In 2009, Little King’s Story released for the Nintendo Wii and received critical acclaim. Little King’s Story is now coming to Steam! In Little King’s Story, you play as a boy named Corobo who stumbles upon a unique and unknown kingdom. Once he finds this kingdom, he picks up a crown that enables him to give orders which people must obey. Corobo is then appointed the ruler of Alpoko and must build and expand his kingdom in order to prevent being taken over by foreign kingdoms.
Little King’s Story is a mix of Life Simulation gameplay with Real Time Strategy (almost in the vein of Pikmin or games like it.) XSEED Games has released this HD remastered version, and has enhanced the visuals to enable a new group of players to enjoy Corobo’s journey.
Note: I played this on a press copy, thus there were bugs and other issues that are being fixed prior to release. A Day One patch has been planned, thus my experience may not be EXACTLY what you will experience on the day of release.
The first thing you should note before you start a new game of Little King’s Story is that there are no volume controls in the options menu. There ARE 3 different difficulty settings, however, providing different experiences depending on how good you are at Simulation or RTS games. The cut-scenes aren’t in English, rather in a foreign language specific to the characters of this game. There are English subtitles and all in-game text appears in English, so it is a lot like Animal Crossing in that regard.
The visuals for Little King’s Story are interesting. Cutscenes are done in a storybook/hand-drawn style mixed with 3D Models for characters. The rest of the game takes on 3D visuals, much like one would see in Wii games or games like Animal Crossing. The characters are quirky and cute, and the game itself is very colorful and vibrant. Both the music and visuals of Little King’s Story have a cartoon-ish feel to them, with the music being upbeat and happy to go with the storybook atmosphere.
The controls of Little King’s Story are somewhat simple. You control your main character (the king) with the left stick while controlling the camera with the right stick. You can interact with other characters or issue orders from your throne with the action button, and things progress onward from there.
Howser the Bull Knight is one of three faithful companions you start with, and will give you a summary of your current situation while also helping out with other applications, such as expanding and developing your kingdom. Verde is your “Records” Minister, and will help you save your game. Last, but not least, we have Liam the “Anything” Minister, who provides you with any information you might not know of and is mostly in charge of tutorial elements.
Each character in Little King’s Story has their own unique personality and look to give them a more well-rounded appeal. This gives the player a deeper feel of enjoying the charming world that Little King’s Story is set in.
Your first goal as king is to gather Bol (the in-game currency) for your kingdom in order to make it prosper. In order to do this, you will need to bring along your citizens to do various jobs, like digging for treasure. The primary candidate for this particular job is the “Carefree Adult” whose only real purpose is digging, making them perfect treasure hunters.
Carefree Adults are comparable to the red Pikmin from Pikmin games; they are the first citizens you receive and lack very many special traits. Like Pikmin, you can order your citizens (of which you can have a limited amount, 5 as a maximum to start with) to charge forward and do assigned tasks, or if things get too dangerous you can instruct them to retreat.
Little King’s Story mostly has two separate “sections” of gameplay. There is the Gathering and Exploration section, where you travel outward with your party of citizens, dig for treasure and fight UMAs (Unidentified Mysterious Animals.) There is also the “Kingdom development” section, where you take your treasure and earnings, and begin to develop and expand your kingdom.
By spending Bol on “Workplaces” you can assign your Carefree Adults to jobs that can give them other capabilities, such as becoming Grunts who are good for their combat capabilities. You can also unlock the Farmhouse, which turns Carefree Adults into Hardworking Farmers that can dig more quickly. There are other types of Citizens that you can unlock too, such as ones that can create and destroy structures, providing a workforce that grows and expands overtime.
Little King’s Story has a day/night cycle just like Pikmin, so as the king you will need to prioritize your time wisely so that you do not get caught out in the dark. Unlike Pikmin, however, the day progresses more slowly in Little King’s Story, making it a bit easier to carry out your expeditions properly. Through collecting Bol, funding plans for your kingdom and expanding upon it, you will be able to increase your capabilities and progress further and further, taking on a variety of enemies as well as collecting all sorts of treasures.
Little King’s Story is relatively simple on the surface (based on what I’ve mentioned above) and I greatly think it is part of the game’s charm. It does not try to be something it isn’t, and for a fan of Pikmin that wondered why there were never other games like it, Little King’s Story is a fantastic experience inspired by Pikmin. Even though there are a lot of Pikmin comparisons to be had, don’t consider Little King’s Story a rip-off; it is a very well crafted experience that simply takes the same mechanics from Pikmin and tweaks them a little for new effects.
That being said, I did notice a few problems with Little King’s Story, such as random freezing and little direction given to the player after the tutorials are done. I do like that the tutorials are limited, though, because there are games that do a lot of hand-holding nowadays and Little King’s Story lets you be free to play and learn on your own. That DOES limit the accessibility of the game, though, to some players, so it can be seen as a good thing or a bad thing. The gamepad support for Little King’s Story is a little bit odd and uneven at times, but other than that there aren’t very many complaints to be had.
Despite the few issues (most of which COULD be explained and fixed with the upcoming Day One patch) I greatly love Little King’s Story, and I think its release on Steam is perfect for all sorts of players. Little King’s Story is cute, charming, and addictively fun, and even if you don’t like Life Simulators or RTS games, you should give it a try.
A PC Review code for Little King’s Story was provided by XSEED Games for the purpose of this review