War in Middle Earth on 8-bit machines is a simpler version of the 16-bit game. It doesn't feature the questing and RPG aspects of the other title and is instead a pure strategy game.
The player controls the forces of good in the War of the Ring from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. The game begins with the Fellowship of the Ring just having formed in Rivendell and the hobbit Frodo Baggins carrying the One Ring. The ultimate goal of the game is to get the ring bearer to the cracks of Mount Doom to destroy the ring. The game is lost if the ring bearer is killed or corrupted by the ring's influence or if Sauron's forces capture the city of Minas Tirith.
The game takes place in three different views. The Middle Earth Map displays the whole of the land on one screen, with the player's armies highlighted (unlike the 16-bit versions, enemy armies cannot be seen until encountered). A more detailed view is available in the Campaign Map. This displays much more detail of the land, showing rivers, roads, forests, mountains, towns, et cetera. Units are displayed as shield icons, representing either individual characters or larger military formations. If combat occurs, the Battle Screen is employed, which shows every individual soldier.