'The area that the Odyssey² may be best remembered for was its pioneering fusion of board and video games: The Master Strategy Series. The first game released was The Quest for the Rings!, with gameplay somewhat similar to Dungeons & Dragons, and a storyline reminiscent of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings'. (from Wikipedia).
Without explicitly mentioning names, this game presents itself as a playable sequel to the 'The Lord of the Rings'.
This semi-cooperative game is a 'DVD' type board game (but done before invention of the DVD). The game is played on a game board, but battles are resolved using the Magnavox Odyssey² video game console.
At the start of the game, one player is determined to be the evil Ringmaster player: that player sets up the game board by strategically hiding the 10 'Ring' tokens under the (four secret types of) Castles, accompanying some of them with 'Nightmare' or 'Dragon' tokens.
The game board is used to track the locations of the 10 hidden Rings, the castle types (dungeon, crystal cavern, shifting hall, or infernal inferno), and the monsters. Dragons, once revealed, can be moved to adjacent unoccupied castles by the Ringmaster. Movement on the board is point to point (city to city, or port to port).
The (cooperating) hero players have a set number of turns (tracked via a token on the game board) to recover the 10 Rings of power; if they cannot, the Ringmaster wins.
At the start of a battle, buttons are pushed corresponding to the state of the tokens on the game board: this programs a configuration (location and enemies) for each battle. The players have to choose which characters to use (max of two: wizard, warrior, phantom, or changeling) to enter each battle. The Ringmaster can spend from a limited supply of 'Possession' tokens to take over a character for a battle.
In the two player version, one of the players plays both the Ringmaster and a hero, and has a modified rule-set for his allowed behaviors.
Rulebook (full color)
Game board (laminated hardboard)
23 'Castle' tokens (raised-plastic): printed on underside as 4 types: Dungeons, Crystal Caverns, Infernoes, Shifting Halls - there is room under each Castle for two stacked metal tokens.
17 round tokens (raised-metal !): 3 Dragon, 3 Nightmare, 10 Rings, 1 Quest
1 rectangular 'Hourglass' token (plasticard?)
8 rectangular 'Possessions' tokens (plasticard?)
1 Keyboard Overlay (laminated)
1 Magnavox Odyssey² game cartridge