Behold, the mighty dragon! A fearsome beast, he will eat men alive, striking fear in all those around! That’s the typical image you get when thinking about dragons right? Well in Dragon Panic, they’re actually really cute! Help Bernie and Blaze, adorable green and pink dragons, from falling victim to the endless attacks dropped on them.
Immediately I noticed the retro visuals and soundtrack. Dragon Panic is created in the classic 8-bit graphic style, and the music accompanying it brings back those old school memories. The sound and images are well done and pretty polished. The dragon’s animations of sliding and shooting the fireballs are pretty smooth as well. They’re obviously not state of the art, but if you like these techniques you’ll be pleased.
The only thing I’d like to see are more of a variety in backgrounds, but the existing one has decent dungeon theme. The weapons and other items falling from the ceiling won’t you that much visually, but the dragons are the stars here, and they’re charming.
Ok, so basically you tilt your iPod Touch or iPhone left or right to control where your dragon moves. It really doesn’t matter if you choose Bernie or Blaze, as they don’t do anything differently. If you really tilt the accelerometer, your dragon speeds up and slides across the floor. The goal is to destroy things falling from the screen by shooting fireballs at them, otherwise you’ll die immediately if hit or the floor will start breaking apart.
The controls work well, except I’d prefer to be able to have at least the ability to shoot in 2 directions. Currently it’s only possible to shoot in a 45 degree direction left or right, but there was at least a way to shoot horizontally and vertically instead of just diagonally that would be great. Also, if you want to change direction but stay in the same place, precise movements are required and it can be a bit frustrating when you move when you only want to turn.
Gameplay is pretty straightforward. There’s no level system, just a continuous stream of items and weapons falling from the sky which net different points when you hit them. This isn’t boring by any chance, but it feels more like a mini-game you’d find someplace instead of an actual game. The goal is to try and attain as high of a score as possible, and the global leaderboards add on to the replay value.
There are a few game elements that add to the variety. For example, red potions will clear all the items on the screen, skulls will disrupt the dragons’ fireballs, and different weapons have varying levels of lethality. This creates the need to prioritize your choices because of course incinerating a shield, which destroys a stone in one hit, is more important than the spear, which needs 2 hits to destroy a stone.
Dragon Panic is pretty good at bringing back recollections of an earlier, simpler time in the gaming age. It’s pretty dry and doesn’t bring anything new to the table but it can’t be defined as bad. Dragon Panic is an ok for playing a few minutes at a time, but it’s missing things that would make it a definite buy. For 99 cents it would have been one to at least try out, but at 2 bucks it will probably be a pass for most people.
Nice retro feel
Dragons have that awww factor!
Gameplay is easy to understand
Only one game mode
No sense of progression
Could use some touch ups