Reviews

A World of Keflings – Review

Release Date: Out now!
Developer: Ninja Bee
Publisher: Ninja Bee
Singleplayer: Yes
Splitscreen: Yes
Multiplayer: Yes

Having never played a Kingdom of Keflings I was a little unsure about what to expect when I fired it up. Friends had often urged me to play the original, but somehow I just never had the time, but here I am playing the second and loving every second of it.

The game starts with the players Avatar being unfrozen (yes, your Avatar is the star of the game) and being greeted by a bunch of pint-sized little people.
The premise here is simple enough, you’re going to help these little guys build up their Village which gives you access to the main game area, where you’ll then help the King without a Castle get a castle, by building up  his little town into a huge city worthy of a King. He has quite an ego for someone so damn small.
That’s pretty much the story in a nutshell, there are no further complications, no enemies to worry about and no complex plot convulsed by terrorist attacks.

You use your giant Avatar to stroll around the world picking up Keflings and showing them what resources to gather, or making them transport it to a specific place so you can construct the items you need.
At its heart this is mostly a resource management game, and not a challenging one at that. Mostly it’s a case of simply transferring Keflings from one job to the other to get whatever you need at the time.
Once you’ve got these resources new buildings are constructed with blueprints you earn through play, and to build one you must construct all the separate pieces at specific buildings, these pieces are things such as chairs, towers and more – then you just place them in the correct pattern and there you have it!
The gameplay on offer is simple, but it’s an oddly compelling type of gameplay that simply kept me playing for almost 5 hours straight as it’s simply relaxing to explore and build up towns.

And that’s the games big flaw right there, for the games entire 5-6 hour singleplayer the only goal is to build things, and then get enough resources to build the next thing.
Occasionally you’ll be asked to collect something, which usually only takes a few seconds and then you’re back to just patiently waiting to build the next object.It’s certainly a repetitive game, and yet oddly therein lies its odd charm: this is a strangely compelling and very relaxing game, asking little concentration nor lightening fast reflexes to continue.

Along the way through this adventure you encounter a few key characters, each written with a great sense of humour that will keep you smiling throughout the game, whether it is the Princess falling in love with a frog or a robot making fun of a pirate the game always has a touch of humour to bring a smile to your face and help to keep you playing the game through its unique charm.

The music on offer here is also well done, and suits the games more relaxed nature with soothing acoustic numbers and quiet tunes that play in the background. The music never overwhelms the game or detracts from the experience, instead is simply adds another layer of quiet ambience.

You can also bring friends on via Live to help out in your world, and you can share unique collectibles with them as well as add your own touches to their world. It works well and having a few friends strolling around kicking seven kinds of snot out of your citizens is great! well…. maybe not for the Keflings.

One oddity I shall note is the lack of a free-build mode which would seem a must in such a game but is oddly missing here.
After ending the game you can continue with your little Kingdom and simply demolish what you don’t want anymore, but you already have massive resources making it rather pointless and without a free-build the only way to go back and enjoy building another Village or Town is to restart the singleplayer.

As the final word I would say that World of Keflings will not appeal to much of the new generation that has been bred entirely on Call of Duty games, but for those looking for a change of pace this is a game that you shouldn’t miss out on.
I often asked myself: “why am I playing this game?” and then I’d just shrug and keep playing. It has an addictive and charming quality that keeps you coming back to play more, to make sure your little world is running right, and just so you can kick a Kefling over a house. Happy times.

The Good:
+ Watching your little Village turn into a massive place of commerce and joy.
+ Kicking Keflings! Take that you little swine!
+ The humour!

The Bad:
- Repetitive.
- No free-build mode.

Scores:

Graphics: 7
Cute, colorful and pretty to look at but the environments are a little on the bland side and everything has a rather blocky look.

Sound: 7.5
The music on offer suits the game well, and the odd sounding Keflings are great. Shame your Avatar can’t do noises really.

Story: 4
You’re going to build a Castle for the King without a Castle. Pretty simple stuff.

Gameplay: 8
Simplistic in nature, but utterly compelling and charming without reason to be.

Lifespan: 7
Around 5-6 hours if you plow through it.

Overall: 8
repetitive and simple, but hard to put down.
A game that can be picked up and played by gamers all ages and a great way to spend a quite night in.
Charming, funny and compelling. What more do you want?

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