January 31, 2001
Lord of the Rings
How do you make a computer game out of a story so famous that your audience knows it backward and forward? Almost a decade ago, Charles Ardai weighed in on this issue in his April 1991 review of Interplay's THE LORD OF THE RINGS, VOL. I: 'Attempts to adapt literary properties, sans authorial input, have fared [poorly]. Some designers hew so close to the original that they may just as well have typed the original text into an ASCII file and left it at that. Others are so bold that they attempt to inject their own ideas into the author's work -- a hubristic misstep, since such accretions invariably announce themselves to be just that, by blending into the author's universe as inconspicuously as a stripper at a wake. Readers of the author's work escape such games either bored, offended, or in some memorable instances, both.' "