Review

A World of Keflings Review (Xbox360)

The Keflings are back for more of the same, and your giant presence is needed one again. Building on the original A Kingdom for Keflings, A World of Keflings dumps your avatar body into a tiny Kefling countryside and asks you to build, town-plan, and go for a little wander. It's a relaxing collect 'em up, with the focus entirely on creating a Kefling kingdom however you see fit.

Nothing much has changed in terms of formula, as players gather resources and set the Keflings to work grabbing anything they can with their tiny hands. There is never any rush, no time limits, no enemy attacking the walls of your castle - this is an out-and-out stroll-along, allowing you the opportunity to experiment with your town in a sandbox style environment. After several hours you may well have gotten bored of the safe formula, but fans of the original title will love the little guys all over again.

That's an 'ice avatar you've got there

A World of Keflings begins with your Xbox avatar bursting out of a giant block of ice to help a chilly kingdom in need. Just as A Kingdom for Keflings used full Xbox avatars as main characters - indeed, it was in fact the very first Xbox game to do so - A World of Keflings will grab your customized avatar straight from the Dashboard and put you in control. Seeing your guy or gal pottering around the freezing conditions adds a certain charm that most avatar games completely fail to achieve.

Building your town begins with gathering resources dotted around the level. Brambles, stone, iron ore, crystals and the like can be grabbed with your almighty hands and dropped into a workshop, but collecting everything by hand would take a very long time indeed. This is where the Keflings come in - drop a little guy on a resource, and they'll start digging it up. Immediately pick them up and drop them on the workshop, and they'll make a link between the two, and begin shifting that particular resource automatically to your storehouse.

This method can be used for anything, from transporting brambles to the wood carvers to then moving the carved wood back to the factory. Over the course of the game, there are plenty of different buildings that will turn certain resources into other useful materials, and it's essential that you utilize everything available. Think The Settlers, but without all the path-building and the 'Yippee!'s.

Every building is put together via blueprints. There are tons of different building pieces that can be designed and then placed down in a formation, and once all the pieces are in place, they'll explode into confetti and light and be replaced by the appropriate abode. It's really clever stuff, and getting the bits and pieces together is made so simple thanks to some clever interface design.

The dialogue and static cutscenes are quite endearing

Eventually you'll build up through every type of construction and the kingdom will have a royal castle, signalling that this area is complete. There are three different areas to play through, and in total it'll take you around eight hours to place down all three. There is absolutely no rush, however, making this a rather difference building experience than normal. There is no citizen happiness bar, or cash funds to keep an eye on, or enemies bashing down your gates - this is a calming, at your own pace experience that is suitable for anyone.

To say that A World of Keflings has an abundance of personality would be an understatement. There's so much to love about the way the game handles itself, from the witty dialogue between the Keflings to the overall polish of the worlds and your surroundings. For example, every now and again a Kefling can level up once they've done enough work. At this point, you can pick the Keflings up and press X to bop them on the head as if you were trying to get the last ketchup out of the bottle. Is there a better way in any other game to level up your troops? Because if so, we haven't seen it.

Then there are all the little things. Seasons change as you play, with the little houses covered in snow as the winter sets in, and flowers popping up all over the place during spring. You can also use the d-pad to select emotes, allowing you to have a little dance with your Keflings, or scare them half to death. They also don't mind being picked up and kicked, if you're looking for a quick laugh or two.

A World of Keflings can also be played via Xbox Live or with a friend locally. Up to four friends online can join up and create a kingdom together - there's nothing much different from the normal single-player, but piecing the blueprints as a team is great fun, and is worth a good couple of hours of your time. You can also share all the secrets you've found scattered about with a friend via a simple Sharing system - simply select your friend's Gamertag, and hey presto, they have all your items too.

Looks like that sheep had a rather strong curry last night

A World of Keflings is pretty great then, yet it definitely is not for everyone. Players who would describe themselves as 'hardcore' or 'pro' are most likely going to turn their nose up, and with good reason - there really is no action at all to be found in this game. You could leave the game running for hours, and the little town would keep on spinning away, with your Keflings taking every last resource and stripping the forests down. Some will find the pace relaxing, others won't see the point at all.

With this is mind, you're most likely already know whether A World of Keflings is going to be for you. It's a lovingly crafted sandbox experience with enough direction and personality that you'll want to help those little guys to the bitter end. If shooting things is more your game, however, we'd suggest checking out the demo first.

A World of Keflings is available to download now for Xbox 360 from the Xbox Live Arcade.

Top Game Moment: Finishing a particularly large building.

Videos

Comments

By RaviL (SI Core Member) on Dec 22, 2010
RaviL
This remind me of Sim City + Black & White and a spice of Sims :))