Goblin Stone Review: The Chill RPG You’ve Been Waiting For!

goblin stone featured image

Goblin Stone is a turn-based RPG that has some surprisingly good mechanics and systems. This indie game that was in development for several years is a really good package for gamers who are looking for a new laidback RPG experience. Recently, I’ve been on the hunt for good Indie games, and They Are Billion and Monster Train in particular blew me out of the water.

Available on Steam (Windows/MacOS) – Tested on Windows and MacOS (Rosetta) machines with no significant performance issues.

I will review a lot of aspects of this game, from mechanics, and overall gameplay, to story and artstyle. The game itself blends all these aspects very well, and plays like a book with good art and narration on the one hand, and like a robust turn-based RPG on the other hand. That said, let’s breakdown the whole game and see what it has to offer.

Initial Gameplay Thoughts

goblin stone path choice

I didn’t realize how Goblin Stone was exactly played until I dived a bit deeper into the game. The “gameplay flow” is very important, especially in these kinds of games, and there are a lot of approaches, good and bad, that developers implement to make the gameplay flow good. The overall feel is that the Goblin Stone developers succeed in this task, and the gameplay blends well into the narration and artstyle that seem very prominent throughout the whole game.

Starting the game, the first thing I noticed was that the game pace was pretty slow and focused on the narrative, as well as actual gameplay. The art, narration, and the whole intro feel like a book story. Once I got through the first few phases of the game, I was actually surprised at how many RPG elements this game possesses. The game combines the utility of your base, your army composition, the stats and equipment they have, and additional “map buffs” that you get each time you go on a territory, resembling mechanics in dungeon-crawler games a bit.

Core Mechanics

goblin stone combat

The game essentially revolves around building your army, and optimizing its synergy of it. There are a lot of things that come into play: goblin class, gear, goblin genetic traits, temporary buffs, RNG, and so on. The game is turn-based and plays similarly to what we see in these types of games, each character has its turn to do something, and there is a fairly complex system that decides in which order everyone has their turn.

For example, instead of attacking, you can “Push” a strong enemy with your weak unit in order to prolong its turn or cast something to slow it down in order to prevent him from having its turn. I found this to be a good component of the game because it adds an additional level to the combat complexity.

There are other mechanics that are the “usual suspects” for this kind of game, like Bleed and Poison with status effects, they also blend well into the combat system. Really, I found that the biggest complexity lies in the turn order, which is pretty fun to play around.

Base Building

goblin stone base building

When I saw that this game had base building for the first time, I thought it was just a gimmick. Once I played around with it a bit, it was actually surprising to me how much the base added to the quality and the way the game is played. It adds a layer of management and utility that makes the game more robust and whole.


goblin stone items and stats

The progression is done in a somewhat unique, and interesting way. You are optimizing your Goblins to work well with each other, choose appropriate roles, and level them up as you defeat enemies. You will get to play around setting up different compositions with a lot of class combinations, gear, and tactics. Sounds straightforward, right? Well, the plot twist is that if a goblin dies in combat, it will permanently lose half of HP and render it useless.

This gives that extra weight to the gameplay and feels a bit like Classic Hardcore WoW, which we enjoy. Each little thing you do matters, and each piece of gear and choice of spells really matter because it might cost you a powerful goblin that you spend time building up.

Goblin Stone: Plot Analysis and Narration

Goblins resting in Goblin Stone Game review

You know those intense moments in Dungeons & Dragons when you’d find yourself in a cave, bracing for an ambush by pesky Goblins? Well, imagine flipping the script: this time, you’re the one orchestrating the ambush! Basically, the premise of the plot is that the humans are the ones that are slaughtering goblins all the time, in search for the treasure. Understandably, the goblins aren’t too thrilled about this and are ready to fight back. That’s where you step in, assuming the role of their leader. You will get to lead the party of goblins on an adventure, seeking refuge (and sometimes revenge) against humans and other monsters.

Admittedly, the plot sounds silly but the whole narrative of Goblin Stone is about a fantasy world in a satiric approach. Moreover, Goblin Stone plot is a love letter to RPG and D&D stories in general; and you will get to see references to various fantasy stories and games through your adventure. I mean, the game name is in fact a mysterious artifact that can grant you power to fight your enemies. Your party will consist most of the time, out-of-tank goblins, DPS goblins, healers, and utility ones.

You start on a territory called Old Woods and soon progress to the Hinterlands. Some of the abilities that you can use are Hex, Slice, Exterminate, Bash, etc. You see where I am getting with this – WoW and other RPG games surely influenced the story of Goblin Stone. While Goblin Stone draws clear inspiration from these iconic games, it does so in a clever and respectful manner, serving as a homage rather than a mere imitation.

Goblin Stone map

Oh, and speaking of narrative and narration, that’s what makes this game so good – the storytelling is absolutely awesome and very family-friendly. This aspect serves as both an advantage and a potential drawback of the game. If you are looking for a slow-burn game, set in a fantasy world just to chill, Goblin Stone is the right choice for you. That being said, if you are looking for something with darker undertones and more complex plotlines, it might be worth considering other options for the time being.

Art in Goblin Stone

Goblins fighting in Goblin Stone game

As you might expect from the plot synopsis, Goblin Stone doesn’t offer many narrative surprises. However, where it truly excels is in its artistry, which is why I’ve dedicated an entire section of this review to it. I mean, it just looks marvelous; the 3D models of Goblins and other creatures are very well done, the whole setting was done in great detail and it overall feels good to look at even though not much is happening on the screen in terms of action. 

In terms of battle animation, Goblin Stone, being a turned-based RPG, doesn’t offer groundbreaking visuals. However, what it lacks in flashy animations, it makes with efficiency and simplicity. My point is that the battle animations are serving their purpose effectively within the context of the game. It is neatly done but perhaps in the future, some voiceovers during certain battle actions might contribute to the game. 

quest in goblin stone

Speaking of sounds, the music is just perfect in this one – it fits with the surroundings and is done in great detail. From the subtle footsteps of your goblin companions to the ambient sounds of nature, such as buzzing bugs and chirping birds, every sound fits in perfectly and I would even argue that this is the strongest aspect of the game. 

Out of all game aspects, the art really stands out the most because it feels like the most “complete” aspect. As can be expected with all new games, there are certain bugs that are patched weekly (you can track those on Goblin Stone discord server) but the art is the most consistent part and doesn’t seem to breakdown.

Final Thoughts on Goblin Stone

Goblin stone lair

Goblin Stone is a game for you and your family to kick back, relax, and enjoy the adventure that the game sets you upon. Although the game states that it’s autosaved automatically and that “all the choices you make are permanent” it still feels very chill and light. The art and the overall narration are the best aspects of the game although other aspects, such as team handling are also worth mentioning. Moreover, if you are tired of heavy energy consuming RPGs like Elden Ring or WoW, but are still looking for something in that genre, this is a game that you should definitely try. Have fun! 

Image Credits: Orc Chop Games

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