The Lord of the Rings has spawned countless adaptations and spin-offs since The Fellowship of the Ring first hit bookshelves in 1954.
There have been tons of games, too, and The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War is up there with the very best of them, not least because it was developed with the official Warner Bros license, and features iconic locations, music, and characters from the movies.
Created by NetEase Games – the global developer and publisher behind EVE Echoes and the hotly anticipated Diablo Immortal – this visually stunning fantasy epic is also one of the most impressive strategy games on mobile.
The brand new story sees you competing with the various races and factions of Middle-earth to reach the One Ring, which has mysteriously resurfaced at the remote castle of Dol Guldur.
The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War is a geo-strategic seasonal wargame. As you can probably guess, that means it takes place on a huge canvas over a long period.
It all starts, however, with building up your fortified settlement and upgrading you buildings and commanders. Your potential for military expansion is dictated by the state of your settlement.
Once you’re ready, you can strike out in any direction, at any pace, as long as it’s one adjacent tile at a time. The battlefield is totally open, allowing you to try out any strategy you like.
You can cut off an opponent’s route to Dol Guldur, surround their settlement, harry their forces while launching a surprise attack on another flank – anything is possible if your army and settlement are powerful enough.
But all of this takes time. So much time. The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War will keep you busy for months rather than hours, with each tactical masterplan taking multiple sessions to fully play out.