Green skin? Check. Big old batwing ears? Check. Gross boils and growths sprouting all over? Double and triple check. Uncontrollable flatulence? A very unfortunate check. It's strange that something or someone so undeniably gross could also end up being so endearing, but that's Griswold the Goblin, and after featuring the first part of his epic serial adventure, we simply couldn't help ourselves. We had to go back to the beginning to see where this little guy came from.
In Griswold the Goblin (no subtitle, thank you very much), we are introduced to the odious yet adorable little green guy in his first flash adventure. And oh what a great time to drop in on Griswold's life, for miserable and downtrodden though he may be, his luck's about to change when the rock he trips over turns out to be a very pretty rock. A pretty, shiny, multi-faceted, red rock that fills the eponymous Goblin's very heart and soul with song and joy! And then his luck is quickly changed right back to the bad kind when his new found treasure is stolen from him that very night.
Now we must engage on a wild romp to retrieve Griswold's shiny red rock before some nefarious ne'er-do-well employs it in his dastardly machinations. For those who have already plunged headfirst into Chapter 1 of Islands of Fire, you will find instantly recognizable the game's sardonic humor and cartoonish charm. Also, there is the abundance of clever puzzles that still remain for the most part largely logical and thus solvable without too much help.
Of course, there are some rough spots, many of which were thankfully addressed in the later installment. The control scheme is a bit clumsy; Griswold is navigated using arrow keys which can be a little frustrating at times. And call me lazy but do you really have to open up your inventory every time you pick up an item? The absolute worst, though, is the final mini game at the very end that had me mere seconds from tossing the computer monitor straight out the window followed quickly by a rage induced tree stump demolition spree that I'm sure the neighbors wouldn't look too fondly upon.
But these minor quibbles aside, the first Griswold the Goblin remains a light-hearted and charming adventure, one that will leave you with little doubt as to why a sequel had to be made.