Dragon Panic Review for iPhone and iPod Touch
Hot off the presses from developer Binary Square, and publisher ClickGamer.com, comes Dragon Panic for the iPhone and iPod Touch. With a retro 8-bit look and feel, Dragon Panic utilizes the iPhone’s patented Accelerometer for character movement to help the dragons Berny and Blaze stop the weapons and debris from falling on their bridge.
Gameplay for Dragon Panic feels just like any other old school 8-bit videogame you might have played as a kid. The game’s goal is about as simplistic as you can get. You have the option of picking one of two dragons, named Berny and Blaze. There are no differences in the two, except color and name. You then control them with the iPhone’s Accelerometer, moving them to the left and right of the screen, while tapping the screen to shoot the falling debris. The goal of the game is to rack up as high a score as possible before you fall into the lava underneath the bridge you are on, or get hit in the head with one of the falling items.
My personal feelings for this game are very mixed. On one hand, there is a game that is a great homage to classic 8-bit videogames that I grew up playing. On the other hand, this is a priced game that delivers very basic gameplay and lack of levels or story that other games the same price include.
The audio for Dragon Panic also pays tribute to its retro forefathers, but lacks a convincing soundtrack and effects. After several rounds of play, I ended up turning off the sound to increase my enjoyment.
I would say the one saving grace of this game is the Global High Score. Dragon Panic records your highest scores and you have the option to send them in to the game server to be ranked. I found that the more I played, the more I wanted to keep my rank and that alone pulled me back.
I had a big issue with the way the dragons fired their projectile fireballs, as it was very hard to gauge the correct angle at which to hit an object. It would be better served to stick with the dragons firing upward. There was also the issue with the instructions. While it clearly showed you how to move and fire, it did not explain any of the special upgrades or potions you could get. I ended up just guessing as to what each potion did as I shot it, and after a while figured out that one makes you invulnerable, one destroys everything on screen, another bounces the fireballs, and another doubles the fireballs shot at one time.
There is a lot of potential for this game, and I will try to keep this brief, because there are a flurry of ideas running through my head at this time. A story mode is definitely needed, as the official iTunes page for this game explains that the dragons are battling an evil knight, and that is who is throwing all the items down onto the dragons. Levels would also be a great improvement, so that players have something to strive towards, instead of just an endless onslaught of falling objects. So if you are listening out there Binary Square, Stories and Levels to help aide the little devils! (Pardon the rhyming, it just felt right. And devils = dragons, bear with me I needed it to rhyme.)
Overall, for a game as simple and basic as Dragon Panic , I would recommend picking another game for $.99 until the developers come up with a way to liven up and enrich the gameplay.
1. Potions, potions, potions! Want a little extra help battling the falling debris? Shoot and break a potion with a fireball and you can become invincible, get double fireballs, or ricochet shots.
2. Skulls = BAD. Don’t let the skull hit the floor! As soon as that happens, say “bye bye dragon!”, because skulls mean GAME OVER.
I would recommend this game to people who really like those old 8-bit games, and don’t mind playing something that is repetitive and basic.
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Filed: Entertainment • Games • iPhone