Each player takes the role of Bilbo Baggins and attempts to travel safely from the Shire to the space representing Smaug's lair with an exact role of the dice. In between, he moves through various places in Middle Earth and encounters trolls, giant spiders, elves, goblins, and even Gollum, each of which keep the player moving around in an enclosed space (the Misty Mountains, etc.) until the player can land on the specific space to get out.
What makes this game stand out is, first of all, the colorful and imaginative artwork illustrating the board, playing pieces, and the game box (typical of Tolkin illustrations before the Peter Jackson film came out). Secondly, the board is constructed with additional flat pieces that are made to stand up and form backdrops and additional characters, making it almost three-dimensional and adding to the imaginative element for young players.