App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
User Interface Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Slow motion is always cool, but it's even cooler when put into an action game. Drag'n'Boom does exactly that, and has you play as a little adorable dragon to boot. It's not the most complicated game in the world, but it does provide a lot of slow motion action. In fact, one might say it provides a bit too much of it.
In Drag'n'Boom, you control a dragon with the main purpose of hoarding gold and killing any knights, archers, or other enemies that try to stop you. The entire game is presented as a sort of 2D platformer, with players tapping, dragging, and releasing on the left side of the screen to control their movement and doing the same on the right side of the screen to control their dragon's fireballs.
Drag'n'Boom generally moves at a blazing fast pace that might make even Sonic the Hedgehog look slow, but all that changes as soon as players start tapping and dragging on the screen. When inputting a new movement or attack, Drag'n'Boom's action slows to a crawl so that you can aim precisely and pull off some pretty incredible maneuvers.
In each of Drag'n'Boom's 50 levels, there are three primary goals: collecting as many coins as possible, avoiding attacks from enemies, and killing as many enemies as possible. You can always simply opt to reach the end of each level, but doing so removes all challenge from a game that already feels a bit easy.
To help incentivize these bonus goals, Drag'n'Boom has a clever scoring and upgrade system that grants greater rewards more quickly to players who skillfully achieve every level's objectives. Simply put, killing enemies allows for a coin multiplier, and the coins you earn between levels go to unlock new kinds of fireballs for your dragon to use. With this simple system, players are encouraged to go out of their way to attack enemies, which both increases your coin-earning potential and time spent in the line of fire.
Sliding through levels and burning everything in your path looks and feels pretty amazing, and the slow motion mostly helps that along by making things more cinematic. Unfortunately though, it also has the side-effect of making Drag'n'Boom a bit too easy. There's no limit to how many times you can enter slo-mo, or even a time limit for how long you can adjust your aim. In theory, you can play through entire levels completely in slow motion by cleverly alternating your taps on screen.
This wouldn't necessarily be a problem if Drag'n'Boom's levels ramped up to insane difficulty levels, but they never really do. By the time you're halfway through the levels, you've seen almost every obstacle and enemy type the game has to offer, and their arrangements don't get so tight that they're ever too hard to navigate when things are slowed down.
Beyond being too easy, it's also worth noting that Drag'n'Boom's free-to-play strategy also involves serving pop-up ads. You can pay to disable them, but if you're not looking to spend money on the game, unsolicited video ads can be a real turn-off.
The bottom line
Drag'n'Boom is a neat arcade game that makes a great first impression, but it falls off hard because of its lack of difficulty and tuning. If there were some more complicated level designs or a limit to your powers, I could see Drag'n'Boom being a really satisfying platformer, but instead it's just a flashy power trip that gets old pretty quickly.