A World of Keflings review for Wii U

Platform: Wii U
Also On: Xbox 360, PC
Publisher: NinjaBee
Developer: NinjaBee
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

I’ve played A World of Keflings for a not-insubstantial amount of time. I’ve helped the little Keflings build their factories and town halls and homes. I’ve assigned them their tasks. I’ve interacted with them. I’ve helped them shoo away dragons. And after all that, all I have to say is: I’m bored.

I really don’t know what else there is to say about such an insubstantial game. What I described above is pretty much the whole thing in a nutshell. You help the little Keflings build up their cities, and…that’s it. There’s not really any conflict to handle, which in turn means there’s not a whole heck of a lot of plot to get through. It’s a Real-Time Strategy game where calling it “strategy” is putting it nicely, a Sim City where there’s essentially zero risk. You just build, and delegate, and then build some more.

A World of Keflings 1

I’m almost undoubtedly approaching the game all wrong, of course, expecting it to have things like “objectives” and “story”. A World of Keflings clearly isn’t designed for that, so complaining about it not being there is kind of missing the point entirely. I suspect — and the positive reviews for the Xbox 360 version would bear this out — that it’s the sort of game where you’re supposed to just revel in the ordinariness of it all. You need to just sit back and relax and enjoy helping these little people build up their world.

On top of that, I probably played it the wrong way, choosing to go it alone rather than playing it with a friend. I suppose if I were looking for a pleasantly simple multiplayer game — especially if the other player was someone new to games — then the lack of competition may hold a certain appeal.

A World of Keflings 2

But without that other player…man, is A World of Keflings ever dull. I’m not saying every game has to have big explosions and shooting and all that stuff, but I feel like there should be…I don’t know, something going on. The recent trend towards non-linear stories and non-game games shows that it’s possible for games to not adhere to traditional gaming structures and still be interesting, but that’s not the case here. This just feels like thd developers came up with a rough outline for for a concept for a game that they could play with their young children, and then called it a day. Unless you have a thing for wasting a lot of time and not having much to show for it, you’ll just want to stay far, far away.

Grade: C-