#942 Little King’s Story

Posted: 24th January 2011 by Mulholland in Games
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22nd game played so far

Genre: Strategy/RPG
Platform: Wii
Year of Release: 2009
Developer: Cing
Publisher:  JP/NA: Marvelous Entertainment, EU: Rising Star Games

Following a rat through a hole, you end up in a magical kingdom where you are the king of the only kingdom in the world. Then it turns out there’s about eight more, all of which you have to conquer. In the mean time, your kingdom grows and you build houses to get more citizens and to make them have proper jobs instead of being ‘carefree adults’.

The story and all is told through cute crayon drawings, and although both theme and layout seem child-like, they do not always turn out to be such.

Our Playthrough

We, where we turned out to mostly be my boyfriend, made our way through the world, taking care of the first king and gaining a princess in the progress. (Why never a cute prince? Jees your mind is always set on one thing!) and working on developing our kingdom.

Our Thoughts

All is not what it seems in Little King’s Story. For a game that wraps itself up in kiddy story you cannot help but notice the more sinister undertones that permeates the game. The more mature themes are mostly just hinted at but eventually come out and it feels a bit uncomfortably at first.

One major example being the sudden appearance of a priest who, rather than using veiled generic references, refers more openly to a god that seems very much like the Christian one. He threatens force if you choose not to build his church to worship soup (ramen); divine retribution indeed. There is also the almost genocide of neighbouring races which actually did not sit right when presented in such a child-friendly fashion. It can feel kind of disturbing at times, although you’re pulled in further as the game goes on.

It is incredibly addictive and exceedingly cute. Most of the time, it is. It’s nice to just walk around and see the citizens do their thing sometimes – especially when there are festivities on because, for example, you’ve killed the demon cow. Another nice touch which adds to making this a world only a kid would dream up is that none of your population can truly die. As long as there is enough room in the villages they wash up on the shores of the beach with sections of their memory erased. It’s also a world where hat denotes occupation; just like a nursery school game or at least it’s the clearest indicator and they are ridiculously oversized and cute (I’m surprised the soldiers can see anything from below their helmets. Same with the archers with their kitsune masks. They are cute.)

Graphically too it’s a beauty, especially the watercolour style cut scenes and the chalkboard tutorials (both featuring cow drool. Yeah, he likes that.) It looks amazing and really adds to the atmosphere of a child’s dream, while still being detailed enough. Looks especially beautiful as the sun starts to set and everything is given a peach-coloured hue. Adding to this are the sounds, and in particular the music. You’ve probably heard all of them already, but they’re used to great effect. Absolutely, a lot of the classical music was featured in Disney’s Fantasia. The best is the use of Grieg’s ‘Morning Mood’ whenever you awaken from your slumber. Another point in case is the musical cue as you walk out of your villages into a wild area. I don’t know the names of the songs, but it moves from a gentle song to something a bit faster and exciting coupled with a palette alteration to give everything a more hostile feel. One you often don’t really notice, showing how seamless the changes can be.

We’re being overly positive so it’s time to drag it down with the negative point that made me relish the deaths of my subjects (the one that made me let Peter play more of the game after I got frustrated with it). The somewhat pitiable AI of some of your subjects really does leave much to be desired. They are horrible. They can’t even manage to walk up the stairs half of the time, meaning three or four stay behind and you have to spend quite a while trying to get them back up. You have to position yourself directly in the centre of the ramp or they get stuck. This is even worse in boss battles when for some unknown reason your archers start to dismantle the only shelter to hand instead of firing their arrows.


A nice feature would also be some sort of algorithm meaning that they attack enemies within a certain radius meaning you don’t have to fling them time after time after time. That would really make the game a whole lot easier and the experience a whole lot less draining especially as aiming them can be hard at times too, with a system that requires you to look in the exact right direction and even if you are facing in the exact direction it can still make believe you are aiming it about 3 parsecs to the left.

There’s a nice idea behind the controls, but in practice they could do with some tweaking to make them more reliable something to be updated in the sequel… whenever that comes out.

Final Thoughts

This is most certainly a game which needs more than 5 hours in order get an accurate impression. It’s a loveable little game marrying strategy with RPG but there are some niggles which stop this from being unmissable.