Watch out for the bears in the forest. Seriously.
Well, explanations seem to vary as to why, but your Avatar giant appears to have ended up being frozen in ice at the end of the first game, A Kingdom for Keflings. Fortunately, you have been defrosted in time to help yet more Keflings in their mission to build better kingdoms. That was lucky.
First things first. The Kefling games revolve around the player controlling a giant and using that giant to build structures to complete objectives and unlock new structures. The first thing that this involves is the gathering of resources, which vary depending on where you are. Gathering the resources and dropping them off at a workshop will allow the player to create modular rooms which, when arranged according to the blueprint, will result in a building. As the player progresses they will unlock new buildings that will turn basic resources into more refined resources that are required for more complex buildings.
The giant is not alone in this endeavor and can call on the help of the little Kefling people. Building a house/cottage/mansion and adding the appropriate heart will create more Keflings for the player to assign jobs to. By simply picking up a Kefling and dropping them on a resource will make them start gathering that resource, then drop them again at a workshop to have them deliver the resource once harvested. Some resources will require the player to locate the appropriate tool before they can start gathering them.
Well, that pretty much covers the basics, which are more or less unchanged from the first game. But there are a lot of changes in this second Kefling game from NinjaBee.
The first of these changes that becomes apparent is that the game begins in a snow covered kingdom. There are three kingdoms in total to be unlocked, with travel between them made by using gates that have to be fixed. Both the beginning snow Kingdom and the later unlocked desert Kingdom can be thought of as the side Kingdoms and offer a much smaller map and a smaller selection of buildings that have to be built. The main Kingdom is very similar to the Kingdom from the first game and will see the player gradually working towards their final goal of building a super-cool castle for the slightly inept King.
Through the game, the player will be given tasks by various Keflings that serve to move the game forward and unlock the required blueprints/materials to progress. Some of the tasks are simple gather based, whilst others may offer more variety and require the use of some of the games new features, such as the emotes.
The player unlocks these emotes throughout the game. By using the d-pad, the player will bring up a grid of different emotes that, once selected, will have their giant perform an action, such as waving, dancing and growling. These actions will have an effect on surrounding Keflings and will need to be used at certain times for particular tasks. They also serve to make for some funny interactions with other players.
The multiplayer game is available again, but this time NinjaBee have included local co-op, which can be quite enjoyable. This is especially handy for helping the less Kefling-aware with their problems.
In the first game, a lot of time would be spent carrying rooms from the workshops to the location of the building. This time around the player gets some help from a whole family of over-sized Keflings. Starting with one, and gradually working up to five, these helpers will collect the rooms fro you and bring them to wherever you are standing, then dutifully run off to get another room. They are even capable of building the entire house if they have seen it built in the Kingdom already.
As with all of the other Games for the Holidays, A World of Keflings is cute and colourful to look at. It offers quite a relaxing gaming experience, something which certain adrenaline fueled gamers may find difficult to enjoy. The humour levels have been ramped up since the first game and there are plenty of instances where a chuckle may escape from the gamers mouth.
Even with all of the new additions, the core gameplay still remains the same and involves gathering and building. NinjaBee have played it safe by not changing what made the first game so popular, but in doing so risk not appealing to new gamers who have not sampled the pleasures of A Kingdom for Keflings.
By purchasing both IloMilo and Raskulls, the player will unlock the ability to build both an IloMilo house and a Raskull house within their game. This does nothing to change the game, but seeing Ilo, Milo and a couple of Raskulls wandering around your Kingdom is pleasing.
A World of Keflings may not have changed that much from it’s predecessor, but that doesn’t stop it from being a great game. The additions that have been made polish the game and take out some of the more tedious aspects, so are still welcome. Those who have not played the first game and fancy a more peaceful gaming experience should certainly give this a try. Those that have played A Kingdom for Keflings will know what to expect here, an improvement over the original, and should pick this up at the earliest opportunity. Not quite the evolution that I was expecting, but still a first class game.