Oh the good old days of 2008. They brought us some brilliantly fun games. But this one may not be one you remember. A Kingdom for Keflings is one of the very first arcade games I ever played and I think the first game I ever bought off of the Xbox Live store. So after nine years I thought we’d kick back and look at an older game.
Bear in mind, this game came out during the days of Microsoft Points. So this game was 800 Microsoft points. I can’t remember how much money that transfers into. Maybe about six or seven pounds? Honestly not sure. Still, it’s not important, if you really want this game then it’s rather cheap regardless.
So like we always do lets start off with what is right about the game. We’ll be here for some time because there’s honestly quite a lot. The prominent feature you can probably see is that the graphics are bloody lovely. It’s got that real XBLA arcade feel that a lot of games on the market now lack, so it was a lovely throwback.
The main feature of this game was that you could play as your avatar. Bearing in mind this was 2008, so this was an absolutely huge deal to a lot of people. Surprisingly, it worked extremely well. The graphical styling of the game really compliments that of the avatar and your avatar doesn’t look out of place. I mean, my avatar wears a suit, so I guess you can be a little out of place at times. Still, it’s bloody impressive that not only can you play as yourself but that it also looks impressively brilliant.
I should just point out quickly, this game is absolutely phenomenal to play with friends. I’ve sank probably just under one hundred hours into the multiplayer of this game alone. Usually I play games for achievements, but the multiplayer has little to no achievements, but I kept playing. It managed to encapsulate my interest without my only bargaining chip.
Unsurprisingly, this game is one of the most relaxing games I’ve ever played. For those expecting a tense “everything can go wrong in a second.” game, then this is certainly not the game for you. Relaxing gameplay is something that everyone should experience every once in a while, just because of how bloody nice it is. The overall aesthetic of the game is probably the reason it’s so relaxing, everything is just so jolly and upbeat.
Sim City without the stress is how I would describe this game. You’re in charge of building up a kingdom for these Keflings (hint is in the title.) and you can build in any way you want. You’re given blueprints and shown how to build, but that’s it. You can put any building anywhere so long as you have the space. This element of freedom is much needed. It creates this idea that you own the Keflings, not the other way round. Freedom is necessary in this game.
Mind you, I say freedom is necessary, it is pretty fun to literally kick the Keflings. You can boot them for miles and miles and they just won’t complain. They’re great obedient slaves these Keflings. It’s what makes them such hard workers. You can pick them up too, if you literally want to throw your Keflings around.
So what do you do with these Keflings? Well, I was joking when I said they were slaves, but they literally are just slaves. You can make them harvest resources and place them into storage buildings for you. What I found to be the best thing to do was just let them farm stuff for a couple hours. Mainly until you had a large area free. Still, it’s just as fun to do it yourself.
One thing I liked is that you can’t just get all the upgrades through normal gameplay. Some of them you can, such as allowing the Keflings to move faster and carry more. But if you want things such as new and improved tools then you actually have to find them in random spots around the area. It’s a great way to do it and means you won’t be spending resources on upgrades instead of buildings. There isn’t really any other way of doing the upgrades system, so the way they’ve done it now works perfectly.
But wait, there’s more! I can count my lucky stars, this game is an easy completion. Personally this is a big deal to me, I’ve started to like completing games more and more now. This is one of the more recent completions I’ve done, only 200G, but very fun.
Of course, we do have to talk about the negatives though, which there are a few of. Nothing too bad, the biggest negative I can really think of is there are some huge lag spikes occasionally. This is primarily when either the seasons change or a building is being rendered. Not in the sense that it lags constantly, but for a few moments the game freezes. Probably because it’s rendering so many things on the screen at once, but still, pretty poor.
Some players may want to mute the game. Not because the music and sound quality is bad, but that it’s repetitive. At one point in my game I’d been playing for that long the music just stopped. The music in the actual game couldn’t be bothered to keep being repetitive and gave up on me.
But something that bothered me more than the lacking music was the fact that the majority of achievements couldn’t be obtained in the multiplayer. I’m not sure why this was the case though. There are two achievements that are multiplayer exclusive and ten exclusive to the singleplayer. I know it’s only a small thing but the multiplayer gameplay is literally the same thing.
And one final thing is that the add on maps add nothing new really. Still quite fun, but it’s the same game. But overall, what did I think? Bloody fantastic. Whether you’re playing alone or with a friend, you could sink hours and hours into this and get nowhere.
If you can get this on sale then I highly recommend it, if you can’t, well still get it. Genuine fun is something I miss about reviewing games and this really revitalised the fun.