OK, so we've now got the first pictures of the game and a reasonably detailed look at the playfield.

And what a packed playfield it is. The shot map is similar in many ways to Medieval Madness which can't be a bad start. The seven basic ramps, loops and centre shot are similar as is the placement of Merlins saucer.

But the placement and number of playfield lamps suggests this could be quite a complex game. The split sword on the right has an up-post and ball sensors, so presumably that is the lock area (or one of them).

The area above the left outlane looks like a vertical up-kicker similar to the one seen in Playboy.

But perhaps the most interesting shot is in the centre. Does that shot go through the ring at the back of the game?

The mini-playfield on the left looks interesting but how it works remains to be seen.

We already know that the game is about collecting the three sets of rings and the progress towards this is shown in the area just above the flippers.

There don't appear to be any real sucker shots as everything of note seems to be at least half-way up the playfield, but we will wait to play it before being too sure of anything much.

Certainly, there are lots of toys on the game, mostly cosmetic.

And speaking of consmtics, what about the overall look of the game. For me, it's great to see some nice fresh green back on the playfield. The vanilla blends in nicely and the red flames work well. The red stickers on the bottom arch are less attractive and don't work too well with those huge flashers over the outlanes (which seem to block much of the view of that area).

So, overall, the playfield gets a thumbs up for looks.

And there's the cabinet. It looks beautiful without a doubt, but does it go with the playfield colours of red, green and vanilla? Probably not.

Will we finally wave goodbye to that nasty low resolution dot printing on the cabinets? We should find out very shortly when The Lord Of The Rings appears at the local dealers, and we'll be right there to review it.


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