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Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
A Kingdom for Keflings is a fun game, but is by no means perfect. It won't take long to get hooked on the gameplay, but at the same time, the slow, casual pacing makes it hard to play for long stretches. Still, if you're in the mood for a different experience, A Kingdom for Keflings will make a nice addition to your library.
Official XBox Magazine (Nov 19, 2008)
The do-what-you-like pacing, charming presentation, and endlessly addictive nature of tackling increasingly complex structures in an effort to ultimately erect an impressive castle, mirrors an addiction we haven’t experienced since the last time we preened in our pretty piñata gardens.
Console Monster (Dec 09, 2008)
All in all A Kingdom for Keflings is a great game where many hours can easily pass by without you noticing. Making use of the avatars is a great way to introduce them into the world of Xbox LIVE Arcade, and for 800 MS points it is not to be sniffed at. If I was you, I would go and get it now!
TeamXbox (Nov 21, 2008)
If you’re into strategy games, you might find A Kingdom for Keflings a bit light on your abilities. Just the same, even the best strategist could enjoy a fun workout like this, which is often more like a Rube Goldberg machine that needs constantly changing parts to be integrated in for it to work correctly. But the best part is that it’s an all-ages primer for those who aren’t big on strategy games (as I am). Particularly with a $10 price tag, A Kingdom for Keflings will be a nice addition to your XBLA library.
Worth Playing (Dec 06, 2008)
Above all else, the gaming experience in A Kingdom for Keflings is very unique. There have been only a handful of titles that have made a leisurely activity fun, and this is definitely one of them. Because of its simple premise, this is one Xbox Live Arcade game that is simply too good to pass up. This title features no conflict whatsoever, so it's understandable if some players remain skeptical. Once those same players download the demo, however, don't be surprised if the simple charm of the game drives them to buy the full product.
Gamer 2.0 (2008)
Those of you that may or may not be interested in A Kingdom for Keflings should definitely get the demo and play it. If you’re disappointed at how quickly the demo seems to be over, it’s an absolute must buy so you can spend the next ten hours or so ordering those Keflings around. The package here is definitely worth the $10 and those that are looking for a relaxing game to utilize their new Avatar will find a lot to like here.
GameFocus (Dec 05, 2008)
It’s easy to get caught up in collecting just enough resources to create the 14th piece of a building’s blueprint just to see what new blueprint you will unlock. At times, collecting resources can feel like a bit of a grind at times, especially with larger buildings. The overall goal of the game is the build a utopian kingdom for your Keflings complete with castle. Remaining on task will have your Kefling’s adoring you and unlike other strategy games, there’s no enemies waiting to knock down your structures or time limits that will cause you to fail if you choose to go at your own pace. This is more of an open, sandbox game with no consequences for doing things your way. Regardless of the length of time you play each session, you’ll find yourself pulled back to the game as soon as you switch to something else. This is one little XBLA game that is definitely worth 800 Microsoft Points ($10).
IGN (Nov 21, 2008)
If you’re in the mood for a laid-back XBLA game and have been itching to try out that shiny new Avatar, A Kingdom For Keflings is the perfect choice. NinjaBee’s latest downloadable game is whimsical, humorous, unique and has none of the high-pressure feel of your typical strategy game. Although it has its performance issues and presentation quirks, Keflings rises above both to achieve a Zen-like quality of pleasant addiction.
A Kingdom For Keflings is a shining example of what makes the Xbox Live Arcade so great: it's a bite-sized treat from a genre none of the bigger guys are willing to take a risk on. Yes, it's city-building at its simplest, but it's arguably its purest too, with the emphasis simply on building your empire and enjoying yourself, not micromanaging maladies or dealing with the un-fun things that real-life mayors have to handle. The Avatar integration is another great touch, allowing you to bond with your digital-self in a virtual-sandbox of fun. It's definitely not a game for everyone, but it's one of the more unique experiences on the Arcade if you're willing to just let go of the rules and regulations and build for the sake of building!
A Kingdom for Keflings is a delightful little title which combines the managerial aspects of games like Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King and the construction elements of MySims. The result is a nicely balanced game that is appealing to gamers of all sorts, and it finds several ways to distinguish itself from other downloadable titles. Although the use of the avatar isn't integral to the gameplay, it is definitely a nice touch and serves as yet another positive aspect of this game. If you are a fan of strategy or construction-style games you owe it to yourself to check this one out, as the addictive and fun gameplay will most certainly keep you coming back for more!
80 (Dec 12, 2008)
A Kingdom for Keflings is a unique offering on the XBLA service, and anybody with even a passing interest in strategy titles should download the demo and see just how satisfying it can be to program a game to effectively play itself.
A Kingdom for Keflings provides a light but unique strategy experience that is pretty much one of a kind on XBLA. The game gave me many of the same feelings I've had when playing games like Sim City, and this is definitely not a bad thing. The game essentially gives the player a construction box, complete with workers, and lets one go to town, creating the kingdom of their dreams. While A Kingdom for Keflings isn't going to be for everyone, those that do enjoy this type of game will very likely really enjoy what it has to offer. At 800 MS points, it is worth the asking price if you like strategy titles. If you're not sure, at the very least give the demo a try and see if it's your cup of tea or not. You just might be surprised at how much fun A Kingdom for Keflings can be.
