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New Zealand: Land of the long white cloud, jandals and the chilly bin. Also home to some top-notch game developers including the small but experienced team who are currently working on Goblins of Elderstone, a goblin tribe simulator.

Based in Auckland, Lost Goblin is developing a sim/strategy game where you will nurture your clan of goblins as it grows to become the dominate tribe, standing against the other races and even the gods. Rule over your chaotic goblins and raid dungeons and villages to keep feeding the ever growing tribe. Survive winter, expand, trade and conquer. Keep progressing until you become the goblin king.

The game takes place in Elderstone, a magical world full of possibilities. Humans, elves, dwarves, orcs and more inhabit the lands surrounding your kingdom. Treat them well to form alliances and share bounties but beware as hatred can run deep. The power of the gods runs through Elderstone. Praying has its perks, but the gods also have their own agendas. You will encounter an interesting bunch of NPCs throughout the lands, some looking for adventure, some seeking help, and others are looking for a weak tribe to enslave. Each time you play, Elderstone will be populated differently.

Lost Goblin wanted to put a unique spin on the sim genre by having you play as the villain. Goblins usually do what they’re told, although when they get bored, they may steal, kill or even attempt to burn down the village. A combination of fast-talking, gift-giving, threats and violence will keep the goblins in line. Diplomacy doesn’t stop there – other races and even the gods can be convinced to do your bidding.

Gameplay will feel familiar to anyone who has spent some time with strategy games. Gather, craft, trade or steal over 30 resources to build structures and design a free-form city connected by pathways and bridges. Play as a conquering warlord, an industrious trader that rules the world through wealth, a powerful avatar to the gods or a combination of all. You make several choices at the start of each new game that will influence your playthrough. The overarching story is written by Edwin McRae – writer for Path of Exile.

Lost Goblin is currently campaigning for their game via Kickstarter. They are seeking $40,000 NZ to fund Goblins of Elderstone.  With just over 30 days remaining, they are currently just short of $20,000 so your help is required. Pledging $30 will get you a full digital copy of the game for PC plus access to the Steam Early Access version when available. There are loads of extra pledging options that allow you to design and name characters if you choose. Pledge $8,000, and you can spend two nights in Auckland, hang out with the team and go hands-on with the game.

Goblins of Elderstone shows all the signs of a fun and unique strategy sim with the chaotic goblins sealing the deal for me. You can find the Kickstarter campaign here.

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Michael Vane is a freelance journalist and co-editor of PN2. He’s on Twitter @DrVane

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