home > review > Outpost Kaloki X Delivers Cartoony Strategy to XBLA
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ups: warm graphics ; fun sound effects ; addictive gameplay
downs: not as deep as it could be

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Outpost Kaloki X Delivers Cartoony Strategy to XBLA
game: Outpost Kaloki X
four star
posted by: Tristan Mayshark
publisher: NinjaBee
developer: NinjaBee
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ESRB rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older)
date posted: 09:49 AM Sat Mar 4th, 2006
last revision: 09:49 AM Sat Mar 4th, 2006

Click to read.Strategy gamers looking for an Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) game don\'t have very many options right now. That being said, Outpost Kaloki X is a fun game whose ease of play and colorful graphics outshine its basic premise.

As with all of the other XBLA games, XBox 360 owners have the ability to try out Kalooki for free by downloading the demo, so there\'s really no reason not to give Kaloki a go.

Gamers familiar with Railroad Tycoon, Mall Tycoon, Zoo Tycoon, or the extremely controversial Anonymous Mass Grave Tycoon, will find themselves at home with Kaloki, as the premise is the same: encourage shops to grow in your space station and encourage trade, with the goal of satisfying customer demand and making your station successful.

The simple premise hides somewhat deep gameplay as you progress to the later levels - everything becomes a balancing act. The biggest problem for me wasn\'t being profitable, it was being profitable rapidly enough to satisfy the goals of each level in the alloted amount of time.

There are two modes of play, \"adventure\" and \"war\". \"Adventure\" presents a more laid back (at least initially) series of missions revolving around basic commerce and trade, while \"war\" uses a backdrop of intergalactic conflict to... well, basically to force you to complete the same tasks that revolve around commerce and trade. However, gamers should be happy to have both modes as they are somewhat different and provide a much longer experience.

Graphically, Kaloki looks like a state of the art game from five years ago, which seems appropriate for a $8 title. The graphics are overall very warm, and I find the look of the game rather relaxing and comforting. Likewise, the spacey soundtrack sets an unhurried ambiance (which is somewhat at odds with the games\' pace in places).

Of course, one of the things Kaloki has been well-known for are its cartoony visuals and clever narrative bits. As visitors seek out your station, you can check in on them to find out what they want and what they\'re doing. These are often full of clever bits of dialogue. And the progressive story is a bit more interesting and funny than the typical strategy game, although ultimately the same kinds of tasks are presented.

The down side to Kaloki would be the fact that many gamers will be reluctant to spend a lot of time with a surprisingly deep strategy title that looks a half-decade old. This isn\'t such a dilemma now-- there are no other strategy titles available for Xbox 360. However, once big name strategy titles filter to the 360, such as this Summer\'s coming Battle for Middle Earth II from EA, Kaloki might start to look more like a minor diversion than a title to seek out.

It\'s not just that a big budget or fancier graphics will make the game that much better. But the strategy genre is always a challenge on a home console, and eventually Kaloki will face some stiff competition.

Anyone with a 360 is well advised to check out the demo version of Outpost Kaloki X, and go from there. It does a more than adequate job of showing off the game, and most gamers should easily be able to tell if Kaloki\'s brand of slightly off-beat interstellar lemonade stand is what they\'re looking for in a gaming experience.

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