Build a world in my image,
It might be a revelation to some of you out there, but I love RTS games even though I'm terrible at them. I absolutely adore the notion of putting together bases and getting an economy going. The part where everything falls apart, though, is when I'm required to wage war. I simply hate having to manage troops and worry about an opponent knocking on my base door all the time when I've made everything so nice. That's the main reason I got so deep into A World of Keflings, the sequel to A Kingdom for Keflings.
[image1]A World of Keflings is Ninja Bee's answer for people like me, who enjoy putting stuff together without a lot of worries. With that in mind, this is probably one of the busiest games I've played in a while. The inhabitants of the weird fantasy world who like to call themselves Keflings look up to you, literally, a giant who can do anything, in order to aid them with their problems.
Sure enough, most of these problems are related to construction. The game starts out in a pretty small and snowy map, moving down to a much bigger forest environment, where you spend the majority of the game, and a One Thousand and One Nights-based desert-themed area. The Keflings are your basic units that can be assigned to a wide arrange of tasks, from resource gathering to delivery. And your Xbox Live Avatar lives up to its name as your controllable unit on screen.
Each of the environments in A World of Keflings has a set of unique resources that have to be gathered and processed into raw materials for parts that go into constructing buildings drawn on the various blueprints you run across. For instance, in the desert, sand is obviously one of the resources that can be harnessed, and it can be processed into clay and glass as material components for shops.
Setting up a smart delivery line is key to getting the Keflings' economy going. Too bad they're usually kind of dumb. Thanks to some very dumb A.I and spotty path finding on the part of your minions, you have be on your toes at all times. Telling a Kefling to go pick 'X' resource and deliver it to 'Y' destination is not always guaranteed to work and sometimes a single unit acting stupid can break the flow of your entire economy. Luckily for you the
slave Kefling master, it's pretty easy to set these guys back to work. They level up the more they do a certain task and like any good laborer, are more than willing to switch jobs at the touch of a button.
[image2]Your builder buddies, which are basically bigger Keflings who carry components for you, sometimes get caught in buildings on their way to you. There's also the matter of them completing constructions by themselves. Blueprints that you have already used can be automatically made into buildings by your helpers, which is an immense help in some spots, but can be frustrating in tight spaces due to the shoddy path-finding.
Things do get confusing at times when trying to find a specific building for a certain component you might need due to the zoomed out camera view. The interface doesn't help either, which coupled with the dumb artificial intelligence of your vertically-challenged buddies, makes for a few annoying bumps on the road to a happy kingdom - especially when you get far enough in the game and have dozens of little workers running about. A shortcut menu for managing the workers would have helped make things less cluttered.
Even with these problems, once things get going, A World of Keflings is an addictive blast. You can easily spend up to ten hours in this ten-dollar download and many more hours just fiddling around in your towns. For instance, I jumped online to find a fellow reviewer who had set up a series of cannons so that they would play the Tetris tune while a poor Kefling is fired. There's a huge amount of creative possibilities after you are through with the lengthy single-player campaign that revolve around quests that demand constructions and scattered item fetches.
Multiplayer in a World of Keflings is contained, considering the scope of the game. You can join in a friend's world or host your own, having your blueprints earned in the campaign with you at all times. There's a limited sharing component that makes use of the unique, randomly generated decorative piece collection that can only be fully completed by trading with other players. These items don't go past the cosmetic but are an excuse to hook up with a friend and wreck some havoc in their town. The leaderboards are pretty varied too and if you're the sort to leave your mark in other people's worlds (or banners in this case), you'll be happy to know that there's a board for that statistic here.
[image3]Charm comes by the metric ton in Keflings, and there's some very funny dialogue delivered in dialogue bubbles followed by Banjo Kazooie-esque mumbles and noises. A World of Keflings is also a very colorful game. Every building has its own look and the small Keflings themselves look like little toy action figures.
Considering its faults and weighing them against the pros, A World of Keflings is still an addictive game with a lot of personality and creativity. If you are willing to excuse some of its blemishes, you're bound to get sucked into their world. And for their misfortune, probably enslave them. At least for a few hours a day.