Day 345: Little Kingdom

Posted: 2011/10/22 in Indie Games

I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game (XBLIG) every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and are not well represented in the top 50 lists on the Xbox Dashboard. Today is day #345, and today’s game is “Little Kingdom”.

Little Kingdom is an interesting beast. It plays out a bit like Risk, but enhanced with the “influence” elements of recent flavours of Sid Meier’s Civilization series and a minimalist implementation of the resource gathering from games like “The Settlers” and “Kingdom for Keflings”. It plays out unlike any other strategy game I’ve tried, and an experiment well worth 80 Microsoft Points to check out.

First, from the developer (laurent goethals):

“Little Kingdom is a simulation game. You’re the leader of a small kingdom aiming to conquer the world. In this peaceful world without war or battle. Strengthen your economy and dominate the world with your influence. Choose your map, choose your teammate, and choose the AI levels! Little Kingdom is playable up to 4 players on the same screen. (without spliscreen)”

There is a lot of variety in the maps, with some interesting shapes that change the strategy necessary to approach each with. The game has you building such as sawmills, mining camps, wind mills, and trading houses to increase your resources, and then building (and upgrading) forts to boost your influence. Generate more influence than a neighbour and some of their adjoining territory may fall under your influence, including the buildings and resources there. Those who hate the simplifications Sid Meier and team made to recent versions of Civ might find this too streamlined for their liking (though possibly still worth a trial), but others will appreciate how quickly the games can play out and may find they enjoy it at the end of a long day where a more involved strategy game may not fit the bill.

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