Little King's Story

 
Civ sim about being a king is terrific, but a bit lewd.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The player’s goal is to create a large, prosperous kingdom full of happy citizens. Some of the objectives along the way -- such as “world domination” -- might sound questionable, but the game has a strong sense of humor that that puts these goals in a whimsical light. However, the wit sometimes dips into juvenile jokes, including farting monsters and references to a female character’s breasts.

Positive role models

Our hero is young boy thrust into the position of king. He decides on careers for each of his citizens, and sends them into work or battle -- sometimes to their death. Players are rewarded for keeping their digital denizens healthy and happy, meaning we are encouraged not to waste the lives of those under our command.

Ease of play

Simple, traditional controls are a cinch to get the hang of. Difficulty is broken into three skill levels, and it can be changed mid-adventure.

Violence

Though not the game’s focus, players do spend some of their time sending their citizens into battle with swords and bows against a wide range of usually goofy creatures, including the ghost of a cow, walking mushrooms, and a giant rodent. No blood or gore is shown. Note, though, that many citizens die, and that, given they all have unique names and personalities, players may well grow attached to them before they perish.

Sex

Some mild sexual innuendo involving female characters showing cleavage and male characters calling attention to it. The player can also send citizens who are in love to a church to get married.

Language

Not an issue.

Consumerism

Not really an issue. There is one character named Kampbell, leader of the Soup Sect -- a clear reference to Campbell’s Soup -- but no paid product promotions.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One character states that he is drunk, presumably from an intoxicant residing in the mug he holds.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this role-playing/civilization simulation game features plenty of light-hearted humor, but that the jokes occasionally border on being a bit distasteful. One of the game’s enemies attacks with what appears to be fart gas, and one character makes a few sexually charged comments towards women. Violence is present, but there is no blood or gore. Players send their sword- and bow-equipped citizens up against what usually turn out to be goofy creatures, such as cows and walking mushrooms, and the fighting is cartoonish. That said, citizens do die, and, given that they each have their own names and personalities and are not simply anonymous automatons, their deaths can be a little distressing.

What's it about?

A young boy finds a sparkling crown, puts it on, and becomes the monarch of a tiny kingdom, taking responsibility for its welfare, expansion, and happiness. That’s a tidy and accurate summary of the Wii-exclusive RPG/civilization simulator LITTLE KING’S STORY, but it doesn’t do justice to the game’s clever Pikmin-esque play, which has players recruiting citizens and assigning them specific jobs, ranging from digging holes and harvesting food to building bridges and battling weird enemies, such as a cow’s ghost and teetering mushroom men. Nor does it say anything about the game’s all-pervading sense of humor, which can be found in everything from doting suggestion box letters from happy citizens to scolding messages chastising players for “dying way too fast” when their citizens begin perishing in boss battles. It’s a unique play, to say the least.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

There’s plenty to love about Little King’s Story. Recruiting and training citizens is a snap, and the practical rewards players earn for completing missions, such as new buildings and job types, create a constant stream of new activities and objectives. There are always so many things on a player’s to-do list -- build new bridge, fight monster terrorizing locals, look for cracks in the earth that need excavation, and collect reborn citizens at resurrection beach, to name just a few -- that it can be hard to put the controller down.

What’s more, the presentation is terrific. Highly artistic cinemas look like watercolor paintings set in motion, and the game’s lighthearted and whimsical score is composed of recognizable and beloved classical music reborn on a keyboard. It’s original, fun, and seriously habit-forming; the perfect way for older kids to brighten up a rainy weekend.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about humor in games. Do many games make you laugh out loud? Do you look for games that try to be funny? What genres are best suited to humor?

  • Families can also discuss the potential educational value of rudimentary civilization simulation games. Do you think they are effective in getting players to think about the political issues involved in keeping real-world citizens happy? Or are they too simple to be anything more than pure entertainment?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii
Price:$49.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Xseed Games
Release date:July 21, 2009
Genre:Role Playing
ESRB rating:T for Crude Humor, Mild Cartoon Violence, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol (Nintendo Wii)

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written bythe no bull zone February 27, 2010
age 2+
 

it is by far the best game on earth

best games on earth it should be rated E instead of T
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old February 24, 2010
age 12+
 

eg

eg
What other families should know
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 14 years old Written bygolder October 28, 2009
age 10+
 

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