There’s a whole universe of fantasy out there, ranging from the classic medieval style to modern takes on the supernatural. Even so, the fantasy of worlds like those in Dungeons & Dragons remains one of the most popular. However, it also contains the threat of small but tenacious creatures known as goblins. Frequently viewed as fodder enemies that players can slay easily to gain experience, these little green humanoids can be quite devastating when they band together to overwhelm you. You’ll see how in Now There Be Goblins, the new Early Access release from developer Shocktopus Games. Strap on your VR headset, grab your gear, and get ready to bring these goblins down.
Why Are There Goblins?
Medieval stories can be epic and complex or simple and straightforward. Now There Be Goblins leans toward the latter, which works perfectly fine. You play as a nameless Blacksmith living and working in the kingdom of Harry The Great. While not the most competent ruler, King Harry has no problem commissioning giant gold statues of himself. Unfortunately, this has drawn the attention of the nearby goblin settlements that want nothing more than to see those statues in pieces. In order to protect his golden selves, King Harry tasks you with defending the statues by building defenses and fighting on the frontlines. It’s a tall order, but someone’s got to fill it.
The Best Defense
When it comes to tower defense games, it really is all about the defense. The good news is that Now There Be Goblins provides a lot of options to make that happen through its approach to combat. You’re given two hands that can each wield either a weapon or a shield. With these things drawn, you can charge right into the advancing goblin horde and start swinging away. Landing hits feel good, and taking down goblins is satisfying. Combined with the different types of weapons you get to play around with, fighting the goblins in first-person is a fun experience.
Then there’s the tower defense aspect. By pulling up a quick-select wheel, you’ll have several types of structures to build. The UI is helpful in identifying the path that the goblins will travel so you can make your ideal setup. Each structure has different starts and functions with a fair amount to consider when planning your strategy. It’s quick to build and upgrade them as you see fit while watching them in action can be quite entertaining.
Then there’s the overall tone and feel of the game. The goblins have a cartoon quality about them and walk the line between goofy and intimidating. This creates a lighthearted feel overall, so you can jump right in and start playing with no pressure. Everything is somewhat rounded and chunky, which allows the game to run smoothly and and objects to have a distinct presence in the world.
Holes In The Defense
Anyone on the offensive side of a conflict will always try to find weaknesses to exploit in the defenders. Unfortunately, there are a few holes in the walls of Now There Be Goblins. The main weakness here is the lack of variety with structures. You only seem to have access to a few at a time, and they’ll only change through upgrades. It doesn’t help that one of them is just a barricade, meaning that only a handful of them actually do something. When it comes to tower defense, there should be a whole roster of structures to research and test, and that’s lacking here.
Then there’s the interaction. The most important mechanic of VR games is how players interact with the world around them, and this game certainly does its best to do that. The problem is that it’s not as sharp or refined as it could be. While setting up structures works well, picking up and wielding things like weapons can be annoying. When you come across something, you literally need to bend down and adjust yourself until the sensitive interaction prompt appears. This can be a huge issue when things get hectic and the fact that you need to constantly hold the buttons down to hold the weapon can get uncomfortable after some time. But, given this game is in Early Access, there’s still opportunity to refine mechanics based on fan feedback.
Now Let’s Get Going
Now There Be Goblins is an Early Access VR tower defense game where it’s just you against a seemingly endless goblin army. There’s a lot to enjoy in terms of the combat gameplay, setting up structures in creative ways, and enjoying the colorful spectacle of the experience. There are still some flaws in terms of interaction and variety, but we hope those issues will be addressed as the game develops. Still, even in its current state, now there be a good time waiting to happen.