A World of Keflings: Sugar, Spice and Not So Nice (XBLA)
Nine months ago, fans of A World of Keflings were asked to vote for the next DLC theme with three possible choices: Candy, Graveyard and Pirates. Players voted for Candy and production began. Was the wait worth it or are the fans likely to be disappointed?
“Sugar, Spice and Not So Nice” takes players to a pink world with a chocolate volcano, a caramel lake and a forest grown from cotton candy. Waldorf the Wizard and his nephew Augustus ask you to help with a couple of seemingly harmless tasks, but these instead help Waldorf to take complete control over the kingdom and enable Augustus to eat everything within sight. Help is soon at hand – Kari the Last Chocolatier recruits you to prevent the candy kingdom from being completely destroyed and fight the first villain that players have ever encountered in A World of Keflings.
The entire cast of characters are new; the builder brothers do not make an appearance in this DLC. In fact, players start off on their own at the beginning of the DLC and help with carrying building parts and stockpiles doesn’t materialise until much later in the storyline. Unfortunately, one appears so late that he is of very little use. Although the characters have their own unique personalities, the humour found throughout the main game and the “It Came from Outer Space” DLC is strangely absent. Gone is the mangled English used by the characters, and the numerous witty references found in the quest titles and cutscenes. It just falls a bit flat really, although I’ll concede that there isn’t a huge amount of candy themed source material to use.
Your gingerling workers will gather cotton candy for you, but although you can access the caramel and chocolate, neither can be harvested at the beginning of the game. Although this is explained later in the story, it seems a little bizarre to have six gingerlings that can only be used to harvest one resource, especially when Kari has to add extra resources to the bakery to enable players to make the required building pieces.
A competent Kefling player will task their keflings to gather resources and stock them in the workshops so that there is always a sufficient supply of building resources. Due to a different resource system in this DLC, players will frequently be transferring resources from building to building before they can construct all of the relevant parts. None of the four raw resources can be automatically converted into something else. Players must pull up the inventory of a building, such as the bakery, and manually combine raw resources to create different types of sweets, biscuits and cakes. These must then be deposited into another building to either be used as resources for parts or to be combined again to make other materials. The result is a constant mental calculation of the amount of materials needed to construct all of the building parts. It is a nice idea but it gets too complicated and means that players are always one step behind the game.
The Gingerbread House Takes Shape
On the positive side, NinjaBee has dealt with concerns from the first DLC regarding the lack of building room on the map. The Candy kingdom is very spacious with more than enough room to accommodate all of the buildings. There are no wasted blueprints either. Each building has a purpose to serve.
The DLC took me just under two hours to complete and is the shortest of the three gameplay extensions. Kefling fans will enjoy the typically well-written storyline and easy achievements, even though little extra gameplay is encouraged after the storyline has ended.
Presentation: 8 out of 10
Mechanics: 6 out of 10
Woah moments: 7 out of 10
Replay value: 6 out of 10
Overall: 6 out of 10