by Liam Edwards
reviewed on X360
The Mighty Keflings
There are three kingdoms within the game: Ice Kingdom, Forest Kingdom and Desert Kingdom. In each kingdom there are native Keflings that are either the rulers or are of a significant importance in that kingdom. The Forest Kingdom is where I spent most of my time playing. This kingdom is ruled by “The King who does not have a castle” and this, I kid you not, is his actual name. It does not exactly take a genius to guess what the overall goal for this kingdom is - build him a castle. Surprised?
The more important Keflings will talk to you and give you tasks to do. These tasks are very small and pointless most of the time; they often consist of collecting a certain amount of materials and doing biddings that involve kicking various Keflings and scaring them. Why the Princess of the Forest kingdom would ever want you to scare her subjects, I do not know. After completing these tasks you are rewarded with rare materials or items that can be traded for other building materials.
The way the Keflings talk is quite disturbing and very annoying from the start. Much like the Sims, the Keflings talk in their own language. Unfortunately, Keflings are high-pitched beings that can drive you mad just listening to them. Adding to this, some of the things that the Keflings say make no sense and can sometimes contradict the objective that they originally gave you.
I would suggest playing on mute for the cut-scenes if you cannot bear it, but make sure you turn the sound back on when it is finished as the soundtrack for A World of Keflings is lovely. Many ambient tracks with small vocal parts accompany the scenery and atmosphere of the game perfectly. Although there is only a small amount of tracks so it can get quite annoying when you are playing for long periods.
Welcome To My Kingdom
Although you are only helping out the Keflings, it is hard not to get attached to the hard work you have put in to their kingdoms. Watching buildings being erected after slaving for half an hour mining the materials and ordering the Keflings around to get the building completed is a very satisfying part of the game. As the kingdoms begin to piece together you can move buildings around and organise towns the way you want. It really is hard to get to grips with it not being your kingdom.
A World of Keflings is in all honesty a simple game with a simple concept. It is a play on many different titles in the past especially life and building simulators. Despite its simple concepts it can be quite hard to keep up with what is going on; making sure you know exactly what each Kefling is doing requires a degree of concentration. The game is not without its annoyances - good news for NinjaBee is that they are few and far between. What annoyed me the most but did not appear until later in the game was that I found myself harvesting more materials than I had Keflings. I would run out of key materials in my factories because I had no Keflings mining and transporting that particular material. When I would use what is called an “emote” to call my Keflings, I would find that they all had jobs that I needed them to keep doing. This meant that I needed to go and mine the materials myself; this I can tell you is tedious and slow. So my kingdom that was going at a decent pace up until now has suddenly arrived at a massive standstill. Materials were being piled up by the Keflings while I was slowly carrying the depleted stock back into the factories.
Tasks can build up quite fast as well. Eventually you will have many different Keflings shouting for your attention all at once, asking you to do meaningless tasks that stop you from getting on with the building process. If you do not attend to these tasks they can build up and you can miss other tasks that could give you important items. This becomes annoying when you are asked to do a task that you need to do, but are only a couple of pieces away from finishing an important building. It seems that the Keflings do not have their priorities straight and do not really care about what you get done. Who put them in charge anyway? In the end, the sense of pride over the kingdoms will be what drives you through the tougher parts.
With A World of Keflings, developers NinjaBee gave me a nice surprise. I enjoyed the game more than I thought I would and due to this, would recommend people to give it a try even if they have apprehensions. It is a simple game with a basic visual presentation and equally basic gameplay mechanics that all work together seemingly well to give you an overall enjoyable experience. I do apologise if I have repeated the words buildings, build, materials, blueprints and Keflings a lot; if you ever wanted to know what the game is about you will find it within those 5 words.
If you love indie and arcade titles you should play this game, you will be surprised at how much you will enjoy it! If you were also looking for something enjoyable to play during the holidays then this would not be a bad purchase.
Thoroughly enjoyable. A simple game that delivers a whole lot of satisfaction.
Keflings are an annoying race. Sometimes the game can be a little tedious and frustrating.