Goblins of Elderstone – Review
Follow Genre: Colony Sim, Survival, Resource management
Developer: Outerdawn, Lost Goblin
Publisher: Outerdawn
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Goblins of Elderstone – Review

Site Score
Good: A chill game to play, Ramps up slowly, Decent quality
Bad: Can get frustrating with the hectic micro-management
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Goblins are simple tribal-minded creatures that find their strength in numbers when following one leader. In Goblins of Elderstone, you are the leader of your own goblin tribe. How this clan will develop itself is all up to you: will you choose to let it grow into an evil powerful army, or why not make it a highly religious tribe that loves to trade with other settlements? That is the topic of today’s review of Goblins of Elderstone, one of the many titles in our backlog.


When you start a new game you are given carte blanche on how you want to create your tribe. By selecting a few criteria, you lay the base foundation of your clan by showing you what their alignment is, in what gods they believe, and their life goals. You could say this is a Sims game for goblins with how you create your group and have to manage their various needs. This is only the start of your story. While you lay the foundations for your tribe at this point, you won’t need to stick religiously to this.


Goblins are known as horrendous creatures, so the idea of leading your own tribe might not sound that appetizing. Fortunately, the developers did their best to make everything look as cute as possible. This means that you are the leader of a tribe filled with cute green creatures rather than leading a bunch of ugly monsters. The game looks really smooth in all aspects, from the easy-to-read U.I. to the overworld with all your buildings on it. The main view is from the top down so you have a clear overview of your map and when zooming in, you see what every inhabitant is doing. After a while, the area can get really full with over 80 goblins walking around. To prevent things from becoming too taxing on your system, the developers have opted for very simple animations when you inevitably zoom into your colony to spy on their actions.


Just like the visuals, it seems like the sounds were also toned down to save resources and make the overall experience feel calmer. There is no over-the-top music playing during your campaign. Instead, you hear the sounds of nature and stuff happening around the camp. The goblins make their own entertainment, so sometimes you can hear them singing and dancing. You could even place some instruments around town, and when your goblins aren’t busy working they might want to try them out.


Goblins of Elderstone is a colony sim where you have free reign over your little tribe of goblins. The goal of the game is to lead your tribe to a fruitful life, with the ultimate quest to keep your base standing until the end times. Upon starting a new game, you can choose between different modes. You can either go for a full story mode where you design and lead your tribe to a prosperous life or you can just choose which deities you want to admire and build the tribe from that. If you really don’t like to do all the preparation work, you can always just roll the dice and play with a random tribe on a random map.

From a gameplay perspective, both modes feel quite similar, so it is perhaps more interesting to take a deeper look at the story mode. In the story mode, you craft the backstory of your tribe from a few key elements. The first thing you do is pick your tribe’s alignment, what their specialty will be, what type of magic they want to practice, and who your sworn enemies are. Then you get to assign the tribe’s members, crown the king (or queen), and finally choose a starting location for your clan. Deciding on the size of your map will influence the difficulty setting. A smaller map will be easier with fewer enemies while a larger map gives plenty of resources but also enough invaders to deal with.

For first-time players, it is advised that you start with the tutorial. This will give you a good explanation of how to lead your tribe and ensure it is off to a good start. After this, you’ll only get new explanations when you reach certain milestones. Once your base is fully established it is time to slowly expand and grow your population. Naturally, this will always continue but when you want to speed things up, you can assign the desired goblins you want to breed with to speed up the process. This in turn creates more workers who gather resources that help develop your clan.

Initially, all goes very well but the further you progress the more the game feels like a resource management/survival game. This is mainly because you’ll need exponentially more resources to keep your inhabitants happy. The main game progresses through different seasons, with each season being x amount of years long. Your goblins will of course be happy during the warm seasons and get highly depressed in the winter. Failing to prepare for the winter will mean the tribe will freeze or starve to death. Fortunately, at the start of spring, there is a traveling merchant, to whom you can sell your goods. He’ll also have wares to sell, so you can quickly stock up on items that you might desperately need.

Slowly but surely you’ll be able to build more buildings that give different materials. Assigning goblins with better stats to these buildings will grant a higher efficiency, but don’t forget that you’ll also need regular goblins to gather resources and transport these to where they’re needed. Once you reach the point where everyone has a comfortable life, other distractions will start popping up. First will be the undead that wants to wreak some havoc from time to time, especially in the winter they will become more active, and the bigger your town is the harder they will attack. Secondly, a deity will awaken and demand that the goblins worship them. Doing so will grant nice bonuses and the ability to cast special magic. Failing to please the deity will put a curse on the tribe as long as they aren’t faithful enough. The more gods awaken, the more temples and priests you will need.

Once you’ve achieved religious stability, a different issue pops up. You are not alone in the world and will meet with your neighbors sooner than later. Depending on which enemies you initially chose, you’ll either lean more towards being friendly with them or hating them. Depending on how both parties treat each other this could end in either the formation of diplomatic alliances and having a trading route set up in which both parties benefit or an all-out war between the factions that only the victor dramatically benefits from.

A very realistic aspect of the game is that every goblin starts as a baby (aside from your initial tribe) and will need to grow and develop their skills and gain respect from the group. Very young goblins might be old enough to work, but their skills aren’t developed. As such, they are worth less than more experienced adults. Sadly each goblin has a different life expectancy as some might live long while performing their jobs while others die fighting on the battlefield. It also shows that goblins who work harder jobs will live shorter while the king who has an easy stress-free life can outlive many tribesmen. Just make sure to train your followers well to have a good next of kin ready to take their place.


Goblins of Elderstone is a fun title for fans of either RTS titles or colony sims. Initially, the game feels relatively easy but as you progress, things start to lean more towards a survival game with serious resource management. Your main concern is keeping your goblins healthy and happy, while also managing time to gather resources, process these, and expand your growing colony. There is a lot of freedom as to how you wish to play the game and create your tribe. You may want to set up everything yourself, or you can opt to have the game choose for you. Everything looks decent and cute but don’t expect fancy animations or attention to detail. The audio is equally ok, with the game giving off a lively vibe as your goblins interact, sing, and dance, but the absence of music could mean a blander experience for those wanting to sink many hours into the experience.

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Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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