If youíve played either of the Crystal Chronicles games on the DS or GCN, you know that the game plays is an action RPG that has battles go on in real time and discards the use of menus to choose your actions. Thatís not the case with My Life As A King. In fact, the only real ties this game has to the Crystal Chronicles name is the art style and setting. The gameplay itself is that of a city building sim game and bears no real relation to its RPG name.
My Life As A King follows you as tiny, young king Leo(thatís the default. You get to name him) tasked with rebuilding your kingdom with the magical power known as Architek. Your power is granted to you by the giant crystal in the center of your kingdom and enables you to construct buildings from memories alone.
When starting out, you only have a few houses and a small handful of villagers but you eventually expand to include businesses and parks. Buildings are built using a material known as elementite which is obtained through comissioned adventurers. With any good kingdom, money is a necessity and yours is no different. Funds come from your kingdoms inhabitants in the form of tithes which are used to hire more adventurers to scour dungeons and caves for materials and to pay for weapon and armor research.
The game is broken up into days cycling from morning to sundown. As you talk and grow closer to your subject, you will be able to stay out longer. Each morning consists of a quick rundown of the previous days events. You can read through your adventurers exploits, check your budget, and assign quests to be posted in the townís bulletin board.
My Life As A King will set you back $15 and 287 blocks. Additional downloadable content like new dungeons or races requires more money. Dungeons are sold in packs of two or three and will run you about $2-3 and take up one additional block of memory. The Clavat race is the only one available to you but the other races can be bought and unlocked after completing a dungeon. They will cost you $3 each or you could buy a pack with all three for $8 saving you one whole dollar.
I didnít really pay much attention to or follow the news around MLAAK but I jumped in on an impulse and I found myself enjoying the game more that I thought I would. Like LostWinds, MLAAK looks great. Itís not pants crappingly beautiful but for a downloadable game, it is quite the looker. Graphically the game sits somewhere in GameCube territory. Gameplay wise, there is more than enough to keep you occupied for quite a while, yet at the same time it feels like they shortchanged you by making content like the other races a strictly pay-to-play affair.
Iíd still recommend it if you donít mind not having a few features unless you want to pay.