Published Aug 22, 2009Once upon a time, a bunch of awesomely weird Japanese developers, whose cult game studio Love-De-Lic had disbanded years earlier, reunited to craft one of the Wii's greatest games. It was called Little King's Story and combined bits of Le Petit Prince, Machiavelli, Russian oil painting, Miyamoto's Pikmin and social simulators Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing.
The result is a marvel of game design, a hybrid real-time strategy/life-sim/role-playing game pairing a Wii-friendly childlike aesthetic with increasingly deep and thoughtful game play as your boy king becomes convinced by a Don Quixote-like advisor to unite the world by invading innocent neighbouring kingdoms — like the land of drunkards!
Turns out you're more like a little despot who uses your mind-controlled subjects as cannon fodder, subjects who each have real names, jobs and families that will mourn when you accidentally send an unarmed farmer to fight an onii monster. It's the first game since Shadow of the Colossus that causes you to philosophically doubt your own avatar's actions.
It's also addictive as hell, if at times repetitive thanks to the day/night cycle, once the game world really starts opening up a few hours in and your kingdom's population grows to upwards of 150 soldiers, lumberjacks, farmers, hunters, etc. have no fear, the slow-burning plot does eventually go epic.
Little King's surreal cuteness will likely keep the game unfairly limited to the cult crowd when it deserves a much-wider territorial expansion. Seriously, every Wii owner who gripes about the lack of hardcore games should really consider moving to this little kingdom. Even if it is adorable. (Cing/Xseed/Marvelous)