In its most ambitious effort yet to prove that the Web can serve as a substitute to game consoles, Google (GOOG) this week released "Journey Through Middle-earth," an HTML 5 game that can be played on computers, smartphones and tablets with an Internet connection.

"Journey Through Middle-earth" features elaborate 3-D graphics and allows users to explore the vast world of "The Hobbit" trilogy. To play the game, users can simply head to the game's Web address while using the Chrome browser.

Google has been busy showing off the capabilities of its browser this year through "Chrome Experiments" that show the Web can render rich game graphics as well as allow various devices to connect and interact with one another.

The Mountain View tech giant announced "Journey Through Middle-earth" in May, and since then, Swedish creative firm North Kingdom has been busy developing the game.

Using modern browser technologies, North Kingdom was able to make "Journey Through Middle-earth" playable on users' computers as well as their mobile devices.

"We can't wait to see what sort of rich experiences developers will build as modern web technologies become available on more types of devices," Google said in a blog post announcing the release of the game.


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Besides showing off the capabilities of Chrome, "Journey Through Middle-earth" also serves to promote "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," the second part in "The Hobbit" trilogy. The movie will be released in the U.S. on Dec. 13.