Developer: Team Chaos
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★½☆☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

If there was a checklist of features that a freemium based Match-3 game required, Dragon Academy would have every single one marked off. It would also lack any original features of its own, reminding one of the potential pitfalls of copying something so iconic as Candy Crush Saga.

Tenuously throwing a storyline into such predictable gameplay, players watch as the story of Melty the Purple Dragon unfolds. He’s off to save the Dragon Hatchlings from the evil Wobblins and the only way he can do this is by matching plenty of gems together. It might be reasonably entertaining at first, but it really is playing it safe.

dragonacademy4dragonacademy3Each level of the game brings with it an objective in order to pass to the next. Such objectives tend to involve either reaching a certain high score, clearing numerous goo obstacles, or simply coaxing a scroll or potion to the bottom of the screen. It’s the kind of thing that, yes, we’ve seen before. Not that, admittedly, it fails miserably here. It’s briefly quite fun, although there’s a significant difficulty spike later on, presumably to encourage players to spend some money on power-ups. The problem is that Dragon Academy brings little new to the genre.

Much is touted about the ability to upgrade Melty’s abilities in order to help one’s progress, but what this really means is simply charging up a special move by collecting a certain number of colored gems. It’s fairly underwhelming and hardly changes things up for this distinctly safe title.

Other than that, Dragon Academy is something we’ve all played before. A brief distraction but far from memorable, and eventually quite keen to entice money out of its players. Those desperate for a Candy Crush Saga style fix might be intoxicated by Dragon Academy‘s charms, but the wise really should stick to more original Match-3 games.

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