The Goldbergs: Back to the 80s Game Review – Cool Kids on the Block

If you thought your social media life sucks, you probably haven’t been in the shoes of 80s teenagers in The Goldbergs: Back to the 80s game. Based on the popular TV show The Goldbergs, this idle game revolves around the not-so-cool social life of Adam, Barry and Erica Goldberg.  

Desperate to get to the top of their school’s “Cool List”, Adam and his “uncool” siblings work on a plan to become popular. Thanks to Adam’s computer program, the trio have figured out how to raise their reputation in the campus, make new friends and move up the Cool List.  

The Goldbergs Back to the 80s Game Review.
Collect cool points and use them to add friends

It all starts in the computer lab, geeky Adam’s favorite hangout. He explains his siblings how to get new friends in a hangout using “Cool Points”. You will have to collect cool points (symbolized by cool-looking 80s sunglasses) that appear on a hangout and use them to add friends. Works two ways – you use cool points to add more friends and then increase points by adding more friends. Keep adding friends to fill the green friend meter above the orange button on a hangout to double and triple points.  

Want to earn more cool points, tapes and get to the Cool List faster? Check out what we have written in our latest guide:

Where the Cool Kids Go 

The computer lab isn’t the only hangout where you will add friends. In each episode, there will be newer hangouts where you will add more friends. This will help these kids become popular and hit the higher ranks in Cool List because more friends = higher rankings. Using cool points, Adam and gang can unlock new hangouts where all cool kids go, earning lots and lots of points and making new friends.  

Each new hangout lets you earn more points than the other, but the points required to get friends in such hangouts will also increase. You can upgrade a hangout to permanently double points. You will need certain number of cards of the same hangout and some video tapes to upgrade a hangout for earning more points.  

Has a Cool Story  

The Goldbergs: Back to the 80s has a hilarious storyline. Levels are episodic just like the popular sitcom. In every new episode, you will have to complete a set of quests or goals. A quest is shown on the top of the screen. Finish the quest to get rewards. 

Cut-scenes are funny!
Cut-scenes are funny

Every time you complete a goal, a new cut-scene appears, continuing with the storyline about Adam and gang’s struggle to climb the social ladder.  

Once you complete all goals, you may have to play a mini-game, a boss mode of sorts, where you will have to dodge stuff thrown at you by “smother” “gym coach” and other NPCs. Just tap on the arrows to dodge attacks and you will be good. Dodge them max number of times before the timer runs out to earn cooler rewards and then move on to the next episode.  

But the crucial part of the game is moving to the top of the “Cool List”. After each episode ends, the game will show the rankings in the list and if you have added new friends in each hangout in an episode, Adam and siblings will move up the coolness ladder in the list. If you don’t add new friends in a particular episode, the rankings will remain flat until you add more friends in the next episode.  

When a new episode begins, cool points earned from the previous episode won’t be carried forward to the new one. You will have to start from the beginning, unlocking the computer lab and other hangouts to start earning cool points and adding friends. This might irk some players, but that’s how the game works.  

Thankfully, you will be unlocking all hangouts pretty early in a new episode, including the newer ones, all thanks to characters. Characters, such as Coach Mellor, Leon Schimon, Johnny Atkins etc. are connected to each hangout and affect the cool points earnings.  

Get permanent upgrades by placing relevant characters on hangouts.
Unlock Johnny Atkins to receive permanent upgrades for the computer lab hangout.

For example, Johnny Atkins will be placed in the computer lab whereas Leon will be in the mall. When you unlock Johnny Atkins, the computer lab will be permanently upgraded and will generate double cool points for the current and future episodes. You will unlock these characters at the end of each episode and they will be automatically placed on relevant hangouts, thereby increasing their cool points x2 or even x3. You can upgrade them further to permanently boost cool point earnings from each hangout.   

Offline Earnings?  

The Goldbergs: Back to the 80s game keeps accumulating cool points when you are not playing only when you automate a hangout. Thankfully, there’s no earnings cap or time limit, unlike some idle games where you can only get one or two hours of offline rewards and then pay to lift the cap.  

Offline rewards

You will need character cards, such as Geoff’s character card and some cool points to automate a hangout. Doing this, you will receive points without tapping on the hangout, even when you are offline. The points requirement for automating a hangout is a bit higher, but you don’t have to worry about each character as you will receive Geoff early in the game. 

Can you Play it Without an Internet Connection?  

I tried playing it with the Airplane mode turn on. I was greeted with an error “failed to connect to the server”. Unlike other idle games, this game can’t be played without an internet connection.  

Wrapping it Up  

The Goldbergs: Back to the 80s game is fairly easy to play, but you will have to start from scratch in each new episode, unlocking previous hangouts, earning cool points and adding friends. New characters, a humorous storyline with equally funny dialogues, boss mode, fun events, and that elusive Cool List, which is the game’s primary and most important objective, will keep you glued to your smartphone screen for hours. I will give it a 7 out of 10 stars. 

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