A World of Keflings review

by Alex Morgen on December 25, 2010

in Game Review Bits, Xbox News Bits

A World of Keflings (XBLA)

A World of Keflings (XBLA)A World of Keflings
Available for: Xbox 360 (Xbox LIVE Arcade)
Game Developer: NinjaBee
Game Publisher: XBLA
Release Date: December 22, 2010
Official Website: www.ninjabee.com

4 out of 5 stars
Rating:
4 out of 5

Review Summary:
A World of Keflings is an addictive strategy game with light-hearted and non-violent fun. The go at your own pace building sim challenges you to manage resources and build kingdoms, as your Xbox Avatar, to help little Keflings thrive in three unique environments. There are few times that tasks feel like a chore, as the resources, buildings and Keflings multiply with nice variation. The humor and artistic style compliment the fairy tale-like story and unique cast of fantasy characters. NinjaBee manages to throw in all kinds of oddities (robot, witch, pirate, dragon and more) and make it cohesive. A World of Keflings easily is at least 10 hours of gameplay, which is only limited by how big you want the Keflings’ kingdom to grow and how many friends you want to play with online. Easily recommended for newcomers to the Keflings series and to strategy games!

A World of Keflings review

Building upon A Kingdom for Keflings, NinjaBee’s A World of Keflings puts your Xbox Avatar into a Gulliver’s Travels and fairy tale-like world where little Keflings live. Your Xbox Avatar is mysteriously trapped in a block of ice, which the Keflings discover. The Keflings free you from the icy cage, and in gratitude you must help build a bustling community across Ice, Forest and Desert Kingdoms. It may seem like a tall order, but the weight of the world isn’t all on the player’s shoulders. Keflings are great at learning to harvest and even build. Under the player’s direction, the game is paced at one’s own liking. On top of that, A World of Keflings is a non-violent strategy game. The only “weapon” you will find are cannons, which in a Kefling’s world are musical instruments. These musical cannons are a instruments which can be arranged to create music within the game. But on to the heart of the gameplay…

A World of Keflings (XBLA)

With no enemies to fight or timed gameplay pressure, where is the challenge? The challenge is in managing all the little Keflings, doing a bit of scouring the land for items, helping some key Keflings with a few predicaments, and discovering what resources you need to construct a kingdom. NinjaBee has managed to make A World of Keflings a fun game that just about anyone can enjoy. There are a few intertwined stories throughout A World of Keflings, but the main one involves building a castle for a king and helping to raise a princess.

The main gameplay involves harvesting resources such as wood, stone, and much more. The player gathers a few resources from the land, then delivers them to buildings to produce more pieces. These pieces are part of the building blocks puzzle, for even more structures with unique functions and roles in the kingdom. Each region (Ice, Forest, Desert) has a flowchart of structures, or Blueprints, that show you what needs to be constructed. Some of these structures also require additional items to function once built. For example, a home needs a heart to produce more Keflings, and an academy needs a book to educate Keflings.

A World of Keflings (XBLA)

Some of the building’s features may make it fairly subtle as to what its function is, but thankfully NinjaBee has color coded building tiles to the resources they can produce. If you get lost on what is the next task on the to-do list, a simple click of the LT button shows you what you need to complete.

Keflings gain experience as they do their task. When they are ready to level up, a yellow arrow appears above them. Give them a good slap on the back and they will become more efficient. There are some heftier Keflings, the Builder Keflings, that help carry building pieces and even learn to construct buildings after they see you make one of them. Put an initial building piece down and the Builder Keflings will complete it.

A World of Keflings (XBLA)

NinjaBee really knows how to put the Xbox Avatar to use in a game, but the inclusion of Xbox LIVE features doesn’t stop there. Some fun Avatar awards (a pet and helmet) and gamer pictures can be unlocked. Collectible items can be shared with friends playing A World of Keflings to unlock more items. Speaking of friends, there is nice multiplayer and splitscreen support when you play with up to three other players online, or co-op on the same Xbox 360 system at home. Various leaderboard ranking shows where you stand among friends and other players.

Not only are those Xbox LIVE elements thoughtfully used, but there are a couple of perks in A World of Keflings for getting Achievements in the other upcoming XBLA Games for the Holidays titles, Raskulls and ilomilo. Score an Achievement in either of those two games and you will receive a house in A World of Keflings which brings in a couple of characters from each of those games.

A World of Keflings (XBLA)

The graphics for the characters and environments are simple, but have a charming cartoon/puppetry-like appeal. The seasonal changes happen in the Forest environment, showing how time passes. Keflings speak their own language (they are subtitled), but their tones express the personality. You can hear the yearghs of the pirate, cackling of the witch, and you will even pick up on who the humorous Scoobs is inspired from. Much of the fun was in discovering new Kefling characters. Your Xbox Avatar also has many expressions for interacting with Keflings, as you unlock more “emotes” throughout the game.

A World of Keflings steadily rolls out complexity without ever becoming frustrating. I could barely stop directing the Keflings or trying to complete just one more building. Only occasionally, I had to pull myself away when I felt I had to re-direct where many of the Keflings were going. Getting through the main storyline will take at least ten hours, but the gameplay doesn’t stop there. Although the Desert and Ice regions have noticeably smaller land than the Forest region, you can continue to grow your kingdom. There is much fun to be had in the colorful and challenging A World of Keflings. Highly recommended for fans of strategy games who want a unique light-hearted take on the game genre.

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A World of Keflings game trailer from NinjaBee:

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Thanks to Microsoft and NinjaBee for making this review possible!


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