This is perhaps the simplest of the Lord of the Rings games conceptually. It’s Trivial Pursuit (roll a dice to move, answer a question from one of six categories, determined by the colour of the square you land upon, if you get it right, roll and move again. 6 squares on the board award “wedges” (or possible “cheeses,” I’m never sure what the official terminology is). The first person to collect all their wedges, then get back to the centre and answer a question correctly wins.
The first twist to this game is obvious – all the questions concern Lord of the Rings. There is also an additional element, with a replica of the one ring (which can be given to the player currently winning) and a miniature Nazgul who will pursue the Ringbearer and try to eat their wedges.
Theme-wise, this one isn’t bad – it’s familiar enough to be very easy to pick up – The Nazgul adds a nice touch of flavour, but can also be left out without causing too many problems.
The problems are the two problems common to all versions of Trivial Pursuit: The dice and the questions. I’ll deal with these in reverse order:
The questions: as mentioned above, these are all about Lord of the Rings. This tends to mean that if you know your Tolkien well, you will find many of these questions easy. The first time we played this, my wife had 5 wedges by the end of her first turn (i.e. before I had played any part in the game aside from reading questions or handing over wedges. The one major exception is the “making movies” category, which might occasionally throw you a freebie, like “which actor played Legolas” but is far more likely to be “who was second unit director on Fellowship?” or worse.
Dice: Lastly, there comes the end of the game (obviously). In this game, you have to land on the centre of the board, and answer a question from a category chosen by your opponents (“making movies” in our house!) – by far the hardest part of this is rolling the required number to land on the centre! This can make for some fairly tedious endings.
This isn’t a bad game, by any means, but the trivia-based nature of it, inevitably means that there’s quite a narrow group of people who can play it in a balanced fashion. Perhaps more aimed at the casual film-viewer who may have watched a DVD extra or two, than people writing blogs on Tolkien-based games…