Finally the day has arrived! Glory to the world! A time management game not featuring a blond girl who just arrived in town to start a spa/café/sub bar/salon/daycare/pub/pizzeria/bakery etc. In G. Blacksmith you get to play as a hurly burly goblin, and the occupation is blacksmith. Yes, a real manly time management game. I won’t get into that manly to me seem to mean sweaty goblins deep underground.
G. Blacksmith is a time management game where you have to satisfy the needs and wishes of barbarians, pirates and assassins among other weird and wonderful characters. Touch controls are used throughout the game, and most of the time they work quite well. At times though the taps don’t register, as the items are quite small on the screen. Furthermore there is no queue system that most time management games use. In G. Blacksmith you perform one task at a time, and stringing a lot of actions can’t be done. To me this is a bit of a bummer, as I enjoy the planning aspect of time management.
Another quite unique thing about G. Blacksmith is that is plays in portrait mode. I find this great as it gives a sense of you being deep down in a goblin cave. Customers show up on ground level, and you have to hustle up and down the elevator to deliver the goods. Drilling is the core of the game, and initially you only have one drill. As the game progresses new items can be forged from the four raw materials. This is also one thing that bothers me. The difference between the raw materials is easy to see, but when the customers want them modified I find it harder and harder to tell them apart. This hampers the gameplay, as more and more forged items need to be stored or thrown away.
The graphics are cool with a grey color palette. As I have mentioned though this makes some items hard to tell apart. It also makes the game hard to play in direct sunlight, as all becomes the same grayish tone.
The music and sound effects are well done. After a couple of hours of joyful music I had to turn it off to play some of my own music. Thankfully that can be done, and some heavy metal is better suited for a heavy metal game.
I have one final big issue with the game, and that is how upgrades are handled. For most time management games getting upgrades is key to beating the perfect scores. Saving up, and planning which upgrade to take first has always been fun to me. In G. Blacksmith upgrades are just introduced as you go along, and there is no choices to make. The progression is steady over the vast map of levels. There is even a minigame taking the look from the Nintendo Gameboy with touch buttons. In the minigame you have to protect your gold against raiders by throwing items at them. They can block, and you have to hit some of them high, and others low. It isn’t too exciting but at least it breaks up the monotony of the main game.
There are a number of achievements, an endless mode and a hefty amount of statistics tracked in the game. This give the game a quite long gamelife, but strangely enough there is no online functionality making the endless mode a yawn. Improving my own scores is not nearly as interesting as trying to make it into an online leaderboard.
I applaud Crazy Carpenter for releasing a unique kind of time management game featuring new kinds of tasks, and no females who just inherited a business. By not keeping the quite established queue system and user chosen upgrades the gameplay is hampered. At times it is also hard to tell different items apart on the screen due to the cool but uncompromising color scheme. My recommendation is to definitely give the lite version a try before you consider a purchase.