Dragon & Dracula Review

The Good

Cute character design.

The Bad

Level design feels slapped together. Controls were sometimes unresponsive.

Finally, we’ll find out who would win in a fight between Dracula and some random dragon

To me, games don’t really need much of a premise or story to be a ton of fun, but sometimes you can really feel the developers stretching to force things together that just feel strange. Of course, this can work if you approach it all with a well-placed sense of humor, but in Dragon & Dracula, there’s absolutely no rhyme or reason that Dracula wants your baby Dragon dead. OK, fine. Dracula and his bat and rat minions want to stop you from collecting coins and jewels. Let’s do this, I guess.

Dragon & Dracula is a 2D sidescrolling platformer that you’ve seen a million times before. You’ll start out as a baby dragon and grow up in three stages over the course of 25 levels. You’ll gain temporary perks like healing and invincibility as you collect coins throughout the levels. Use a virtual thumbstick for movement and a single jump button to propel your Dragon into the air.

The levels have varying goals, with some being to simply reach the end, others to collect all the jewels and occasionally to not die. Like a lot of platformers, there are groups of levels that have a boss at the end of each one and occasionally a bonus minigame. As your dragon grows you’ll eventually be able to customize his look, which is one of the game’s only notable touches. All of it leads to a final showdown with Dracula.

The thumbstick works well enough for what it is, as I didn’t really have too much trouble maneuvering with it. The jump button is pretty fickle. There were many instances where it was completely unresponsive causing my little Dragon dude to fall into a pit or get bit by one of the baddies. When it would work, there were many instances where I was jumping blindly do to seemingly random level design. I’m guessing they’re meant to be explored, but it relies on flashing arrows to nudge you in the (sometimes) right direction, which just screams of the levels being haphazardly slapped together.

Dragon & Dracula

Dragon & Dracula

The game doesn’t run all that well, especially with the “high quality” graphics turned on. Even on high end devices, the framerate comes to a screeching halt with no discernible improvement in how the game looks. Like a lot of mobile games, it’s heavy on pushing the in-app purchases and the developers other games. It seems like some of these folks should concentrate more on making better quality games instead of figuring how many ways they can charge you for things.

Creating a platformer is a risky proposition in this day and age. At this point we’ve all played a lot of excellent examples that serve as a very high benchmark. Playing a “just OK” platformer doesn’t cut it, so unless you’re going to create something that is as polished and fun to play as what’s come before, you shouldn’t even bother. There are definitely better gaming experiences to be had on the Android platform, so there’s no need to bother yourself with Dragon & Dracula.

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