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A Brief Introduction
A great game and truly an icon from the 90’s, it’s like a twisted version of Lemmings but with cute goblins instead of all the suicide. Both games have similar concepts where team work is essential to solve puzzle-based levels but also Gobliiins sports a similarity in graphics to a much more popular game of Sierra's: the King's Quest series.
Today it is difficult to find any copies of the first installment of Gobliiins in the market.
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The story is quite simplistic but charming, a fairy tale that starts with the King having his dinner along with the rest of his court; everyone was having fun until someone using a voodoo doll of the King. He is tortured until his highness faints and is the job of BoBo, Hooter and Dwayne to save the day.
As was said, the story is quite simplistic but charming as it’s aimed to a younger audience but it can be enjoyed by adults as well. The overview given score is a 4 over 5 stars because of the retro charm.
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The gameplay is simple; it holds the premise of using an array of characters with different abilities to solve the puzzles that compose the different levels of the game. Think of Lemmings but without the suicide concept present. The game mixes elements of adventure also, because it tells a story during the game progress. The title is not a typo, those three Is reference the three characters you use trough the game.
As it was said previously the three Goblins BoBo, Hooter and Dwayne must help the king, but the three main heroes have different abilities: Dwayne is stealth, Hooter is a magician and BoBo a technician. The player has to mix the abilities of the characters to win the levels, although sometimes the player can only use one character at a time depending on the scenario rules.
The graphics are a 10, really delectable and attractive to the eye. Almost any scene of the game is really attractive because of one reason; they were drawn by hand by French artist Pierre Gilhodes.
The sounds and BGM are really good and they match the actions of the game, i.e. firing a cannonball sounds like a real cannonball; and that is a big plus because they give a dose of realism rare for the time.
There is one negative aspect in the gameplay: the player needs to win certain number of scenes before obtaining a password that will give to him the opportunity to save.
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The game is good; it explores the themes of adventures and puzzles like no other game of the period and it's fun to play. The final score is a four over five stars.
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Gobliiins 2: The Prince Buffoon
The second installment of Gobliins, Gobliins 2: The Prince Buffoon was slightly different from the first installment, to the point that the player could only control two characters and neither of them could die; that aspect of “immortality” took some of the challenge away from the first game but it was still really cool and generally praised by fans of the first game. Other differences between the second game and the first was the lack of linearity as the player could no longer skip and go back to rooms.
There was a slight improvement in the graphics and sound but they weren’t anything that caused a sensation like the first game.
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As opposed to the first game where the player controlled three characters in the sequel, the player controls only two characters Fingus and Winkle who are the main heroes of the game. Hence Gobliins with two Is instead of three.
The gameplay is extremely similar but is not open to free exploration like the first game; every action is linear and the player can’t go back to previous rooms to further explore completed scenarios but in the other hand the game itself is quite innovative as it puts the player into more weird and cartoonish situation like shrinking Fingus and Winkle to tiny size so they can get to the next mission or reach new highs.
One bonus of the game is that the player has 3 opportunities, called jokers, to know what to do on every scenario, but because there are only 3 jokers the option is kind of limiting if you are really stuck in some scenarios.
The graphics are a 10, because they were made Pierre Gilhodes the creator and art director of the first game; except now the graphics look more cartoonish instead of being drawn in a fairy tale style. The music is nice, not the best compared to the first game, it has some memorable tunes and if you leave Fingus alone without doing any action he will whistle a different tune in each scene.
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A great sequel, full of humor and some cartoonish imagery that makes everyone laugh, but it fails on achieving the same standards in sound as the original game.
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Gobliiins Quest 3
In 1996 Sierra Entertainment acquired the game. They decided to incorporate the suffix Quest to the title to make a relation to previous games such as King's Quest. The Gobliiins series' charm had faded somewhat; the second installment not selling to the developer's expectations. The name change didn't work: not many people paid attention to the third installment.
Sierra ignored the second games' storyline by stating that Blount, a new Gobliiin, was in fact the prince in need of rescue. The fans hated that movement as the second game had you rescuing a different prince and didn’t have an open ending.
The gameplay was kind of poor; not only in controlling th characters but in the failed attampt to bring back the first game's mechanics as now the player could go between different rooms that were interconnected by each other.
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The gameplay is terrible; the player can control only one Goblin, named Blount, defeating the point of the series' gameplay. The puzzles are extremely easy and the graphics/sound fail where the other two games succeeded.
As opposed to the other games, the third installment is extremely linear and it doesn’t go deep with the story. It is really light in terms of narrative as the game never reveals more about Blount than his being a journalist. The narrative of the game is really weak, but also the gameplay itself is really lame as it seems the developers didn’t know what to do with the gameplay aspect. It even seems erratic at times because in one level the player can play as Blount's hands. Also the items that Blount use seem to be useless as it is possible to move on without using much of his paraphernalia.
The graphics and sound are average at best: they compose one of the negative aspects of the game, probably because Pierre Gilhodes didn’t had any involvement in this installment and maybe that was the reason why the third episode failed so much. The difficulty is not an obstacle, all the puzzles can be cleared in matter of minutes and there is no real challenge at all.
Because of the lack of originality this game receives a gameplay rating of 3 over 5 stars.
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The third chapter of Gobliins is a terrible game, there is not enough patience in this world to end a game so frustrating like this one, not because is difficult but rather because is lame. It is not worth playing and even if you can find it don’t waster your time. Play the first two games instead, which are excellent.