A World of Keflings Review

jmaltz@pnosker.com December 22, 2010 0

Here’s a challenge for you: try to play through A World of Keflings without uttering the words “awww” or “adorable” at least once.  Much like its predecessor, NinjaBee’s latest game slathers on the cuteness right from the very first moment and doesn’t stop layering it on until you tear yourself away from your console.  However, the first entry into Microsoft’s Games For The Holidays series is not all flash; it packs an equally fun punch and delivers some solid, simple, and creative fun to gamers who are tired of shooting enemies.

A World of Keflings will be quite familiar to anyone who played A Kingdom For Keflings.  Much like the original, you’ll be tasked with taking a small village and building a castle in it, a quest that will take you through three visually distinct kingdoms.  Although none of the areas are technically impressive, they do have a whimsical art style that makes the title feel playful throughout.  Furthering this atmosphere is some truly humorous dialog.  Sure, it is a bit sophomoric at times, but when combined with the graphics, these tiny characters should have you chuckling your way through Ninja Bee's creation.



In order to bring the little man his building, you’ll need to use your keflings to gather resources from the three kingdoms.  Worker management is incredibly simple, only requiring you to drag and drop your keflings onto the desired job in order to cast him or her in that role for the entire game. This means that the worker you set to harvesting stone in the very first minute will roam all the way across the map in order to find the next source of his or her resource.    Although the ease of worker management may feel too shallow for those who enjoy micromanagement, most gamers will appreciate being freed up to create structures.

Building is where the real fun of A World of Keflings comes from.  For one, creating buildings is tied together by a truly fantastic interface that condenses tons of information down into a few easy to navigate screens.  Any structure consists of a number of tiles that can be created are then brought to you by your builders.  After arranging these in their proper shape (seen from blueprints), the tiles magically transform into whatever it was you were working on.   The system is not complicated, but it does give an incredible feel of having created something, which is worth far more than any layer of complexity.  


Completing the sense of unbridled creativity, Ninja Bee's sequel is a game that never truly ends.  Sure, you can complete the main quest, but you aren’t forced to stop playing once The King has received his rightful throne.  You can continue building you town for as long as you want, beautifying it and even making some ridiculous cannon creations. Many gamers will probably just stop once the main goal has been completed, but the ability to continue playing allows you to continue with the same creation which makes the game so joyous.

Should you get bored of playing with yourself, you can team up with either one friend locally or three online to build your world as a team.  Multiplayer doesn’t play out very differently than single player, although it does expedite much of the resource gathering and allow for more complicated cannon creations to be assembled with ease.  Other than that though, multiplayer doesn’t add much other than the fun of playing with friends.

Much like its multiplayer, the whole of A World of Keflings is not deep and nuanced experience.  What it is though, is undeniably fun experience that is near sure to bring a smile to your face.  Given this, if you’re the type of gamer who craves complex systems to manage and a myriad of moving parts you’ll almost assuredly find World of Keflings too simple for your tastes.  However, if you can enjoy some good, simple, relaxing gameplay definitely give the first entry into the Games For The Holidays latest game a try.

[A World of Keflings]-800 MSP

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