It’s like Gulliver’s Travels all over again! Developer NinjaBee has revisited it’s fun filled fantasy land of Keflings with a brand new release, World of Keflings which is now available as part of the Games for the Holiday’s promotion on Xbox Live. For the uninitiated, the Keflings game puts your avatar into the game as a giant among a group of small beings named Keflings. It’s up to you to help them solve their problems, like building houses and factories while putting them to work both collecting and processing the resources required. It’s not too far removed from classic city building titles like Settlers, but this is a stripped down version easily contained within the Xbox Live Arcade mindset, easy enough that anyone can play with enough humor to keep older players from becoming bored with the gameplay.
Some nice tweaks to the gameplay have been included that propel this iteration above its predecessor, the biggest being three different kingdoms to visit each requiring a new castle and interaction between them all to accomplish goals. One other great tweak is the inclusion of some Keflings who do nothing but follow you around and carry resources for you. Once you have the parts of a new building queued up, as they are build these Keflings will carry the piece to your location, so you can build it. This helps cut back dramatically on the backtracking you’d need to do. Additionally, if it’s a building that you’ve constructed once before such as a house – as long as it’s listed as your ‘active’ building, the helper will finish off a building providing you’ve placed at least one of the components. Again, this is a great time saver.
As with the first game, humor is a big component of the title and seeing as NinjaBee is the developer that can’t be much of a surprise. Whether it be the lovable Canadian-styled ‘Kefkimos’ or the lovable buffoons who speak with words far beyond their vocabulary level, the game is a joy to play. I found myself chuckling quite a few times at the interactions between my avatar and the Keflings, which also kept me wanting to play the game more.
There are some minor issues that can easily be worked out in the game, the biggest being the tendency for you to build all your buildings relatively close together. This can be a problem as the size of the kingdom grows and you’re converting one raw resource into two or three different end products; because it’s tough to trace the route of a transporter Kefling in the packed area. Thankfully, you can move building around to gain some space, but as a tip from me to you – start spacing buildings out as you build them. Allow for the extra transport time because really, the game is best at a nice slow methodical pace. Nothing is going to come and kill your character, and the game is meant to be relaxing while playing with no goals unattainable by any gamer, providing you can follow the most basic of instructions.
Another great addition is the inclusion of local multiplayer as well as the previously available online multiplayer. Players can join one another’s worlds and help build, collect and interact with the Keflings. They can also build towers which highlight player who built it for eons to come in the host’s world.
Being part of the Games for the Holidays promotion, there is some interaction between this game, Raskulls, which is released next week, and Ilomilo, which comes out in early January. In the Kefling world, you can get access to buildings in the style of the two other titles in the promotion as you unlock achievements in each respective game. NinjaBee also takes a look at your past gaming and unlocks special emotes for your avatar if you have other games that they’ve developed in your play history.
With the amount of humor and relaxing gameplay that World of Keflings brings to the holiday game lineup, it’s a very safe recommendation for anyone who’s a fan of the series. Gamers who enjoy the resource collection and city building style of game, but don’t want to deal with the minutia of some of the PC titles this is a great alternative. Much like the Civilization Revolutions vs. Civ 4 of the PC world, this group of Keflings is simplified gaming in all its glory.
- Gamers can return to the humorous world of Keflings to collect, build and solve problems alone or with friends. Just don’t get Doug the Kefkimo upset!
Platform reviewed: Xbox 360
— Jeff Paramchuk