A Kingdom for Keflings is one of the most relaxing city-building simulation games available from the Xbox Live Arcade. While the amount of micromanagement may scare off a few potential players, the amount of freedom and customization available is sure to entice many.
Playing as one of four giants, or using your Xbox Live Avatar, you start with a small hamlet and a couple of Kefling who will manually gather resources and build the infrastructure needed for you to expand the kingdom. Think of the Keflings as cousins to gnomes or other small creatures. Starting with a partially built town square, the Keflings will harvest lumber, mine rocks, sheer sheep, and gather other resources to put toward various structures that are available via unlockable blueprints. You’ll spend hours as you gather the various resources, pile them up, and carry them to their designated shops so they can be used to build new homes, factories, castles, cathedrals, jousting arenas and lots more.
You’re given the opportunity to perform certain tasks for the towns mayor and in return are rewarded with various power ups and love, with the latter allowing you to fill homes with new Keflings and expand your workforce. You’ll also find various power ups scattered around the world for you to equip, allowing you and your Keflings to sheer sheep faster, cut trees faster, be able to lift more and even walk faster. The more you collect, the more you’re character and Keflings become powerful.
You’re even tasked with educating the population so they can perform certain tasks, which will allow you to man certain structures. As you build more structures, more become available to build. Many improve upon previous structures, or help facilitate the production of raw materials.
A highlight of the game is the use of your character, or avatar, as the focal point in the expansion of the kingdom. It’s far more rewarding then using a cursor or hot key, like some other games. It’s a great feeling to expand your kingdom at your own pace, doing what you want, when you want, without worrying about external factors. The music and art of A Kingdom for Keflings adds a lot of appeal. The song are relaxing and upbeat, and the graphics are oozing with charm. Like the colors, the music changes with the four seasons.
There’s also an online multi-player feature which is a co-op affair that speeds up the spread of your kingdom as well as the rate at which rewards are earned. Players can seamlessly join in during a game, work on a few structures or mine some resources and then leave on a whim. Hosting power is reassigned if the host leaves a game.
Overall, A Kingdom for Keflings is an excellent take on a well-established genre. Coupled with the omission of impediments, you’ll find the game relaxing and able to satisfy the demands of gamers of all ages. For 800 Points, the game is an absolute steal.