What parents need to know
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?
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?