30 Years of Video Games – Gobliiins (1991)

I’m waving goodbye to my 20′s and to celebrate I’m counting down 30 games from the last 30 years.  Join me while I countdown 30 great years of game memories.


Gobliiins was a charming point and click adventure puzzler released in 1990 by French Developer Coktel Vision.  A charmingly funny game, it doesn’t rely so much on clever writing as it does on clever design and its puzzles play to that strength by delivering some incredibly funny situations and solutions.  It won’t have you rolling around on the floor but it will undoubtedly make you chuckle throughout with its incredibly european-feeling humour.  What makes Gobliiins so memorable are the puzzles – the game  used a similar mechanic to the 16-bit classic Lost Vikings with you taking control of three characters each with their own special skills.  As a result its puzzles are logically designed and so playing through the game becomes is less about trial and error than it is thinking things through and approaching them accordingly.  More than I can say for a lot of adventure games released around the same period which often relied on obscure solutions and trial and error to get through.


The French  have a very distinct art style and Gobliiins is absolutely exuding it from every crack.  The first thing you’ll notice about Coktel Vision’s game is that it is an exquisitely drawn game.  The Amiga 500 was known for its graphical prowess and this game takes full advantage of the hardware looking and feeling like it jumped straight from the pages of an Asterix novel.  The character sprites were simple but in motion everything animates brilliantly, with each character’s interactions with the world and other NPC brought to life with such gusto that the world and its inhabitants have a real sense of place.  Its this excellent craftsmanship that allows its humour to really shine through.

The game had a number of sequels with the latest Goblins 4 being released in 2009.  Like its predecessors original designer Pierre Gilhodes was at the helm.


Have a favourite game from 1991?  Tell us in the comments below.  Don’t forget to come back soon for the next game in our countdown.  Miss a year?  Catch up below.

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  1. “As a result its puzzles are logically designed…”

    Yes… and no? The puzzles have a logic to them, yes.
    But it isn’t SENSIBLE logic.

    “I need to wake up an elderly Mouse-Wizard. I know! I’ll fire a carrot out a cannon into a kettle so that the aroma of boiled carrot will pull him from his slumber!”
    Yes, it sort of makes sense, but really it isn’t the first thing I would think to do when I want to wake someone up… then again, I don’t know many Mouse-Wizards.

    In the original Gobliiins especially, there were some real bullshit puzzles that required you to KNOW which of two or more identical objects would help you. Picking the wrong object results in you losing some of your precious life-bar which stayed depleted even if you moved on to the next puzzle-screen.

    They got rid of the life-bar in the later games but the puzzles are also a lot harder and make a lot less sense….


    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the humour of it! Tapping him on the shoulder wouldn’t have been fun. I agree with you that it’s a bit of a stretch at times but with the handful of objects and interactions in most screens it’s got a certain logic to it that other adventure games don’t (particularly when you have got very distinct skills).


  2. Hmm… favorite game of 1991, without a doubt has to be Capcom’s favorite revision-happy-cash-cow. Street Fighter II. The sole game I play regularly to this day.


      1. *SIGH* Me too man. Between the Genesis, PC, Playstation, and SNES, I own two variants of World Warrior, Champion Edition, Turbo & Super. If you look at them as revisions, that’s eight copies of the same game. AND Super Turbo. Bought at retail price. -_-

        Liked by 1 person

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