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A Kingdom for Keflings

Score: 72%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: NinjaBee
Developer: NinjaBee
Media: Download/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: God Games/ Miscellaneous/ Family

Graphics & Sound:

A Kingdom for Keflings doesn't aspire to be anything but a pleasant little medieval kingdom-building game. So, the graphics and the sound don't do anything surprising in respect to this. All around, you've got quaint little cottages with a bit of smoke wafting out of the chimneys, green plains and forests, and villagers in humble, but colorful dress. For a bit of variety, seasons change, bringing in snowstorms, windstorms, and even rainstorms depending on the season.

This is also one of those "one song" games, with only one background song playing for the entirety of the game. It's a very long song, happy and upbeat most of the time. It's music that lets you know this is the kind of game where nothing will ever really go wrong. You can always turn off the music and simply listen to the sounds of the breeze blowing and little Keflings chopping away at the forest. This is definitely the kind of game that aims for relaxation. Well, aside from the screams of the little Keflings when you pick them up, it's pretty relaxing.


A Kingdom for Keflings is a basic city-building game, where you're given workers (the Keflings) and resources. Your job is to delegate jobs to the Keflings, chopping wood for example, and to build up their kingdom, ultimately resulting in a grand castle for them. Oh yeah, and you play the role of a giant who walks among the Keflings and builds that kingdom alongside them, one building at a time. Unlike the Xbox version of this game, you can't use a custom avatar. You're stuck with a preset group of giants to play as.

Nothing ever really goes wrong in Keflings. There's no threat of harm, and nothing will kill off your citizens a la Warcraft. Even if you build the wrong buildings and waste resources, you can smash that building to bits and you'll have all the resources given back to you in neat little piles.

There's not much to do beyond this, other than kicking a Kefling, and I'm not really sure why you'd want to punish your hard working little followers. As "sandboxy" as this game could be, it's just really simple, and really just about building buildings. Yes, you can paint the roofs of your buildings, and you can place statues and trees everywhere, but this just feels like an extension of building preset buildings.

There's also an online multiplayer mode that can really extend the life of this game. It's the same game, but your friend plays as another giant. Here, things can go a little wrong, as you can both waste resources building the same things, stealing Keflings away from needed work, and smashing buildings to pieces. The game is also oddly void of a chat interface, and there are is no public game lobby. It's just as well, this is the kind of game you want to play with someone you know, someone you can trust not to wreak havoc on your work, and your poor little Kefling kingdom. In this sort of game, however, the human element can only make things more interesting. So perhaps setting up a game of "good giant/bad giant" is just the kind of thing that will make for some great entertainment.

But then again, maybe this sort of no-lose, easy going game is just what some people are looking for. Indeed, it's strangely addictive, and somewhat therapeutic to simply have the option to build up a small city, make your little Keflings happy, and simply make something nice happen after the effort of only a few simple clicks.


A Kingdom for Keflings isn't a difficult game, but then it isn't really a game oriented toward winning, per se. Sure, there are goals: you should eventually build your little workaholic Keflings a castle, but first you must build a stone cutter shop, next a factory, next a castle workshop, etc. But there's nothing that will really prevent you from reaching your goal. Resources, though they may be located at the edges of the map, are generally unlimited. Though some nodes of resources are finite, they usually unlock special bonuses or equipment if you mine through them. Your Keflings never tire or die off, so you can keep using them to gather resources and transport goods to workshops. There's no timer, no pressure, so you can really do whatever you like.

You could even let the Keflings work while you say, go make a sandwich, or go shopping, or take a cross-country road trip... you know, if you want to cheat at a game that you can't lose.

Game Mechanics:

A Kingdom for Keflings has few problems with its point-and-click interface, but it does have some problems in general. When you build up a city haphazardly, you can make it difficult for yourself to navigate later on in the game. When things overlap, you can hover the cursor over the area and a little mini-menu will come up. Here, you can, in theory, select the object you want from within the jumble. But really, the menu tends to hop around a bit when you try to select something out of it.

There's also the annoyance of the auto-path selection when you're trying to move your giant around the map. You may select a destination that is just next to your giant, but the giant somehow decides it's faster to go all the way around the house in the opposite direction, doing a giant loop to get there. This results in a lot of extra clicks, and a bit of mild annoyance.

These kinds of things seem to come with the territory when you have repetitive task-oriented games anyway. If you do the same thing over and over, you're bound to find fault with even the smallest extra steps you are forced to do.

A Kingdom for Keflings lays itself out for you rather quickly. You'll build houses, you'll cut down trees for wood, and you'll eventually create a small kingdom. It's very simple, it's cute and quaint, and it's mildly addictive. If you're the kind of person who needs a challenge, it's not here. But if you simply want to build a city for some simple, tiny people, then this may be a nice diversion.

-Fights with Fire, GameVortex Communications
AKA Christin Deville

Minimum System Requirements:

OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, CPU: 800 MHz, Memory: 256 MB RAM, Graphics: 3D Graphics Card 32MB, supporting OpenGL 2.0* or later

Test System:

Windows XP, 3.20 GigaHertz Intel Pentium 4, 1 GB Ram, RADEON X850, Creative SB Audigy 2 ZS

Related Links:

Microsoft Xbox 360 Samurai Shodown Sen Windows Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse: Episode 1 - The Penal Zone

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated