|Publisher(s)||Coktel Vision, Sierra On-Line|
The Gobliiins series consists of four puzzle adventure games developed and released by Coktel Vision (and later Sierra On-Line) for the Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS, and Macintosh (and later iOS and Windows) platforms. The first three titles were released in the early 1990s, the fourth in 2009.
The games mix elements of adventure and puzzle gaming. In essence, the player must find the solution to each area (or level), consisting of one or more screens, in order to progress to the next.
An original aspect of the series is that the player usually controls multiple goblins as player characters, each of whom has a unique set of abilities (the number of letter i's in the word "Goblin" of the title indicates the number of characters that the player may control). The player may only control one character at a time but, depending on the specific scene, may switch characters at will. The original Gobliiins features a shared health system for all three characters, which meant that leaving characters in the wrong place could be detrimental, though this feature is not implemented in the sequels.
All games are available in CD format. The first three include voices instead of the "goblinish" talk that featured on the floppy disk versions. The CD version also censors the nudity featured in the original game.
The unique visual look of the series and its characters was contributed by Pierre Gilhodes, a French artist who gave his famous signature style to many of Coktel Vision's other games, including Woodruff and the Schnibble of Azimuth.
In Gobliiins the player controls a team of three different goblins each with a unique skill. The first goblin, Asgard (BoBo in the US release), is a warrior who is more brawn than brain, and whose skill is punching, causing various things to break or fall over. He is also the only one who can climb other objects than stairs and ladders. The second goblin, Ignatius (US: Hooter), is a magician who can 'zap' things with magic with a wide variety of usually unexpected effects, which include objects moving, growing, or coming alive. The third, Oups (US: Dwayne), is a technician and is the only one of the three that can pick up and use items.
The story follows the three goblins as they attempt to aid their king, who has gone insane under mysterious circumstances. They meet with the wizard Niak, who informs them he can cure the king's madness if they bring him three items. However, upon obtaining the items, Niak is revealed to be the one behind the king's insanity and he manipulated the goblins into performing his bidding. The goblins manage to escape from Niak's lair, save the king by destroying the voodoo doll used to drive him insane, and defeat Niak while he is creating deadly potions.
The game is linear and consists of 22 levels, each of which occupies a single screen. The puzzles on each level must be successfully solved in order to progress to the next.
Several actions may harm the goblin involved, including leaving them in an unsafe place, using incorrect items, or interacting with items with the wrong characters, thus reducing their shared life meter. When the meter runs out, the game ends in defeat (though all levels can be completed without loss of life).
German magazine Powerplay gave the game a rating of 70% for the PC version and 69% for the Amiga and Atari ST versions. Computer Gaming World stated that although the game seemed designed to appeal to younger players, the difficulty of the puzzles made it most appropriate for older gamers, either alone or with children. The magazine concluded that the game "will entertain a variety of light-hearted gamers". In 1993, Dragon rated the game 5 out of 5 stars.
- On iOS
Gobliins 2: The Prince Buffoon
In 1992's Gobliins 2 the player controls two characters: Fingus (who is well-mannered, intelligent, and shy) and Winkle (who is strong, obnoxious, but dimwitted). They've been sent to rescue the King's son, the Prince Buffoon, who has been kidnapped by the evil Amoniak. Both goblins can pick up and use items, and both generally use an item in different ways. Unlike its predecessor, Gobliins 2 allows (and requires) the player to travel back and forth between rooms. Also, both goblins can be given an order simultaneously, allowing for the inclusion of timing puzzles. A significant difference between this game and its predecessor is that in Gobliins 2 neither playable character can die.
The game received generally good reviews, with most game magazines giving it a rating of between 70% and 90%, though CU Amiga scored it at just 40%. Computer Gaming World praised its "challenging puzzles, sharp-witted entertainment, and enhanced ease of use".
Goblins Quest 3
1993's Goblins Quest 3 was originally known as just Goblins 3, but after Sierra got involved they decided to add the Quest suffix in an attempt to align the game with their other Quest series (see King's Quest, Police Quest and Space Quest).
In this game the player controls originally only one Goblin called Blount, but gets assistance from a number of sidekicks throughout the game including Chump the parrot, Ooya the magician, and Fulbert the snake. Blount is also bitten by a wolf early in the game and, after escaping from the afterlife, must contend with semi-frequent changes into a super-strong but uncouth werewolf alter ego. Most areas in Goblins 3 are larger than the screen and therefore scroll. The game features 18 different levels, and like Gobliins 2: The Prince Buffoon, some are interconnected to each other (e.g., walking from the countryside to the inn) whilst others can't be exited until the player has finished that specific level. Later in the game, the player discovers that the main protagonist, Blount, was in fact the little prince that was kidnapped in Gobliins 2: The Prince Buffoon.
Gobliiins 4 was released in March 2009 and stars the same trio of characters as the original Gobliiins. The game was designed by Pierre Gilhodes and developed by Societe Pollene. Compared to the previous games it boasts 3D graphics but the game mechanics have not changed by much. The game received a slightly mixed reception, with an average of 56.5% on GameRankings. IT Reviews said it was entertaining, but "the puzzle solutions can be annoyingly strait-jacketed at times". Adventure Gamers called it "one of the most likeable titles this year".
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