Indie Review: Gerblins
Butterscotch Shenanigans is a rather interesting development team consisting of three brothers. Their first game, Chauncy the Rabbit was a casual platformer, and now they're back on the scene with their second title, a Minesweeper-style puzzle game, Gerblins. How does it measure up?
- Worth The Time?Yes, it's easy to play and kill a few minutes at a time with.
- Things LovedThe cartoony style to the game, the various game modes, the simple yet addictive gameplay, the challenge involved in the later stages.
- Things HatedThe rather corny sound effects and stick-in-your-head music.
- RecommendationIf you enjoy Minesweeper, or if you like reasonably addictive games that you can play in small doses, then this is a great option, and since it's free you can't really go wrong trying it out.
- Name: Gerblins
- Genre: Puzzle
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: N/A
- Platforms: PC
- Developer: Butterscotch Shenanigans
- Publisher: Butterscotch Shenanigans
- Price: Free
- Reviewed On: PC
Butterscotch Shenanigans is a rather interesting development team consisting of three brothers. Their first game, Chauncy the Rabbit, was a casual and simple platformer, and now they’re back onto the gaming scene with their new puzzle game, Gerblins. It’s a bit of a silly take on a game we’ve all played and enjoyed, or screamed in frustration over, namely Minesweeper. I say silly in a good way though. Gerblins follows the basic formula of Minesweeper, throwing a bit of Tetris elements in, and basically you’ll be faced with a grid of blank squares and you need to eliminate all of the bad apples from it. Unlike Minesweeper, making one mistake doesn’t lose you the game, as you get a few liberties in Gerblins that make it a smoother and far less frustrating game to play. Right, let’s get into it.
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Each level will give you a grid of black squares, or Blergs. Clicking on one will either make the Blerg fly away in delight, removing a square or, like Minesweeper, a number will appear on the Blerg to show how many evil squares, or Gerblins, are touching it. You’ll then need to select the Gerblin Potion and cure the Gerblin, turning him into a Blerg which causes him and all squares around him to fly away. However, if you use the potion on a Blerg, then you actually infect him and turn him into a Gerblin, causing him to escape and an entire row of Blergs to fall from the sky and add to your troubles. Each mistake causes another row to land and, a bit like Tetris, you lose the game if the highest point in any row touches the ceiling. Basically, all squares appear as Blergs, but there are some Gerblins in disguise you need to cure. The fact that a mistake causes a row to fall from the sky gives you far more room for error and makes the experience much less frustrating than Minesweeper, so even if you make a few bad moves you can still work your way out of a bad spot with some careful play.
Gerblins also offers a number of game modes to increase the variety, and these are unlocked as you reach certain levels in the campaign. There’s normal mode, Rainin’ Blergs, where Blergs rain down but some are Gerblins, there’s Rowin’ Blergs, where positioning a Gerblin now frees an entire row of Blergs, there’s Shufflin’ Gerblins, where the Gerblins are smarter and can change positions, and lastly Mutating Blergs, where gamma rays are spreading the Gerblin disease, infecting Blergs. There’s an additional mode called Nightmare, which is basically a recipe for chaos as it features all game modes rolled into one. These modes are quite intriguing to play and do well to mix things up, giving you more incentive to stick with Gerblins without fear of things becoming repetitive too quickly, which is good.
The game has a rather cartoony style for its graphics, and it works very well in overall, with Gerblins successfully achieving what it wanted to. However, the colours of yellow and purple and green can get a bit dull, and even though the game is pleasant enough on your eyes, it might get a bit boring to look at if you play for extended periods of time. Still, there’s not much to dislike about the visual style. However, the sound effects can get a bit annoying after a while, as they’re quite wonky and bizarre, and the corny music sort of sticks in your head and isn’t the most pleasant thing you’ll listen to.
Gerblins is entertaining, addictive and simple to play and enjoy. It’s easy to get into and even easier to get comfortable with. It’s a great option for you if you’re looking to kill a few minutes here and there, and the fact that it’s free and doesn’t require a lot of time or attention makes it completely worth playing.