It would seem A Kingdom for Keflings has expanded in recent months to include an entire Kefling WORLD. They call it “A World Of Keflings.” Shocking I know, but it encompasses the idea perfectly. It’s a world, and it’s full of different Keflings. This world also has some pretty spiffy co-op to try out, which I did. Here’s what I saw.
A World of Keflings is a tough concept to grasp without getting your hands on it, but very basically it’s a strategy, world building, adventure and simulation game with Keflings. You are a large inhabitant that is nothing like a Kefling (in fact, you play as your Xbox avatar). You are kindly asked by the little Keflings to build their world one kingdom at a time.
With a world building strategy game, you have to manage materials. The basics you might expect are all present: wood, stone, ice - well alright, some of the “basics” depend on which Kefling region you’re in. There are 3: The Snowy North where the Kefkimos roam. The Magical Kingdom complete with illiterate King, spoiled princess, and a strange witch. And finally the Desert Kingdom with desert, uh - things around.
Keflings can be ordered to do many tasks by picking them up and dropping them on an objective. Drop a Kefling on a tree and they will mine wood until you give them another task for example. You can pick up most Keflings, but it becomes irritating if you can’t pick one up. The screen flashes an error stating that a particular Kefling can’t be moved, stopping the game (for both players) to tell you every time.
Along with the materials you assign Keflings to mine from the world map, you will also do quite a bit of building and converting of said materials. For instance, Ice blocks can be converted into ice sculptures, wood logs into planks of wood, and crystals into gems. Different materials are made into different items for your world, and items are combined on a grid formation to create various buildings.
As well as building you will be asked to complete several tasks similar to any adventure game. Objectives like finding items or kicking Keflings will grant you certain bonus items from various important Keflings (the King, a Witch, a Chieftan). Those items often grant upgrades for your character, or other side quest capabilities along the way. Either player in co-op can initiate or complete these quests, making everyone feel involved and important to the Kefling well-being.
Your real goal as a giant protector is to carry materials mined by Keflings to be processed or used to build, and building items on the world map. Oh, and dancing or otherwise Emoting, and tossing Keflings around - but that’s beside the point. Any of these tasks are made much easier with two people; one to take on each primary task, and both dancing in the streets for goofy fun.
My co-op partner and I split up the primary duties based on our ability to organize. He was having trouble remembering to stock up the minerals, and I was annoyed with the little building Keflings who had issues dropping the goods they carried. As such, I was in charge of keeping the various workshops supplied with materials, while he set up places to put all of our buildings.
If we wandered too far away from one other to build or harvest the screen would split based on where we went. If I went to the left, the screen would split down the center vertically with my avatar on the left. If I went straight up the screen would split horizontally with my avatar on top.
In a way this is a very innovative system so you are always able to find your co-op partner without panning the camera out, but at the same time made it a bit disorienting to pay attention your screen when it would change periodically.
Co-op also limits the screen angle, making us unable to tilt the screen even in the slightest unlike single player. This limits our ability to check behind buildings for stray materials, build spots to complete buildings, lost Keflings, dropped items, etc.
Aside from a few technical issues, A World of Keflings takes the term “addictive gaming” to a whole new level. What started out as simple tasks building with three items per building turned into a massive metropolis of buildings that were up to ten or more items. What began as “What on Earth are you playing? It looks weird,” quickly became “Can I have some more cut stone over here?” By the 6 hour mark my co-op buddy and I were saying “Just one more building,” while nearly falling asleep in our chairs. But Keflings never sleep, so neither could we...