|Game:||Gobblin’ Goblins||Release Date:||2017|
|Designer & Artist:||Angela Dickens / Dan Prowse||Player Count:||2 – 12|
|Publisher||Self Published||Play Time:||20 – 30 mins|
Goblins are disgusting creatures. They’re truly horrid little monsters, but. But, at least they turn the TV off and all sit around together to have dinner, and whats more, they all clear their plates. Sometimes, they’ll even eat the things they hate without any drama. Occasionally they’ll eat foods they’re actually allergic to as well. Well, let’s face it, goblins are not known for their overwhelming intelligence, are they?
Gobblin’ Goblins is a horridly-charming, family oriented hand management and set collection game, the aim of which is to “Gobble” as many agreeable cards as possible before the deck- and food – run out. Each turn players will play a card from their hand, by either placing something putrid and disgusting on their plate (their play area), or by making use of one of the limited action cards which often will force their opponents to eat something they don’t want to, or, somewhat repulsively, regurgitate a card (at no point are cards actually eaten in this game, it isn’t some sort of extreme legacy game) back into play.
The mechanics are very simple, play a card, collect a new one. Once a player has either three of a kind, or a set of six different coloured cards played out in front of them, those cards are immediately Gobbled, taken out of play to be scored later. This snappy, simple mechanics prime Gobblin Goblins for younger and newer gamers alike.
Instead of playing a “food” card, you can instead use an Action Card to effect play in some way or another.
Distraction cards, which can be played out of sequence allow you to mess with other player’s played cards, usually stealing a card, or shifting something you don’t want – basically upsetting someone. It is with these cards that a player can have the most player-versus-player impact, either messing another player’s plan/plate up or by simply forcing them to eat what they don’t want to. Used correctly these cards are very valuable.
To mix things up just a little, each player will take on a Goblin type, no, not mountain or forest goblins, that’s so Middle Earth, this is the twenty-first century! We have Geeks, Snobs and Hippies to choose from. Each with their own special power/twist. These role cards come with a gruesome full picture of one of these goblins, and tell you what each one loves (worth extra points at the end), hates and is allergic to – cards you want to avoid.
The artwork is delightfully delinquent, and the “food” on the cards is equally childishly fun. There is no doubt this game is squarely aimed at younger and family game times, with cards such as the White Dog Poo Cone which never fails to bring out fits of laughter from younger players and a chuckling grimace from adults when you declare you are eating some Cat Sick. It is here that the game really shines, the very simple mechanics of the game lend themselves to be ideal for new/younger gamers and the aesthetic of the game shows you that in buckets (of maggots or puss, or something equally gross), inviting you in, to hang up your grown-up world and just be silly and childish.
For the slightly more mature gamers, there is still enjoyment to be found here with a light filler game, though the game may lack the necessary player-versus-player bite needed to make it more, well, nasty – but this is something that Kickstarter Stretch Goals could easily add.
(It also makes for an excellent drinking game, if you feel inclined to take some of the action cards a little more literally.)
If you like your games to be deep, strategic and deeply layered in theme and setting Gobblin’ Goblins probably isn’t going to be for you. If you have a son/daughter/niece/nephew etc. that you think would benefit from joining this fantastic cardboard hobby, you won’t go far wrong with this starting with this game. It is very simple, very easy to learn and above all it is fun, in that good old fashioned, childish mirth-filled way that 7 year old’s revel in and we adults wish we could remember how to.
Gobblin’ Goblins is live on Kickstarter from 27th October 2017
This review is based on an advanced prototype copy of the game provided by the publisher, as such, it may be slightly (or very) different from the final product.