is seldom possible since the quests, concerning constructing, upgrading, training or researching, all require huge amounts of resources, which can be obtained mainly through building farms and other resource structures and through completing quests. Therefore, you either wait long enough to gather the required resources for that quest or strive to complete other quests to claim the generous rewards before you start the quest in question.
A third way of increasing the resource in stock is to occupy the forest and hill in the region or attack enemies’ cities and claim their hard-earned resources. There is no wait for marching in the Hobbit, and the combat commences right away after you click to attack a place. Your generals will be listed at the bottom of the battle interface and you could click any of them and then place them on any of the 3 given sides of enemy city and let them fight automatically against all the enemies guarding the city. And as usual, the higher level the place or the enemy city is, the more structures and defense troops can be found and the more difficult to win the battle.
And the game is far from perfect. For example, the rewards from the quest that requires players to reach level 2 cannot be claimed even if I refreshed the page. And the Gollum’s Riddle, or the Hobbit version of the now omnipresent daily draw mini game, rewards players only with the not so precious items although it costs increasing Mithril, or the premium money, as you spin it. And since the only button available on the main Riddle interface is Play, there is a high chance of mistakenly spinning the wheel when you actually want to close the interface.
The Hobbit: Armies of the Third Age offers a typical strategy gaming experience with strong focus on resource collecting. Featuring unclear maps with clear and detailed characters and structures, the game saw a great improvement over its predecessors in terms of visuals. And it is adequate despite its glitches and irritating traps that trick players into spending money when it is totally unnecessary.
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