A cute and engaging sim, A Kingdom for Keflings delivers a neat and accessible gaming package, and for 800 Microsoft points the price is right for some absorbing resource management. With its walk-in-the-park approach to gameplay, Keflings will launch a sneaky assault on your time, and before you know it you will easily have whiled away hours with the title. Where it may miss, however, is whether or not you will be keen to pick it back up and see it to its meandering conclusion.
GameSpot (Nov 21, 2008)
The entertainment in A Kingdom for Keflings doesn't come from high-octane action, as in games like Viva Pinata it comes from seeing the fruits of your labor in full force. Even the work itself is fun, almost like tinkering with Lego blocks; you will align individual pieces to create something cool and will get a sense of satisfaction when a jousting arena or leather shop comes to life. Mayoral assignments, gear upgrades, and new blueprints keep you moving with a purpose and ensure that the game is fresh throughout each hour of every kingdom you construct. A Kingdom for Keflings is a fantastic take on a well-established PC genre, and the omission of impediments allows for soothing, peaceful gameplay and extreme ease of entry for gamers of all ages.
Games Finder (Mar 19, 2014)
If you are a fan of city building (SimCity) and controlling the lives of simulated characters (The Sims) you’ll be at home with the mix that A Kingdom of Keflings offers.
The A.V. Club (Dec 15, 2008)
The fun does wear thin as you approach the ultimate goal of completing the town's castle. In spite of the sense that something new is always around the corner, the action after 10 hours of play is pretty much the same as it is after two. Co-op mode is a neat twist, offering the chance to coordinate your efforts with somebody other than the mindless Keflings. Aside from that, the customization options are too limited to make replay enticing.
Game Critics (Dec 10, 2008)
Every session I played, A Kingdom for Keflings would suck me into one of those "just one more" sessions, and the half-hour I would intend to spend inevitably became two or three hours before I knew it. Although it needs a few tweaks here and there (like a way to quickly reorganize when every Kefling is employed, or some kind of shortcut when transferring goods from one shop to another) it was great to be able to sit back and relax with something without fear of being picked off by snipers or a constant need to manage my supply of health packs.
70 (UK) (Nov 19, 2008)
Clearly, this isn't a game for action junkies - with no threats, no armies, and no enemies to speak of - and its strategy elements are hardly taxing either. Since you'll unlock pretty much everything first time through, there's not a vast amount of replay value - just a rather pointless Free Play mode and a mostly unnecessary multiplayer co-op option. Yet it took me around ten hours to complete, and while I was never on the edge of my seat, I was charmed for most of that time, sticking with it until I'd picked up the last gamerpoints. If your gaming palate favours such gentle fare, A Kingdom for Keflings is a lovely way to spend the day.
Destructoid (Nov 29, 2008)
One cannot fault what is fundamentally a game that does very little wrong, even if its appeal is not one that should resonate with the majority of us here. While not something I would expect many of our readers to purchase, it has still accomplished everything it set out to do quite well, and there is something infectious about the whole thing that makes it memorable despite its lack of depth or completely undemanding gameplay. It's really not a great videogame. But it's certainly a good waste of time.
1UP (Dec 15, 2008)
My biggest problem with Keflings is its lack of...well, a soul. The fanciful soundtrack and eager Keflings are charming enough at first, but the more time you spend bossing them around, the more you start to realize that you're just a giant slave-master building a city for some unknown entities. Sure, two more Keflings pop up when you build a house and throw some "love" on it, but they never go back there -- if you don't assign them a job, they just wander around aimlessly, trying desperately to flag you down for an assignment every time you walk by. You'll build theaters, churches, schools, and more, but they're only there to service a ghost town. Outside of the needy mayor, you'll never see a Kefling simply living in the town that you've worked so hard on.
The Game Hoard (Dec 26, 2018)
A Kingdom for Keflings feels like it was designed by people who liked city builder games but didn’t fully understand them. The game hits the appeal of gradually growing a town into something larger and makes it relaxing and simple, but some complexity and adversity helps a city builder stay lively and challenging. A Kingdom for Keflings wants to keep you actively involved, and being able to move resources or do the mining yourself does alleviate issues you might have with your workers, but outside of constructing new buildings, it’s essentially just you doing their work. It is easy to get lost in the development of your town and easy to transition from one task to the next, but that laser focus on building a castle for the Keflings is really the only thing to shoot for since everything in the game is designed to support that goal. Ultimately, the game ends up being a decent time-waster but doesn’t offer anything outside of constantly crafting your way up to the game-assigned objective.
50 (Jul 22, 2010)
Overall, it’s surprisingly better than one might think a game where you do nothing but collect resources would be, but it’s still little more than one of those timesink type games where you play it for the first half-hour, tell yourself “Meh, it’s nothing special,” and then realize five hours have already passed. Might not be worth the full 800 MS points pricetag ($10) it goes for, but it’s gone on sale before for 400 points, and I’d say that’s worth it if you see it drop again.