A World of Keflings, sequel to A Kingdom for Keflings, is a straightforward resource management game with a solid foundation of harvesting and construction. It’s a decent offering that follows in its predecessor’s footsteps, but never quite reaches far enough to justify a second entry in the series. Sure, the game always provides enough work to keep your avatar and its Keflings busy, and gives you a tangible reason to get that work done - there is always a reward for the effort you make – but unfortunately, that’s where it starts to fall apart. Quite often the payout will be in no way equal to the investment, which only left us feeling cheated.
A World of Keflings’ main problem, though, is that while it begins with the same solid foundation from the first game, it never really grows past that in any significant way. Since it fails to build on its original formula there’s no development whatsoever and the entire game devolves into a dull, repetitive experience. What was fun at first just becomes annoying.
To compound matters, there are some targeting issues that can be frustrating when you repeatedly end up selecting the wrong Kefling, building, or resource. Also, while it isn’t something that arises often (if at all) we would like to issue a warning about something we discovered while playing the game: do not store your “Love” resource near your base at the center of town, as it can cause the game to crash. This occurred twice during our playthrough but it isn’t a situation everyone would enter into.
The game can be fun for the initial phase before the repetition sets in, and it does sport some interesting features, such as in-game avatar support that allows you to put yourself in the world you build, and offline/online co-op so that your friends can join you to help out. Public Xbox Live games on the other hand offer a multitude of devastating griefing opportunities, so take that as you will. Finally there is some neat in-game items attainable by unlocking achievements in other games featured in the Games for the Holidays promotion on the Xbox Live Marketplace. While entirely cosmetic, they can be cool to have in your in-game world.
Whether you’re going to enjoy A World of Keflings or not comes down to a few simple things. Obviously, if you enjoyed the original you’ll probably enjoy the sequel, assuming you’re not expecting world-changing improvements. If you never get tired of the basic ideas at the core of every resource-based strategy game, don’t mind unnecessarily cute (and occasionally lame) attempts at humor, and can get past some minor targeting issues then World could work to fulfill that tiny niche of XBLA resource management games. Of course it also makes matters more fun if you have some friends to help you build your world over Xbox Live.
Feb 22, 2011