Android Game Review: Spotlight – Lil Kingdom

Lil Kingdom Glu Mobile

Free (some ads, push notifications, pay services, incestuous marketing)

I will never forgive Glu Mobile for making this game.

This won’t read like a traditional review.  If you want an actual review of the game, I can sum it up thusly: This is a way prettier, far more interactive, intensively addictive, and more satisfying Tiny Tower, with a buttload more cunning ways to entice you to spend money and acquire other Glu Mobile and affiliate products.  Moving on to my rant.

Lil Kingdom, I don’t know why I keep coming back to you.  I can’t help myself.  Whenever I need to waste a little time and I’m bored of Temple Run, I launch you and dive into restocking my castle’s floors, attending to the Princess’s whims, and staring at my screen blur as I zoom downwards with the elevator, dropping various people off at various floors.  I can’t get enough of the cutesy graphics, the adorable things the citizens say, the random rewards granted for mundane tasks… it’s unbearable.  My actual productivity as a blogger has been stifled by your presence on my phone.  Glu Mobile, you’ve created the ant-farm game equivalent of heroin.

I’ve been playing this for a few months, now – and meant to write a review sooner.  I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t put into words the helpless addiction to this game I have, until now; now that it is royally pissing me off.  I’ve reached the end of the game, after countless hours – I have no more floors to build, I have (nearly) placed every citizen into their ideal job… I have dozens of unicorns and dragons wandering the place, wanting me to use their amazing abilities to buy out and restock floors, respectively.  I’m nearly out of things to do… but I kept playing because of what the game refused to give me.

After running out of businesses to build, after all that time playing, I’d only had acquired 1 out of the then 5 ‘special floors’ you receive for completing collections – collection items gained by attending to the Princess’s little whims which she calls quests.  She’s sent me hundreds of times to fetch some random item from the stock of the castle, and all but 3 occasions I did not fail to acquire the item in the time she has given me.  She has rewarded me with tons of silver and gold, and many, many items; unfortunately, never the ones I needed.  I’ve completed the same collection (for the Counting House) over 20 times.  I need one item to complete every other set, but for some reason I just keep getting Countess’s Collection ones.  It is incredibly infuriating – especially when my wife and my friends who are also playing the game have received multiple special floors from completing bonus sets around me on far less playing time.

Really?  That’s all I get?  Not even that much?  It’s like you taxed me.  This is the 20th time you’ve completed this set for me and NEVER EVER LET ME COMPLETE ANOTHER?!!  RARRRGHGHGASDLKMWAFLKQ*IMVC@N@G

I spent hours installing games, signing up for services, and even spent money – buying flowers from proflowers.com through your online link for my mom on Mother’s Day – in order to get the gold coins needed to make tons and tons of unicorns and dragons.  I did everything you ever wanted, Glu.  My wife even dropped a few bucks for some coinage.  Still, these final items needed eluded me, every single time giving me duplicate items or coins or filling out the Countess’s collection.  After weeks of this, I completely rage quit. I didn’t need to see the jester do another back flip.

Suddenly, things changed.  I heard there had been an update to the game.  I open it up again, and discover a new bonus floor, the Fireworks Factory.  I’m immediately sucked right back in.  Along with the dwarves who speed up your floor building, the mage who restocks floors, the knight who delivers new residents, and the elf who increases resident’s stats, a new visitor appeared at the front door of the castle; a merchant, who sells collection items you DO NOT have for the steep price of 50 gold coins.  The very first merchant who arrived for me sold me a final item I’d been needing for ages, and I now have 2 special floors.  Yay!  Wait… No!  You’ve successfully gotten me playing again!

A week later, I am completely furious again.  I have had the MERCHANT complete my Countess Collection on me, now.  I’m having to strategize around the merchant arriving, avoiding doing anything for the Princess for what feels like ages so that I don’t accidently complete the stupid Countess collection again.  Spending 50 gold coins earned over hours of hiring/firing new residents to earn 2 gold coins for completing an already-completed collection makes me want to throw my phone and weep in a corner.   You evil, evil jerks at Glu Mobile, how could you do this to someone who loves your game?!

I realize this is more of a giant rant than a review, but I can’t help it.  I may need therapy to stop playing this awesome game.  My case is not typical; most people will just have fun with it.  Don’t be like me!

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2 thoughts on “Android Game Review: Spotlight – Lil Kingdom

  1. Yes. Totally addictive! But my main gripe is a bug in the game that Glu does not acknowledge nor plan to fix. I’ve experienced it on two android devices – a smartphone and a tablet. The gold counter/credit gets stuck. So when you earn a gold piece or spend gold the counter remains the same. I’m unable to progress in this game until this gets fixed, which was never fixed in the numerous fixes released by Glu. Such a shame it was such a nice game.

    • That’s the problem with a lot of these “Big Developers” – particularly the S. Korean ones – no support, contact, anything. Just produce, produce, produce, and advertise their other games.

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