I love dragons. It probably says something that to this day, many years after it came out, the Sean Connery/Dennis Quaid movie Dragonheart is still my favorite movie. If you haven’t seen it, you should. Don’t let the old-fashioned beginning-of-CGI-era graphics fool you – it’s a fantastic movie. But as a result, when I found out there was a game that let you raise your own baby dragon on your iPad, I knew I had to review it.
The cartoony graphics made me smile as the game loaded. The first thing that happened was that I got to pick between a green, a pink, and a blue dragon. I picked the blue one because – well, blue is my favorite color. The Kingdom loaded, and I got to see my dragon bouncing around my screen. He needed a name. I enjoyed the naming process – he hops up on his hind legs and watches as you type his name – he even gives input. If you don’t pick a name, there’s one already typed in the name field that will default if you just click “done”. I named mine after a character in a book series I’m reading, and moved on.
There’s no explanation given as there is in some games for how you got here, where here is, or how you came to have a pet dragon. But you have one, there’s some Cowgirl trying to help you raise him or her, and a King and Queen that seem to constantly be in need of help. You get and complete quests for them that feel a bit, well, text based. All that happens is the quest pops up, your dragon does some sort of action (sniffing for searching, breathing fire for attacking, flapping wings for following, etc), and you click to progress through the steps of the quest. The quest system was kind of disappointing, given that I’m used to Zynga game style quest systems.
Your dragon runs on energy which he gets from food or resting. You use this energy to engage quests, or to train him to do tricks. The more tricks he knows, the better he performs on quests. You can also buy clothes to dress up your dragon – by the time I was done, my dragon was wearing a tuxedo, a collar, and some sort of weird mask.
My biggest complaint is that the only way to buy food for him to increase his energy is with the real-money currency of the game: Coins Of The Realm. Otherwise you spend a lot of time just waiting for his energy to refill so you can train with him or quest with him again. It’s a fun game, and kind of reminds me of Nintendogs, but I don’t think I’ll be keeping this one.
Price: Free (optional in-app purchases ranging from $1.99 to $19.99)
Version reviewed: 1.0.1
Requires iOS 4.0 or later
Download size: 103 MB