Game Review: ‘A World of Keflings’ for XBox Live Arcade

Were you ever one of those people who enjoyed Warcraft or Starcraft where you spent all your time building up an epic base with fully upgraded squads only to become annoyed when a group of invaders would come by and disturb your perfect little kingdom? Well, if so, then A World of Keflings may be the perfect title for you. And there is no pesky Zerg rush to worry about.

Gameplay:

A World of Keflings brings together the charm of the original Kingdom for Keflings title using a player’s dashboard Avatar to manage resources, build structures and assign tasks to three different locations of the Kefling world. A player begins their career as a hulking giant amongst a world of pintsized Keflings which they can interact with by either emoting, assigning to jobs or kicking. While the kicking can be entertaining at times, anyone with a heart will begin to feel bad for mistreating their miniature friends, especially once they have begun giving them names.

Instead, most of the time is spent either assigning jobs to Keflings like mining ice, transporting ore or sheering sheep. A player can also perform any of these actions themselves with the added benefit of their size. While a smaller Kefling may only carry a few of an item, the player can carry larger amounts. This becomes a great benefit when massive undertakings like new buildings must be completed.

Both the player and Keflings can be upgraded during the course of play, with witch’s potions improving the player’s attributes and Keflings leveling up over time by repetition of the same task. These upgrades become beneficial as structures begin requiring more advanced materials to complete. And of course, if a Kefling isn’t working hard or fast enough, there is always the option of kicking them into shape.

Players are also given a group of special larger Keflings who act as personal assistants. As a player progresses, more of this family is unlocked. These Keflings will help carry building components and stockpiles of resources behind a player, allowing for faster construction. Once a player has completed a structure, the helpers will be able to complete buildings on their own by mimicking what they saw a player do based on the blueprints at hand.

Story and Presentation:

The story at the heart of A World of Keflings is a simple one. The player is thawed from a giant block of ice and is heralded by the small Kefling people as somewhat of a savior / slave combination. As much as they love him, the little buggers always seem to have a new favor to ask of him. Ordinarily, these tasks would feel mundane for a giant but the little guys wind up being pretty entertaining and charming, so it quickly becomes addictive completing these quests to find out what lies ahead.

A World of Keflings is filled with charming characters including a slightly unmotivated King Without a Castle and his rebellious Princess daughter. The special Kefling helps include Scoobie who, almost as expected, talks like Scooby-Do. These characters add to the addictive nature of the game as players cannot wait to find out what unique and quirky new friend lies ahead of them as they unlock new blueprints to help build better and bigger Kefling structures throughout the Ice, Forest and Desert worlds of the game.

Graphics and Sound:

The look of A World of Keflings doesn’t call for hyper realistic models with millions of polygons. Instead, the quaint charm of the game is brought out through its simple art design. Fitting the aesthetic of the player’s Avatar, the cartoonish Keflings fit perfectly in the bright fairytale world.

The sound design also lends itself to the lighthearted Kefling style. Like the first game, there is no voiceover. Instead there is a Simlish type language spoken by characters that keeps up the highpitched energy of the rest of the game that keeps players emerged in this fantastic world.

Overall:

A World of Keflings doesn’t have many flaws to deal with. Controls are tight and simple. The only real issue players may come across is the lack of conflict. There is no force pushing against a player waiting to be forced back. Instead, players must be content to be a benevolent helper bee for the society of vertically challenged miscreants. If resource management, construction and basic questing with a lack of combat are your thing, A World of Keflings delivers on all counts.

XBox Live Arcade

Developer: NinjaBee

Publisher: Microsoft Games Studios

Price: 800 Microsoft Points ($10.00)

Score: 7.5

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