by Blackened Beans
reviewed on X360
A Kingdom for Keflings is probably going to be ignored by most of the XBOX360ís core audience. It is a cute, totally non-violent game on a console made for the more casual gamers out there. Fortunately, I donít believe that there is such thing as hardcore and casual gaming. If you enjoy games, you are a gamer; what kinds of games you enjoy doesnít affect that. It is because of this that I bought A Kingdom for Keflings, and Iím glad I did. The game is cute, simple, and fun. You canít be good or bad at it. You canít win or lose. You just build. Perhaps it sounds boring, but it actually is innovative and fun.
One of the coolest parts about the game is that you can use your Avatar as a character. Although, while it is good to see them put to work, I canít help but feel that the actual giants are better. Their art is quite good, and when you pick up new items such as gloves, belts and boots, you can actually see them, whereas there is no change to the look of your Avatar. Ever. Regardless of who you choose to play with, the game is the same, though. Not that I was expecting any different.
While Iím on the topic of gloves, belts and boots, letís talk about what they do. The whole game revolves around finding materials to build homes and shops so that you can make new items to use to built more homes and shops, which give you more new items to build homes and shops, and so on. To do this you have to put your Keflings to work by assigning them jobs as lumberjacks, miners, crystal miners, and other things. They will bring you items to build with, and are basically the most important part of building your town. Gloves allow you to move faster while carrying things, belts allow you to carry more items at a time, and boots allow you to move faster in general.
Sound complicated? Probably not, but if it does, then fear not, A Kingdom for Keflings is a very simple game. You simply build, build, build until you canít anymore Ė and yes, there is a limit to how much you can build. There are times when it becomes repetitive and tedious, so itís best played in short bursts if you want the most out of the experience, but itís fun for what it is. It will take you a long time to fill up your village with as much as possible, and there are Achievements to unlock as well. You can play cooperatively over XBOX Live, though sadly thereís no local co-op.
Graphics and sound
Although the actual Keflings donít look nearly as good as the giants, A Kingdom for Keflings boasts an interesting art style. Technically it looks pretty decent for an Arcade game, but there is a lot of clipping, and a lot of slowdown. This is strange, because there isnít really that much going on, but it is forgivable, as the game is a lot of fun to look at due to how colorful and happy it is. I would have preferred my village to be next to the water, however, and not next to an ugly cliff full of dirt.
Sound is probably where A Kingdom for Keflings lets down the most. There are almost no sound effects and the music Ė while soothing Ė is repetitive. The focus clearly wasnít on the gameís sound design here, and it saddens me. It is dull to play it without the music, and annoying to play with it. Quite a shame indeed.
A Kingdom for Keflings is worth its price. It offers lots of fun when played in short bursts, and it is a good way to sit back and unwind after a long day of playing Gears of War. It probably would have scored higher if it would have had a larger emphasis on sound and graphics, but donít take the 7 as a bad rating; this game is worth your time, and money.
No Pros and Cons at this time