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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