The 2009 darkly comic Wii cult classic Little King's Story is coming to PC on 5th August with updated graphics.
Cing and Town Factory's strategy game puts players in the crown of young King Corobo who has found himself suddenly in charge of his townsfolk. What he says goes, and Corobo wants to expand his kingdom the way kings do: by conquering neighboring territories.
Little King's Story may look cutesy on the surface, but it's a quietly grim game about colonisation. Director Yoshiro Kimura said it best in a 2009 interview with N-Sider:
Little King's Story is instantly familiar if you've played Pikmin, Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon or that rubbishy thing about wizards I've already forgotten about. The gameworld is cute, cartoony and brightly coloured. Everything in it is rounded at the edges. It's populated by people with improbably large heads and triangles for noses. They all want to talk to you and none of what they say is worth listening to. Everywhere you look there are logs to chop, holes to dig and coins to collect. It never rains.
However, there's more to Little King's Story than that. It's not just a glorious celebration of farming crops, finding treasure, living the pastoral ideal and making friends with cows called Pancho. It's also about monarchy, oligarchy, religious hegemony, the effect of industrial growth on socio-economic power structures, feudalism and genocide. But are the graphics any good?
The visual style is certainly a big part of LKS's appeal. There's a soft sheen to everything, as if someone's smeared Vaseline over your telly. Cut-scenes look like moving oil paintings and tutorials are presented as chalk drawings on blackboards (note to younger readers: this is what teachers used in the olden days before it was all marker pens and holograms).
The games industry needs to stop relying on sequels or risk developers and consumers losing interest, Harvest Moon creator Yasuhiro Wada has warned.
"I think the games industry worldwide is in danger if we keep making sequels," Wada told our sister site Eurogamer Italy in an interview about the upcoming release of Little King's Story on Wii.
"Games have been popular recently because of the amount of choice a person has to spend many hours on one title and then many hours on another title. If they keep playing the same games they will become bored eventually."
Rising Star Games has plans to deliver an exclusive fantasy role-playing adventure on Wii.
It's called Little King's Story and is made by Marvelous Entertainment, who gave us various Harvest Moon games.
It will be out here early next year and tells the story of a young boy who finds he has magical powers when he puts a crown on. His adventure begins after he becomes king and returns to the village he grew up in.