I was actually surprised to discover the "The Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit Game" was actually about Peter Jackson's movie version and not the original novels of J.R.R. Tolkien. I suppose that makes the market for this game a big wider, but I rather liked the idea that students of the Elvish tongue would finally have a game that played to their strong suits. Now we have something that will appeal to those who have memorized all three films (the long versions mind you) and repeatedly gone over all of the supplemental materials on the DVDs.
The 300 cards with the 1,800 questions are now divided into the categories of: Good, Evil, Things, Places & History, Warfare, and Making Movies. They are all taken directly from the three films, although you are going to have to wait until the end of the year when "The Return of the King" comes out on DVD and you can listen to the commentary track(s) to have a fighting chance on some of these questions. However, if you are a true Lord of the Rings fan then there are expanded rules to raise your game playing to the next level, and I appreciate the effort to provide some sort of appropriate twist so that there is more to this version than the game board and the box of questions.
Speaking of the game board, it includes a map of Middle-Earth and along with a replica of the One Ring there are pewter pawns of Frodo, Gandalf, Aragorn and Galadriel, as well as a Ringwraith token that has special powers. The big question is whether you have 2-4 friends who are as devoted to the films as you are so that you can actually play the game on a regular basis and not just sit around memorizing all the questions and answers (which sounds like something Saruman would do).
on 13 February 2006
This is a great game, though it feels as though the makers were not entirely sure of their target audience.
I bought it for my family at christmas and it has been played regularly since.
Very nice pewter playing pieces, though they do need to be treated with respect. Being pewter they are more susceptible to damage than steel, wood or plastic.
A familiarity with commentaries from the films is more than a little helpful when trying to answer some of the 'Movies' questions, but then a good working knowledge of films generally would also help. There are also questions based on the extended versions.
This suggests that the game is aimed at real fans of the films, but then there are questions that are so ridiculously easy they can be answered before the question is finished.
That said, I have six children aged 9 - 16 and the net result is that they can all play the game together and have some chance of winning.
There is an option to make the game harder by playing with a couple of extra rules, and utilising the replica ring and ringwraith piece provided. The effect is to make the game slightly less of a walk-over for the first player to roll the dice. It's not fool proof if you have *really* hard-core LOTR fans, but it's good enough for the rest of us.
Educational? Only if the curriculum includes LOTR, Tolkien, Hobbits etc.
As already mentioned in another review, the primary focus of the questions is on the movie trilogy, not the books. To the extent that the two overlap, an in-depth knowledge of Tolkien lore will come in handy - well for all categories but the Movies one.
The map, characters to be used instead of the typical round playing pieces (Frodo, Gandalf, etc.) and a version of the one ring as a token, all make this a charming tribute to, and addition to the movie trilogy.
If one has seen the three movies, or in fact read the original book, a good and entertaining game play is possible (if you really want to get all the questions right, then an in-depth study of the DVDs, as previously suggested might be necessary) and the game can be completed in a similar time frame as the more conventional versions of Trivial Pursuit.
For people who are very much into Tolkien, this is a fun way to interact with other, like minded individuals, however I have found that the game finds less and less use over time, with the conventional version being prefered 9 times out of 10, once the novelty value wears off.