Graffiti Kingdom Review

So have you ever had an interesting idea for something, only to have it turn out disappointing and not quite as expected? If so, then you will be able to really relate to Graffiti Kingdom. The game is ostensibly a platformer, but in reality it is a concept in search of a game.

The concept in this case is the ability to design your own character, and I don’t mean by mixing and matching a few hair styles and outfits. The game comes with its own set of drawing tools that let you create a character out of a connected geometry of shapes that you draw and color as you like. There’s not really a need for much artistic talent here as the game starts you off with creatures such as bears or little bouncing balls that you can expand upon with your own additions or customizations. Add an extra arm, spikes, or a big flower just by drawing them on your creature. The game even presents you with several objects that resemble the one you just drew in case one of them is closer to what you actually tried to draw. It’s all actually pretty easy and I was able to quickly turn my walking teddy bear into a cuddly version of Wolverine, complete with claws and a belt with an X on it. As the game progresses you get access to new abilities, allowing you to add wings to make your creature fly or wheels to allow it to scoot along at high speed. Once you’ve made your way deep into the game, the creature design options are really varied and give you plenty of variety to design a really unique creation.

OK, that’s the pretty cool part of the game. Things start to go downhill when you actually get to use your creation. Surrounding this character creation utility is a bizarre (but not in a good way) and really pretty basic platformer that won’t keep you playing the game once the novelty wears off.

Let’s start with the game’s story, which is a mix of the standard “kingdom in trouble” platform storyline and an attempt to somehow work the drawing aspect into the game. It seems that there was a peaceful kingdom that was one day sieged by a demon and his forces. Special wizards used the “power of graffiti” to save the day and imprison the demon within the castle. (Next time you get angry at a tagger for defacing public property, remember that he may one day save you from a demon.) Fast-forward to the present and all is well in our kingdom until the mischievous princess finds an old graffiti wand and uses it to create something that looks like a cross between a cat and a blackboard eraser that will be your constant companion and guide through the game. The princesses’ next creation is a bouncing ball which through a series of misfortunate bounces lands on the demon – who seems to have been relegated to the role of a wall-hanging in the basement. The ball frees the demon of course and he immediately sets off to rule the kingdom again. In short order he transforms the peaceful kingdom into a twisted realm and plops his very own castle into the middle. Now you won’t see this next part coming: it is up to you to go into the castle to defeat the demon and his minions, thus restoring your kingdom.