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A Kingdom For Keflings Review
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A Kingdom for Keflings is the PC port of the Xbox Live Arcade game of the same title, in which you take on the role of a giant who has been called on to help the halfling race known as Keflings build a kingdom, and ultimately, a castle. The Xbox version allowed your avatar to take on the role of the giant, whereas the PC port gives you eight giants to choose from, four male, four female. Your choice of giant affects gameplay in no way, and is purely an aesthetic feature.ao7yae A Kingdom For Keflings Review

The game at first appears to be a brainless cartoony city builder aimed at ten year olds, but as your town and population grows, the game begins to shine as its complex micromanagement and resource management shows through. You start off with only the most basic of buildings requiring basic resources, and then as you build these the more complex and larger buildings are unlocked, requiring more complex materials and more time to be completed. For example the basic house you start out with only requires logs and stone to build, but a later building such as the witch’s hut requires refined materials, where logs would be replaced with planks, and stone replaced with bricks. The gameplay carries on like this pretty much unchanged until you eventually unlock the ability to build the Kefling’s castle, which signals the end of the game. Expect to play the game once then bin it, there is next to no replay value to be found here.

This demand for materials soon requires you to call on the help of your Keflings to gather and process the materials. To give a Kefling the job of gatherer, you can drop them next to a patch of trees or a stone mine and they will begin to extract that resource. They don’t actually return the resource back to a workshop or stockpile, rather they pile it up next to where they work. To get it to your workshop you need to give another Kefling the job of transporting the materials. This is an easy task, simply by dropping the Kefling at the resource pile, then pick them up again and place them at the building you want the resource delivered to, and they begin transporting the material until told otherwise.

This is a key feature of the game, especially once you develop a larger town, and can get quite complex as you have Keflings transporting goods from on building to another, processing materials and stockpiling supplies in workshops across your town to help you build the next structure you unlock. Fortunately unlike a more complex city builder your Keflings will never stop for rest, food or drink, and will never complain when you decide to get abusive and give them a kick around. They just get back to the job at hand, meaning you can expect a steady flow of resources available for use.

Apart from the ultimate goal of building the castle for the Keflings, the game remains pretty devoid of any objectives, making for relaxing but often tedious gameplay. The presence of a town mayor gives you the option to do side quests to receive upgrades to your equipment, but they are not key to gameplay and so I found no reason to do them. The only real reason I carried on playing the game was to see what building I could add to my town next, but even that got monotonous after a couple of hours.

What the game lacks in interesting gameplay it doesn’t make up for in graphics or sound either. With no option to turn the graphics up or any type of anti-aliasing present, it makes for sub-par graphics. The game lags severely too as your city grows, which makes no sense as the graphics are so simplistic even a basic PC can render them. Also the map size isn’t the biggest, as your penned in on all sides with seemingly no way in or out. The in-game music was boring too, with literally a handful of songs to listen to. In the end I turned the music off, but this made the game worse as it seems the developers forgot to include any form of sound effects or ambient noise in your town. I resorted to booting up iTunes in the background to deal with the awkward silence the game presented.

So to round things off, apart from the lack of any real objectives, shoddy graphics, tedious music and a complete lack of sound effects, A Kingdom for Keflings is a quirky city builder aimed at a younger audience, and should be played in short bursts of no longer than about an hour. It helps to have your iTunes library stocked too.

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A Kingdom For Keflings Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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