Over the summertime I got to be a judge in the PAX 10 game design contest. I spent a day in a computer lab at DigiPen, trying out and rating about 10 of the 100 odd entries. One of my favorites was A Kingdom for Kelflings. In the game you play a giant helping the diminutive kelflings build their community. It has similar gameplay elements to other building games but the conceit of playing the giant is a nice twist. When you want to set a kelfling to a particular task, you pick up its kicking and screaming little body and then set it down where you want it to work. While I found the game charming and fun, it did not win the PAX 10 contest. That was the last I heard of it until last night.
So I was over at Rick’s playing a game of 40K (aside: snake eyes on a plasma gun shot; really?) when I got a text from Kate. She said that she had found a new game and that Nicole was now bogarting the Xbox playing it. When I got home Nik was still going. When I took a look at what she was playing I said, “Hey, I know that game!” It was A Kingdom for Kelflings, released recently on XBox Live Arcade. The game looks the same as when I judged it with one key difference: the giant in the game is your new Xbox avatar. So if you made an avatar that looks like you, now you can help the kelflings build their kingdom in person. Nicole played the game for like six hours last night and told me she “loved loved loved it.” It’s like we’re married or something.
This game is wonderful. I have spent way too much time playing it. One of the coolest things to do is to help others build their own kingdoms. I have played all the way through to castle once and I’m playing again. If you wish to lend a hand, my handle is Mister Keith. All help is welcome, but I’m trying to cut back.
Beware the kiddie exterior; this little game can suck you in for hours.
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