I feel like lately there is a growing number of city-building/simulation games coming out or I started noticing them more, but anyway that is not a bad thing, at least not for me. Ever since I was a child I liked games where you had to build and develop, my favorite, of course, the SimCity series, or Anno or was it Caesar, hard to pick the number 1. Nowadays such games seem to be evolving in, to some, unusual direction where you surprisingly have smaller city or community, but more and more details to take care of or they even combine city-building and simulation of groups of people or goblins in this case with RPG elements. Yes, that's right, Goblins of Elderstone gives you the opportunity to simulate a different kind of tribe, a goblin one.
Not all goblins are evil, or are they?
When you mention New Zealand and goblins everyone thinks of Lord of the Rings but, this time there are different goblins coming from there. Lost Goblins, a young studio from New Zealand is bringing us a new, city building game inspired by games like Settlers and Anno series, Rimworld, and Stonehearth. To be more specific and exact it is a goblin tribe simulator.
Before you start the game you get few choices for your tribe. First you pick your goblins alignment, good, neutral or evil, then you pick your path, war, trade or faith, after that you choose your magic, and in the end, you choose your mortal enemies from orcs, dwarfs, elves or humans. Each choice gives you a different excerpt from a story, so you create your tribe's background story and then you pick your god that gives you some extra stuff. You also get to pick few goblins to start the tribe and you can choose your banner.
Connect the village
When you've decided about your tribe's story and their ways you finally can start creating their little village. There is a tutorial that helps you build your first few crucial structures and assign basic defense of the tribe. And the latter part is super important, don't feel bad about your village being destroyed by the first winter when enemies strike from the graveyard. Building part is something I had to get used to, I am one of those people that does everything in squares and symmetrical and here you have round buildings and they connect to each other with bridges on, so far 2 levels, in future I would like to see even higher buildings with more bridges.
Since game is still in early alpha, there is limited amount of buildings in each section, main that has grand hall and goblin housing for example, trade section that has everything from resource collection and production, faith part with buildings such as shaman hut, temple, voodoo hut in which goblins use magic to defend the village and heal other goblins, and the last part, of course is the war tab that allows you to build towers and barracks to recruit warriors to defend the villagers. Random events with multiple choices will happen throughout the game and you can either profit from them or lose items or even some goblins.
Still not there but looking good
As I mentioned before the game is still in heavy development and some things are unavailable, one of those things are diplomacy and clans, however, the available things look promising. What I liked the most is changing seasons, that part really gives you feeling of progression and that your tribe is aging and moving forward, and it looks really nice with all those changing colors and snow.
I had some problems with assigning goblins their roles and them using too much or not collecting enough resources so they ended up starving or freezing to death but that is all part of a learning process. If you are expecting to get endless hours of fun, I must, unfortunately, disappoint you for now. I am not saying the game is bad but it feels like it is still a bit limited and in the future, with all upcoming stuff it will make for hours and hours of fun. So, if you like to support indie devs and get back to game once every X weeks or months to get new experience I highly recommend it. You can wishlist it on Steam and it will come to EA in November, more about it later this week from developers, so be sure to follow them.