There’s one thing you can definitely say about Keflings; they sure are cute. Anyone who has played the first game, A Kingdom for Keflings, will know what I mean. The premise for the game is a simple one; your avatar has been unfrozen by the tiny inhabitants and they require your help to build and develop their land. This is done by mining for things such as rock and ore and by cutting down trees. You can then use the minerals to build things such as houses, lumber mills, stone cutters and workshops. As you progress through the game you will be rewarded with blueprints for more elaborate buildings. You can then utilize the resources of the various buildings to create them. You won’t be alone in the task either. As you build more houses and fill them with love (you are given hearts by completing certain tasks or by finding it in the landscape), more Keflings will appear.
You can give the Keflings tasks such as chopping trees, or transporting minerals. You can use as many or as few as you like. It’s all about the micro management as you delegate the work required to build more and more structures. A slight difference to the Keflings this time round is that they can level up their skills. The longer they work on a job, the better they become at it. As they level up (to a maximum of level five) they start to work faster and more productively meaning that the jobs get done more quickly.
Another addition to this game is the introduction of the Builder Keflings. These guys are bigger than a normal Kefling and as such do not worry themselves with the menial tasks. Instead they follow you around and are ready to help with the heavy lifting. If a blueprint requires several parts, they will help you carry them over to where you want them placed. They will also learn from you, so if you end up building more than one type of structure, they will eventually be able to put all the parts in the correct place and finish the job for you. It’s a great help and means that you don’t have to keep going backwards and forwards to the workshops to pick up the parts.
Another difference from the first game is how the story progresses. This time round you have more interactivity with the little guys. They will give you various missions to complete and will reward you with blueprints, love and other goodies as succeed. This gives the Keflings a lot more charm as they are often very funny. They also have their own little language similar to the Sims.
There are three continents to explore in the game. You start off in the Frozen Lands, and as you move through the game you will travel to the Forest and Desert. Each land has its own inhabitants with their own goals and ambitions. Although the buildings you make for them are all very similar from land to land, they just give them different names.
The game looks cute enough, but it isn’t a massive improvement on the first game. The sound, although more varied, can also get a bit tiresome and repetitive. The game can also get a bit boring after a while as well because even thought you travel through different lands, the job itself stays the same. And even with all the help you get from the different Keflings, there are still times when you find yourself move from one part of the map to the other over and over again.
But it is the small improvements to the original game that stand out. Such as colour codes buildings and blueprints which make is so much easier to know which workshops you need to visit to build the necessary parts. There is also the sharing function which allows you to send collectables to your friends via an xbox message.
There is also a multiplayer mode which allows you to build a kingdom either Local or online so you can get your build on with your buddies.
Ninja Bee have taken all the best bits of A Kingdom For Keflings and have added some great features to make this a true and worthy sequel. Even though it can get a little repetitive, the fun and charm that fills the game will carry you on through the rough bits. At just 800msp this game, the first of three winter treats from Microsoft is a real steal.
Review copy provided by publisher.