When A Kingdom for Keflings first released on the Xbox Live Arcade last year, it was in the midst of several cheap, crappy games designed to make use of your then-new avatar. Not only was it by and far the best of the bunch, it was actually a genuinely good game, albeit a bit monotonous.
And now it is once again time to lend your hand in aid to the architecturally-challenged Keflings to flesh out their puny little kingdom. Rather than simply building up one kingdom, however, the sequel charges you to aid the Keflings in three different kingdoms: the Ice Kingdom, Forest Kingdom and Desert Kingdom.
For those of you that missed out on the original title, A World of Keflings is rather simple; the Keflings want a castle — or, in the case of the Ice and Desert kingdoms, a palace — and you’re going to have to build it for them. In order to do so, you’ll descend through RTS-like building tech trees, many of which require different resources; and that’s where the Keflings themselves will come into play.
Beyond being good for satisfying your more sadistic desires of kicking them around while laughing like a maniac, the Keflings are only really good for one thing: gathering resources. You’ll send your Keflings off to harvest wood, crystal, rock, sheep fur and numerous other supplies in order to expand each zone’s kingdom. As you flesh out each zone, you’ll be given quests from the “special” Keflings that reward you with items for upgrading and, occasionally, a blueprint for a new building.
Back when it was announced, NinjaBee touted story as a new focus for A World of Keflings, and they more or less delivered on their promise. In the process of fleshing out each region, you’ll encounter various special Keflings with dialogue ranging from corny to chuckle-worthy, and it’s through these Keflings that the entire story is told. The narrative isn’t particularly compelling to say the least, but it doesn’t try to be. It’s there to ease the monotony of constantly building and managing your Keflings and it serves to breathe life into an otherwise boring world.
The main issue from the previous game, the monotony, hasn’t improved very much in the sequel. You’ll get a welcome change of pace in the Ice and Desert kingdoms, but the majority of your time will be spent in the Forest kingdom doing all the legwork for your Keflings. As monotonous as it all can be, it’s also something else: very addictive. It’s very easy to get lost in the game as you’re ordering Keflings about, erecting buildings to make more buildings and just simply kicking back and enjoying your creation.
Not only is it addictive and an all-around good time, it’s also fairly long for an Xbox Live Arcade release. From start to finish took me around 7 hours and 30 minutes, and that’s with only a short amount of that time spent goofing off. Your mileage may vary, of course, but for those willing to commit to helping the little fellows build their castle, you can expect at least a good 7 hours worth of construction, management and Kefling hijinks.
If you were put off by the repetitiveness of A Kingdom for Keflings, you’re likely not going to find much in this to be an improvement. But if you’re willing to drop the more than agreeable 800 Microsoft Points on A World of Keflings, you’ll find a lengthy and relaxing title that will suck hours of your time out from under you before you know it. If you’re looking for something pleasant to escape to after a heated game of Call of Duty: Black Ops or Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, you ought to do yourself a favor and check this out.
Score: 8/10 – Great
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