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A Kingdom for Keflings

Score: 90%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: NinjaBee
Developer: NinjaBee
Media: Download/1
Players: 1 - 4; 1 - 4 (Online)
Genre: Strategy/ God Games

Graphics & Sound:

A Kingdom for Keflings is a low-key, casual strategy game, but once you start playing, it is hard to not become hooked.

As one of the first games to take advantage of the NXE, A Kingdom for Keflings lets you use your avatar during gameplay. As simple of an option as this is, it adds an amazing amount of personalization to the game. As much as I enjoyed playing the game, I don't think I would have liked it nearly as much with the default characters.

The entire game has a strong, unified look that is really appealing. The color palette is bright and certain structures will even allow you to personalize buildings. As your workers scurry around town, the seasons will change. It only impacts how things look, but is a nice touch. The changing of seasons also brings a change in music. There isn't much variety, but I'll readily admit that I found myself humming along to the music. New seasons are also accompanied by one of the game's few technical flaws - a choppy framerate. The slowdown isn't debilitating, but is annoying.


A Kingdom for Keflings defies most comparisons. It's part Civilization, part Black & White; the only game that even comes close is Baldies and I think I'm the only person on Earth that remembers that game. The game puts you in charge of a small village of brownies (the Keflings) and charges you with the job of building a thriving community. Most of the gameplay revolves around collecting resources from the map and building structures to refine said resources. Progress is governed by a set of blueprints that you must complete in order to progress your town's ranking.

You begin with a small town and must strive to bring order to it by building a town hall. Once finished, you'll continue to build up structures, eventually unlocking the path towards a castle. The catch is that you have a limited number of Keflings to collect resources with, so you need to constantly shift their jobs around. You'll need a steady stream of Keflings to collect and transport materials, as well as a workforce to man the buildings you create.

Once you complete a town hall, you'll put a Kefling in power and receive requests. Most of the time, you'll need to stock a building with a certain resource, though others will ask you to decide on how commerce should take place in the town or even ask you to exert your dominance over Keflings (i.e., kicking them around town for no reason). Completing requests will earn upgrades for you and the Keflings, like the ability to carry more materials or move faster.

Multiplayer follows the same structure as the single-player game, only with more people. More than anything, how much fun you have in multiplayer is dependent on who you're playing with. I was able to get into one or two sessions that were a blast; everyone worked together and it was fun in that playing with LEGOs sort of way. However, since two Achievements are dependant on you just being in a game with people, I came across several games where people were just standing around waiting for the unlock chime.


A Kingdom for Keflings is a low-impact sort of game. There's no time limit or enemies to fend off, so collecting and building is your main goal. Most of the challenge comes from finding the most efficient way to move assets around the map. You are given a limited number of Keflings, so you'll need to decide how many to dedicate towards certain jobs.

A big part of this involves smart city planning. Keflings don't always take the best routes, which will impact how quickly you can shift things around. You'll want to place the right buildings together, which is trickier than it sounds since resources disappear over time. The best option is to uncover the few infinite resource areas (indicated by an infinity sign) and set up operations from that point. It also helps to go the extra mile and complete requests. The upgrades really help and it is the only way to expand your worker population.

Game Mechanics:

As your society progresses, you'll have to deal with collecting refined resources and more complicated blueprints. All structures are composed of individual structures, like bedrooms and platforms that require specific resource types to construct. Each piece comes from a different shop and requires a different resource type. For instance, early structures require lumber, while mid-level structures require planks, which you must create using lumber at the mill. Eventually you'll come across structures that use carved wood, which comes from lumber.

Switching Keflings around is as easy as putting on a new hat. As the giant, you can pick up a Kefling, place him on a resource or structure and they will immediately go to work. This is another area where efficient city planning plays a major role. The closer things are, the harder it is to select the correct Kefling. You can use (B) to cycle through resources or units, though when you have a lot going on, it is easy to lose track of things.

A Kingdom for Keflings is a fun game, but is by no means perfect. It won't take long to get hooked on the gameplay, but at the same time, the slow, casual pacing makes it hard to play for long stretches. Still, if you're in the mood for a different experience, A Kingdom for Keflings will make a nice addition to your library.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

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