King of the castle.
Little King’s Story is a fairy-tale-real-time strategy game, originally released for the Wii and now ported over to PC. The player takes the role of the Little King, responsible for reversing the fortunes of the Kingdom of Alpoko by employing its citizens, gathering resources, generating some income for the Kingdom’s coffers and expanding its borders.
Little King’s Story’s presentation is very bright, cutesy and a little over the top, encapsulating the fairy-tale, slightly childlike tone of the game. There is nothing inherently wrong with it, but it wasn’t for me. Graphics wise it obviously doesn’t compare to modern-day titles, and the makeover afforded Little King’s Story from its Wii debut isn’t particularly striking or impressive.
My time with Little King’s Story got off to an auspicious start: the first time I tried to boot this game it crashed. Then, once I got past the menu screen, within thirty minutes I experienced issues with the sound cutting out and some serious lag. At one point nothing was working – I couldn’t control anything and had to reboot the game.
The frame rate is essentially capped at 30fps. While there is an option to run the game at 60fps, it literally says “not recommended” next to this choice. Now don’t get me wrong – my intent here is not to be a ‘PC Master Race’ snob over this, nor do I mean to get bogged down in a redundant debate about fps rates in general. However, it’s not splitting hairs to say that this port of Little King’s Story has serious frame rate issues. I was running this game on a very high spec PC. At times Little King’s Story runs extremely badly at 30fps and is prone to some bad lag issues – to the point where it is unplayable.
Other than the above-noted frame rate issues, the gameplay experience is also marred by some terrible controls. This might actually be the port’s biggest flaw. Playing with a mouse and keyboard (well, essentially a keyboard as the mouse isn’t catered for) is a torturous affair. Even mundane tasks like saving result in a serious amount of frustration, as navigating the menus is an extreme exercise in patience. Once the player is actually tasked with navigating the big wide world, directing citizens and aiming at targets, the whole exercise becomes incredibly arduous.
The story also didn’t grab me at all. After a few hours of playing, everything seemed to become pretty mundane and, ultimately, boring. Unfortunately, that’s not something a patch is going to fix.
Save your gold.
Little King’s Story is not the worst port to have ever existed. However, the myriad problems that exist in the game mean the overall experience playing it on PC is badly tarnished. Essentially, it’s just really, really annoying. At the moment it is a bit of a broken mess and, until these issues are addressed anyone wishing to experience this title would do better to revisit the Wii original than waste time or money here.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.