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Gnomes & Goblins

Gnomes & Goblins Review

Cute, sweet, but unfortunately unfinished and unrefined

Reviewed by Griffin on 12th October 2020 on HTC Vive


Review

I played this with a WMR headset the HP Reverb, and it worked fine I just needed to make my own bindings for the game.

4 years after the original Gnomes & Goblins preview, which many were blown away by and were very entertained by at the time, the full game has finally released but unfortunately it feels there was little development in that time.

The prologue story takes about 30 minutes to complete, and from there you are basically just told to explore and make your own fun, but unfortunately there is just not much to do.

There is very little interaction in the game, the story only has moments in which you need to grab and throw an object or paddle a boat or light a cave but really not much else.

After the prologue ends, since there is so little game interaction it just becomes a walking sim where you look around at the village and sometimes can trigger a short scene, but really there is not much.

In the story, from my experience the game features the gnomes so little you could blink and you would miss it, which is odd given they are in the title. I expected more.

The hardware I played on:

I7-7700k

GTX 1080 TI

16gb ram

WMR HP Reverb

Graphics & Presentation

The graphics and visuals are still very good as they were in the original demo, but incredibly demanding on your hardware. I played on medium settings and still experienced frame drops. I will mention I only met the minimum specs, however I do not think the performance relative to the visuals were comparable considering I have played prettier and more demanding games on the same hardware.

Sound FX & Music

The audio was a little lacking often feeling too quite, with even ambient noises seemingly missing. I would have also appreciated if the little goblins spoke (in an unintelligible language) to the player to direct him more as oftentimes I was unsure where I should have been looking.

Gameplay & Immersion

The gameplay is super basic, as I mentioned before it is a mostly passive experience with a few items to pickup and throw here and there. Oftentimes the story doesn't even wait for you and will continue regardless of if you are paying attention or not.

Controls

The controls were awkward, obviously they were not designed for the WMR controllers. I copied the HTC Vive wands which have less inputs so it should not have been an issue, one of my biggest gripes was that the game used tank controls for movement for some reason, I could not find a way to fix that.

Value & Replayability

If the idea of a walking sim in a little goblin village interests you and you are entertained by just watching the village then there may be some replayability value. However, at $33 local currency even if you loved this kind of game I could not recommend it.

Final Thoughts

The original Gnomes & Goblins concept was neat for 2016 however it seems the developers did not learn or improve since then which makes it feel incredibly dated as VR is still in its early stages: what worked 4 years ago is now outdated.

  • Very good looking visuals
  • Cute character designs
  • Expensive for the content
  • Short campaign and little to do afterwards
  • Limited gameplay interactions
  • Basic sound and music

Reviewed by Griffin on 12th October 2020 on HTC Vive

3 out of 10

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Gnomes & Goblins
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