Gnomes & Goblins
Developer: Wevr, Inc.
Publisher: Wevr, Inc.
Genre: Adventure, Exploration, Simulation
Platform: Steam, Oculus Rift, Rift S
Release Date: September 23, 2020
Storytime with a heart
Gnomes & Goblins is a passion project from executive producer Jon Favreau. In the game, you are surrounded by characters that resemble Grogu from the Mandalorian. The charm of Gnomes & Goblins can be seen and heard throughout the short run time in this creative cinematic experience. Gnomes & Goblins in VR melds exploration and adventure gameplay mechanics.
All things Great and Small
One trope in video games that draws me in and oftentimes fills me with awe and wonder is size and scaling. In games like God of War 2018 the size and scale of the world can make you feel small while also making you feel powerful as you take down a large foe. In VR games like Ghost Giant, Moss, and The Curious Tale of Stole Pets you tower above the environments and main characters you interact with as a ‘god-like’ being overseeing the world below.
Gnomes & Goblins mixes the size-shifting of your player either gigantic or minuscule as you work through the story and visit different locations throughout the enchanted forest. The chapters are fairly linear and have you switching between the large and small variations as you help out against the warring gnomes that threaten the livelihood of crops and the well-being of the goblins.
In Gnomes & Goblins, you play as yourself transported to the imaginative world and taken in by a small goblin. The characters speak in gibberish and grunts. The goblins are however expressive in their gesturing, animated eyes, and facial expressions. The expressiveness is magnified, ironically, when you are tiny-sized and standing next to the goblins as they navigate you through the woods.
Gnomes & Goblins is a short game where the main campaign can be completed in one sitting in a little over an hour. The game world moves quickly from set to set-piece and levels in a way that doesn’t seem very ‘level based’. This helps your immersion as the game is fast-paced as you help the goblins to take back their land from the gnomes.
The game has various interactive pieces from turning a watermill, planting seeds, rowing a boat, throwing food back at gnomes, using a torch, and more. The detailing in the world feels a lot like an interactive Pixar animation come to life that you are a part of. The visual quality of the world is detailed nicely in the way trees, wooden platforms, and the rocks.
Gnomes & Goblins delivers a story through brief moments of characterization from your goblin friend as he joins your journey. There’s a truly memorable moment where he leads you through a cave while pointing at paintings on the walls. Aside from the main campaign, there are some achievements you can unlock within the game. After you have completed the main campaign the game opens up allowing you to revisit previously completed areas. You can also take part in various goblin activities like growing crops and catching fireflies.
Gnomes & Goblins, while short, is a great experience in VR that feels like stepping into a fairytale world. The interactive elements in the game are brief, but captivating in how you help and later rescue the goblins. Gnomes & Goblins is a fun game for all ages and is getting a Rapid Reviews UK 3 out of 5 goblins.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can get your copy of Gnomes and Goblins from the Oculus store today.
You can read our VR game reviews over at vrgamecritic.