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Publisher: NinjaBee
Developer: NinjaBee
Genre: Simulation
Mode(s): Single-player/multi-player
Price: 320 Microsoft Points
Launch Date: 26th October 2011


A World of Keflings was a fun simulation where players can help small people known as keflings, build houses and shops to turn a small town into a thriving kingdom. It was quite the XBLA hit when it came out. Nearly a year after its release, NinjaBee have released some downloadable content for the title. Called It Came from Outer Space, does this add-on do the game justice, or should it have been left alone in the darkest part of space? Find out by reading this definite in depth review.

Game-play - 7/10

Firstly, to clear up any confusion if you purchase/purchased this add-on, to start it you need to begin a new game and select the DLC. This was important to include in this review, as some people might be searching around their kingdoms for anything alien related.

The story begins in the middle of nowhere, where your avatar, along with Doug and Scoobs, stumble across a crashed UFO. The captain and the crew all want help to get their ship in working order so they can return home. To do this they need the avatars help, just like the kingdoms do.

The most noticeable thing when you do begin playing is that despite this being a crash landing, the area that you can play and build in, which is roughly the size of the Ice Kingdom, is that it looks very alien. The crop circles fit into the land nicely, and one of the minerals is Sulfer Crystals (that is the in-game spelling), which come in patches just like the normal crystals do. The game also features scrap metal, which needs the robot to obtain them. Alongside these new minerals are the trees and sandpits that are featured in the Desert Kingdom.





The aliens have landed...but not in style


Another addition to the land is gaps in the land with green vein like marks spreading from them, in which tentacles can be seen. This is a bit confusing as this was meant to be a crash landing, yet it looks like some alien world. Despite that though, the playable area is an interesting mix which adds to the theme of the DLC.

As mentioned above, the DLC features a new mineral which can only be mined by robots, which are available by making a TR Charge Station and giving it a robo love. It's a shame that there wasn't a special item which would allow you to also clear the patches; however there also wasn't the need for many of the crystals.

An interesting concept for this alien themed add-on is two of the buildings. The first is the Nuclear Lobster, which when fed a certain mineral provides a different base item used in crafting building parts. The other is the Rift Rooster, which has the same use as the lobster. On top of this however, if you craft a metamorph carrot and feed it to one of them, they change colour, and begin providing different items, such as Dark Matter instead of Gloop.

For a small area, some of the buildings are quite big, which can lead to spacing issues, this is just a normal part of the game however. In keeping with the theme, everything about this add-on follows the alien style, which leads to interesting architecture. The add-on can last 2-3 hours, but despite being short, it does provide the same amount of fun as the original game.




This could explain alot


Graphics - 8/10

As stated earlier. The game features crop circles indented into the ground, which is a nice touch. Aside from this, all the graphics follow the same cartoon style of the Kefling series. The landscape features a mixture of light browns and purple/pinks which complement each other and add a sense of depth to it. The sulfer crystals are a bright green, which gives off the image that they are radioactive.

The alien Keflings are outfitted in purple futuristic clothing, and feature blue skin with one eye. As with other kingdoms, some are unique. In this case, the Doctor features green skin and tentacles, the Senator fits into his role perfectly, by providing a more upper class outlook. Finally is the Captain with the classic elongated head with more eyes than is needed.

The graphics fit in not only with the theme of the add-on, but the Kefling series as stated earlier, and it is nice to see that NinjaBee haven't edited the formula, whereas others would've. There didn't appear to be any frame rate issues present in the game itself, the engine runs smooth for an XBLA title. A big part graphically is how well the avatar fits into the world. Regardless of what you have dressed yourself up in, like in the original game the avatar always fits in smoothly and operates smoothly too.

Sound - 8/10

As with the graphics, the original formula of the game remains, this time however with a slight twist. The game features the same vocal style on the keflings, however the background music that is featured in the add-on is the same music that can be found on the main menu screen, but with a futuristic restyling. Again this all fits in with the DLC theme. Thankfully, this tune is long enough that while it does go in a continuous loop, it doesn't become repetitive too quickly. All the other sounds have remained the same, such as a building being completed or fireworks going off when you have completed an objective.

Some people may prefer games to have characters with voices in them. While this is a nice touch to most games, Keflings is one where the mumbling noises all the Keflings make is prefered over voice actors. This is a good thing, some of the jokes that get written up could be spoilt if the voice actor doesn't sell it.




Bright colours make manual labour easier to cope with


Difficulty - 7/10

Difficulty is a tough subject when you are on a game such as A World of Keflings. While it isn't a difficult game, there are some points where you will be waiting around for enough minerals to complete an item for whichever building you are working upon. The correct term for a game of this style would be challenging, and like the series, it doesn't offer much of a challenge. But again, this is a simulation game, not a puzzle or shooter. While it isn't challenging the waiting around could bore some, while others will work side by side with the Keflings in order to help them even more.

Achievements - 7/10

It Came from Outer Space comes with three new achievements, worth 50G. Two are done during the quest-line, which is related to building specific buildings. The final achievement is for getting past an obstacle in the world. All three come easily enough, which is good for getting the score, however more thought could've been put into the list to add reasons to continue playing it after the storyline is complete, such as constructing x amount of buildings, similar to the original game.

Conclusion

NinjaBee have secured a decent add-on for A World of Keflings, while some improvements in areas such as achievements could've been made, what is on offer is an entertaining, yet short, bundle. For fans of the series it's worth picking up, especially due to the price. Where most DLC ends up costing 800MSP upwards, It Came from Outer Space is at 320MSP. If it was a bit longer then this would be a greater purchase than it currently is.



 

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