Originally a Wii title and re-imagined for the Vita a few years later, the game has now landed on Steam. Here’s our review.
Like Pikmin, Little King Story’s was a Nintendo take on the real time strategy genre that is so firmly connected to the PC realm. Adapting the genre to a (Nintendo) console format, cuter graphics were added, the game’s core mechanics were simplified and tactical depth was replaced by accessibility and fun. It was a formula that worked well for Pikmin, and also got Little King’s Story a warm reception back in 2009.
In Little King’s Story, you assume the role of Corobo, a young boy suddenly turned all-powerful king through the power of a magical crown that he finds. With his crown, the kingdom’s citizens are his to command and can be used to do things like build, dig or attack. The latter becomes important when you start chasing your goals of empire expansion and run into evil monsters.
Confrontations with these monsters are where Little King Story’s real time strategy elements really come into play. If you’ve used your resources well, then you’ll have access to a royal guard full of skilled citizens that be used for a little bit of strategizing as well. Think Total War – but extremely simplified. In the case of Little King’s Story, however, you can use archers to weaken your opponents from afar just as you would in a game like Total War.
Originally designed to be used with a Wii controller, Little King Story’s controls feel unconventional to the seasoned PC user. It’s basically a system where you click on a civilian and then move him to another spot, where he can attack or build something. This is pretty similar to traditional mouse based controls, but the game only supports gamepads at this time, which feels a tad imprecise.
Over a half a decade since the original release, the game still very much looks like a console/Nintendo title from the previous generation, despite an HD upgrade. Its cute visual style helps in making sure the game doesn’t look too dated though, since the graphics always relied on color and not so much on detail. Not everything in the port feels like an upgrade though. We already mentioned the lack of precise mouse control, and we also ran into a few glitches while playing.
Little King’s Story is a fun, easily accessible game. It’s lighthearted and has a decent enough story, but might have trouble swaying the die hard RTS fans on PC. If you’re looking for a more family-friendly alternative and don’t have access to a Wii or Vita, then this is a unique title to check out.