Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Little King's Story
Little King's Story is a simple, yet charming yarn: boy wanders through the woods, boy comes across magical crown, boy is named king of his village, boy begins campaign for world domination by obliterating one kingdom at a time
- Charming design, lengthy campaign, incredibly in-depth
- Lacklustre story, battles can get confusing
Adorable, charming and an absolute blast, Little King's Story is more than worth your time — and weighing in at about 30 hours, it deserves every minute it can get! A surprising and enchanting experience, I think it's safe to say that Little King's Story is a must-own title that I certainly couldn't have expected, which only makes this hybrid RPG's success all the sweeter.
Price$ 69.95 (AUD)
An intriguing blend of real time strategy, life development and role playing action, Little King's Story proves itself as a fun-filled and wholly engaging experience for even the most jaded gamer, all wrapped up in a deceptively cute package.
A Day in the Life
I'll admit firsthand that I was more than weary when I was handed Little King's Story for review. As I flipped through the press release, a pint-sized, sceptre-wielding tot right out of any number of Saturday morning cartoons stared back at me - a "little king" in every sense of the word. While "cutesy" character design doesn't always mean a similarly sugar-coated gaming experience, I couldn't get over the unyielding doubt in the pit of my stomach, leaving me thoroughly convinced I was about to spend the next week trudging through an edutainment title fit for grade-schoolers.
Sometimes, I truly love it when I'm so drastically wrong. While there's no question that the vibrant visuals and youthful presentation may leave some gamers hesitant, I think it's safe to say that Little King's Story is a prime example of knowing never to judge a book by its cover. The premise behind Little King's Story is a simple, yet charming yarn: boy wanders through the woods, boy comes across magical crown, boy is named king of his village, boy begins campaign for world domination by obliterating one kingdom at a time. Of course, you won't go it alone: with the help of your colourful cast of court advisers, not to mention your numerous loyal subjects and faithful hand-picked royal guard, the world will soon be yours for the taking. After nap-time, of course.
Hail to the King
A fine mix between classics such as Harvest Moon, Pikmin, and (oddly enough) Command & Conquer, Little King's gameplay is an innovative melting pot of genre-bending ingredients, thickly applied to a wonderfully engaging and open world. When you first start off, your kingdom is nothing more than a few wooden huts, and your castle a scrappy wooden shack. What's worse is that your villagers are carefree hippies, laying about in the fields and basking in your royal generosity. After constructing a few training huts, you're given the opportunity to whip your subjects into shape as either Hardworking Farmers or Military Grunts, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Where Farmers are experts at digging up hidden treasures, Grunts are indispensable when it comes to dealing with Uma, Little King's unforgiving monster populace. After choosing any combination of characters, each with their own health specifications, likes, dislikes and daily routines, it's time to venture out into world.
Your party will follow behind you Pikmin-style, allowing you to cycle between specific character classes with a press of down on the D-Pad. When you see a log that might make some good timber, a tap of the A button will send your Farmers out to chop it to pieces. A gang of vile Uma approaching? Tap down, cycle to your Grunts, and send them into battle with the same simple mechanics, leaving your Farmers safe to work. While it can admittedly get a tad confusing later in the game when you're dealing with a larger variety of classes, the "point, click, deploy" formula works extremely well for Little King, and really helps add to the game's "pick up and play" atmosphere.
As your kingdom expands and your populace grows, you'll get the opportunity to build new training huts for careers such as Animal Hunter (warriors that specialise in ranged combat), Merchant (savvy businessmen who are invaluable when it comes to financing your ever-expanding campaign), Carpenter (handy men and women who specialise in building stairs, bridges and other forms of development) and many, many more. Mixing and matching is undoubtedly the name of the game, as you never know whose skills you may need when you venture out into the richly populated wilderness, unsure of what trials and challenges await.
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