The Nintendo Wii has hosted some of the more quirky and innovative games this generation. In that respect, Cing’s eccentric Little King’s Story is a fine addition. A unique hybrid of Animal Crossing-like unit management and traditional real-time strategy game play, Little King’s Story is an artistically beautiful title that any RPG-loving Wii owner will want to add to their collection.
Players control Corobo, a little boy who stumbles upon a crown that grants him the charismatic charm to bend the local village people to his will. With his newfound powers, Corobo decides to bring peace to the divided kingdom Alpoko by waging war and conquering the neighboring countries. However, before your diminutive Alexander the Great can begin his military campaign, he’ll need to build an army. Players do this by conscripting villagers to do tasks that help supply the war machine. Soldiers, for instance, will be the backbone of the military, but farmers and carpenters help expand the kingdom.
As the kingdom develops, the player must strike a balance in unit production. An excess in one department leads to a shortage in another. Only when players can reach a delicate equilibrium between available classes will the kingdom hit an optimal stride. Having a well-rounded army is vital in battle as well. Players will encounter different enemy types and bosses on missions that pose a much larger challenge against an army lacking in certain unit types. While that challenge is welcomed by some, it can make the game impossible due to steep difficulty. The king is small and fragile. If he’s not well protected, he’ll die, bringing the game to an abrupt end. This will happen, a lot.
Little King’s Story’s save system is so asinine that it adds to the difficulty. Players are allowed to save within the town walls. If a player embarks on a mission without saving, hours of game play can be lost. It’s a simple enough solution to save whenever possible, but Little King’s Story should offer more save points or check points. Its RTS-based gameplay suggests check points, but many a gamer will lose loads of progress because of a single mistake in battle.
Graphically, Little King’s Story looks great. Gorgeous oil pastel paintings highlight key events in the story, and the in-game visuals are appropriately cute and detailed. The audio isn’t shabby either with a suitable and catchy orchestral soundtrack underscoring the experience.
Aside from the game’s difficulty, Little King’s Story is one of those rarely occurring strange-but-awesomely-enjoyable games. It offers a well-rounded package complete with quirky, charming presentation and hours of addicting building and exploring. Players that loved Harvest Moon, Pikmin, or Animal Crossing should take a gander at Little King’s Story.