THE ONLY THING little about Little King’s Story is the King - a wee tot wearing robes and a gold crown. Already being described as one of the best Nintendo Wii titles yet, this is a game that is deceptively cute. On the exterior it’s like something straight out of a Sanrio store; we’re talking a pastel palette, sparkles, cake-eating princesses, walking turnips and sarcastic characters that warble.
Beyond the lollipop sweetness is a startlingly original and surprisingly complex game about global domination. It all starts on a small scale; you’re tasked (as King Corobo) in turning your bankrupt kingdom into a thriving and prosperous empire. This expansion is all about labour (not your own, of course). You must order the layabout townsfolk to dig, conquer and build to expand your domain. This involves micro-management and the training of your servants into specialised labour. Along the way there are battles to be fought, missions to complete and money to be made. Oh yes, there’s also aromantic twist with neighbouring kingdoms to bepillaged and their princesses kidnapped. With all this going on, be sure to save (‘sleep’) often, as the King is prone to fatal ageing without rest. Really.
King Corobo’s realm exists in an animestyle fantasy world. This is created though the beautiful design, combined with smooth graphics, watercolour cut scenes and the delightful classical musical score. Little King’s Story shares some similarities with Animal Crossing in terms of the Japanese cute factor, the talking style of the characters and the role-playing genre. However, this is certainly the most complex and deeply layered Wii game we have ever encountered. There are just so many things to do as a King! It’s also one of the longest adventures yet, with at least five hours needing to be spent just in the slow progress of building the early stages of the Kingdom. You’ll certainly get your money’s worth. Little King’s Story is an excellent game with staying power.