“Road to Dragons.” Now there‘s a collection of words that should theoretically cause people to react in very different ways. One half of the population would turn and run, while the other half would bundle their essentials together with some twine and go running down the road in search of some scaly pals.
The giant reptiles populating Aquire’s puzzle / RPG aren’t necessarily friendly, but don’t let that stop you from travelling down its path. Though it lacks much in the way of challenge or strategy, Road to Dragons still offers engaging activities like monster-skewering and warrior-collecting.
Road to Dragons takes place in a post-cataclysmic world that’s been invaded by dragons (surprise). You’re recruited to help make things right, which means travelling down some dangerous highways.
Most of the action in Road to Dragons takes place on battlefields peppered with monsters and treasure boxes. You move towards the exit by selecting from one of eight Tetris-style shapes that determine the path you take.
When you engage with enemies, you swipe action icons to launch attacks. Connecting spears will cause your spearmen to jump forth, connecting swords will send your swordsmen into action, and so on. You can mix and match, but doing so costs “Souls.” If you run out of Souls, you’re done for.
Though its battle mechanics are unique, Road to Dragons otherwise has quite a bit in common with GungHo’s Puzzle & Dragons. As you play, you collect warriors for your team (you can win them in Gashapon-style drawings, too). There are commoners as well as rare selections, and each fighter has their own backstory. While the storytelling is much appreciated, the characters all use the same few body models with slight variations, so they don’t exactly stick to your memory.
The dragons you fight at the end of many levels are huge and awesome, however, and that’s what really counts. There are some pretty cool designs amongst them, my favorite being a boar-like dragon with saws for tusks. No, really.
Road to Dragons is easy to learn, though if you’re unfamiliar with games in the vein of Puzzle & Dragons, it may take you some time to get used to upgrading and evolving your fighters via fusion. In fact, the fights are a bit too simplistic at times, since all it takes to decimate an enemy is to hit them with every warrior you’ve got. Doing so requires Souls, but Soul depletion is rarely a problem because they can be regenerated through battles and via some of the treasure chests you find on-field. The chests are even marked so you know they’re worth going after.
That said, it’s better for a free-to-play game to take things easy at first. Far preferable to being slammed against a paywall five minutes into the experience.
Road to Dragons is a happy and enjoyable puzzle / battle hybrid that successfully combines new ideas with old ones. It’s free to download, so don’t be afraid to get out there and skin some scales.