Goblin Squad is a game I’ve been waiting a long time to see out, now, and for many different reasons. First of all, it’s a game of chess and I love chess. I’m not any good at it whatsoever, but I do love them: I love their history, I love the evolution of their metaphorical […]
Goblin Squad is a game I’ve been waiting a long time to see out, now, and for many different reasons.
First of all, it’s a game of chess and I love chess. I’m not any good at it whatsoever, but I do love them: I love their history, I love the evolution of their metaphorical significance, I love them aesthetically and I love to play them because they offer me a chance to see how my friends’ minds work and since I try to have friends with beautiful minds that often turns out to be a beautiful show.
Secondly, it features goblins and not just any goblins: the most stupid, caffeinated, child-eating, pig-riding goblins you’ll get the chance to work with. And yet, as stupid goblins do, they’ll get the job done. Eventually. And only if the job is brainlessly going around a chessboard and pillaging what they find, eating enough children and beating up enough humans for them to grow stronger (but not in any way smarter), hopefully strong enough to storm the castle and win the level, before bigger and definitely smarter humans will arrive and storm your ass.
Third reason, if you ever need a third one after I said “chess” and “goblin”, it’s a game designed by my very good friend Gabriele Gallo with his guys at the Event Horizon Studios. You might remember him as the guy who designed the game part of my book about BIM. ’cause we’re crazy that way. In case you’re currently attending the seventh edition of our MasterKeen in Lecco, you’ll get a chance to see him in class.
So, I’ve bought this pretty much the minute it came out and I can only regret to have been too busy with actual work to just mess around with my goblins around the chessboard all the time.
Ok, I also regret lending the computer to a friend of ours who managed to get all my goblins wiped away because he plays chess worst than I do and that’s saying something. I hope he plays the trumpet better, otherwise on the next concert he’s going to kill someone.
That’s beside the point.
The point is that I really like it and, as usual, here’s three things I really do like in this game.
And if I don’t describe something perfectly the way it is, Gabriele, just get off your ass and write an article yourself: you know I prefer narrative over accuracy.
1. Characters. Your goblins will develop from a basic class (the wee asshole) into different branches: footman, ranged and chivalry. Each of them carries its own movement starts and special powers. Of course it’s much more fun than this: if you walk around enough with your goblins and plunder enough villages, you might end up with a squad of shamans tossing smelly balls of something, a lion trainer who just goes around with another little goblin dressed up as a lion on the leash, a berserker who chops everything within range or just a pig rider, whose tremendous smell will drive every other pawn away at the end of each turn. Putting all these powers in combo is actually a lot of fun and you might end up winning a match with just the movement of one goblin and the massive chain reaction that follows.
2. Achievements. If you’ve played our book throughout the third part, you’re familiar with Gabriele’s sense of humor, which of course I share. You’ll find the same wit in things like Ba-na-na (The ultimate minion assembly: call all your goblins “banana”), Equal Rights (Kill 16 sers and 16 farmers) and Kinky (Dominate an enemy sacrificing a Wolf Trainer, which actually makes more sense once you’ve seen the Wolf Trainer).
3. Tips. You know those texts they put on loading screens in the vain hope that you will not get bored and in the false hope that they will prove useful? Yeah, those things that are always boring and never useful.
This time, tips are purposefully useless and maybe that’s why they’re entertaining. Things like “It’s armour, not armor. Goblins do wear red, after all”. And if you’re a student of mine, you’ll get points if you get this.
If you find three reasons of your own, I suggest you buy it and start playing.
It’s fun, it’s graphically gracious, it’s well designed, it has goblins and pigs. And it’s only 10 €. Ooops. I meant 9,99 €. Never say 10: marketing people will get soooo angry…