OS: Windows 7 64-bit Processor: Quad-core Intel or AMD processor, 2.5 GHz or faster Memory: 8 GB RAM Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 470 GTX or AMD Radeon 6870 HD series card or higher DirectX: Version 11 Storage: 400 MB available space
Who it Caters to
Goblins of Elderstone is a game that strategy and simulation enthusiasts will want to get their hands on. Survival, civilization building, and conflict with other races (presumably) are present in this title. There is somewhat of a storyline to this game, but you'll mostly delight in the gameplay of building a civilization and seeing it thrive. So, come to Goblins of Elderstone if you're fans of strategy games such as Civilization, Banished, Stonehearth, and RimWorld.
What to Expect
We should start off by clarifying that Goblins of Elderstone is still in early access. So, this entry into the strategy genre is still far from complete. That being said, he's what Lost Goblin (the developer) has completed, so far, for us. As mentioned above, you will spend hours setting up your civilization of goblins. It has an endearing aesthetic that is lively and colorful. Though the art is purposely imitating a low polygon style (think of PlayStation 1 days) it is not an issue and in fact, makes the game feel simple and slightly nostalgic.
Also, you can expect a few random encounters or situations to be thrown your way. You'll have to make a choice and it can either help your goblins gain resources and wealth or it can wipe out a large portion of your population in an instant (that's just one example). For all of your strategic planning, there are a few things you'll have to deal with the instant they present themselves to you.
In the early access build, you can basically reach a point where your goblins are able to sustain their basic needs and set up some watch towers for defense. But, you aren't actually able to develop weapons or advanced tools. You also don't get the chance to interact with other tribes of goblins or fight off intruders that attack your goblin population.
Goblins of Elderstone Alpha 1.0 Trailer
Goblins of Elderstone is set in an old world, a chaotic world, filled with orcs, humans, elves, and of course, goblins. Though invasion of foreign races is always a looming threat, the real peril is warring factions of goblins amongst themselves. In this world of disorder, the influence of the ancient golds can be felt all around. Though sacrifices and prayers are made in their honor, the gods always have their own agendas and plans for the world.
So, it's in this anarchic setting that you take on the role of creator. You establish your own tribe of goblins. It's up to you to make the most powerful nation the world has ever seen. Only then can you hope to bring any semblance of order to the world and stand up to the whimsical actions of the gods.
This is the underlying story of Goblins of Elderstone. The only time the story makes an impression on you is at the very beginning of the game. You have to choose your alignment, path, magic affinity, and sworn enemy. After making these initial choices, the story is no longer a factor in the game. But, again, this is still an early access build of the game. So, there should be much more plot and development in later builds.
Since we just mentioned the choices you make in the beginning of the game, we’ll present this here in full.
Alignment - good, neutral, bad
Path - war, trade, faith
Magic - divine, nature, arcane
Enemy - orcs, dwarves, elves, humans
Undoubtedly, these choices will have a profound influence on things such as the enemy's you'll encounter, the type of culture that will flourish, and the gods you'll come in contact with. But, for now, these keystones of the game are largely unfelt.
Luckily, the actual simulation gameplay is engaging and straightforward enough that you'll overlook some of the things still missing from this game. Constructing buildings, gathering resources, delegating tasks to peons (that's what they're actually called), and taking care of the basic needs of your goblins are all tasks that will keep you absorbed for hours. Your peons go out and gather basic resources that you'll then use to construct warrens for your goblins to live in.
Once they have homes, you focus on maintaining a sufficient supply of berries to feed them all. Then, you start focusing on building basic tools that will allow you to build more advanced buildings and supplies. Those are the basics, anyway. We wish there were more buildings to create, more jobs to assign, weapons to build, and other factions to trade with. But, we see those as positives. Seeing your goblins multiply and establish a settlement is fulfilling and we wish we could explore more of the game.
Here's a bit of advice that will help out a lot during the initial parts of establishing a settlement. Make sure you have enough Warrens to accommodate all of your goblins. Otherwise, they'll riot and burn down your structures. You also want to make sure that you have enough berries to feed everyone. A good tip is to allocate people to build tools and cut logs when you need them. Once your inventory of those tools and logs is large enough, you can then allocate those goblins to be regular peons. They'll return to scavenging and building tasks just like the other peons.
Though the game tries to be as streamlined as possible, there are a few times where a proper tutorial could have come in handy. For instance, disease creeps into your settlement every now and then. However, it isn't explained what causes it or how to treat your infected goblins. Sometimes, red or gray exclamation marks appear over some of your buildings. It's not clear what those signify.
There are also times when your goblins are attacked by undead creatures. Yet, there isn't really a way to fend them off. This one was particularly aggravating. One time, there were two victims of the undead's attack (my poor little goblin scavengers) that blocked the entrance to the Grand Hall. So, we had two goblins trying to exit the structure but were unable to. They couldn't resume their assigned task and were temporarily unable to move. They just stood next to the dead bodies until they themselves eventually died (probably due to starvation or disease). It was truly a sad event for the nation of Goblin Paradise.
Besides that tragic episode, there was one more time where we were at a loss for words. After spending a couple of hours planning out our town layout and gathering resources for the coming winter, the game suddenly crashed. We had to restart the game. When we got back in, there was no saved file we could return to. We had to start from the beginning all over again. We'll never know how those 40 or so goblins, that we'd grown fondly attached to, met their demise. RIP our little green brethren.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Thinking of what the game has to offer so far, we have to say we largely enjoyed our time with Goblins of Elderstone. We fell in love with the game's art style and streamlined job assignment system. Sure there were a few hiccups such as a game crash and some problematic coding. But, issues such as those are bound to come up with the Alpha build of a game. It could have been much worse.
Nostalgic, low-poly art style
Potential for world-building gameplay
Lack of content
Honey's Final Verdict:
Lost Goblin is still in the process of creating a title that seems straightforward and enjoyable while being actually quite deep and thoroughly engaging. We can't wait to play the final version.
We hope you check out this game and follow its progress. We're sure it'll be a hit with fans of this genre once all the kinks are ironed out. It's a great simulation game. Thanks a lot for taking the time to read our review for Goblins of Elderstone. As always, have a wonderful day!
Author: Javier Garcia
Hey guys! I'm a huge fan of anime and video games. I used to be a competitive fighting game player (search my name in YouTube). So, I guess it was natural for me to make my way over here to Japan. I teach English, write anime articles, and put together videos when I have time. I hope you enjoy the content we've created for you here at Honey's Anime!