Google is back with its latest Chrome experiment, this time to the delight of J.R.R. Tolkien fans. “A Journey through Middle-Earth” is an interactive web experience to explore various important parts of the Middle-Earth universe of The Hobbit. It has been developed for Peter Jackson’s upcoming sequel — The Desolation of Smaug — to last year’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, in collaboration with Warner Bros., New Line Cinema and MGM. Although the experiment is optimized for Chrome, it works on Firefox and Opera as well. Internet Explorer is not supported.
The experience starts with an abridged Google-like map of Middle-Earth with three unlocked (Trollshaw, Rivendell and Dil Guldur) and three locked explorable locations (Tharanduil’s Hall, The Lonely Mountain and Lake Town). Each unlocked location has a story flow and an interactive game. The locked parts of the map represent locations from the third and final installment of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit series.