Version Reviewed: 1.3
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Deeply reminiscent of popular dragon breeding freemium game, Dragonvale, Dragon City Mobile is a title that comes with some promising beginnings and some underwhelming conclusions.
Like in Dragonvale, Dragon City Mobile is all about breeding new types of dragons, feeding them and levelling them up. Uniquely, these dragons can then be used in battle with each other and against other players, thereby unlocking new treasures and bonuses. In the early stages, this is all simply and attractively introduced. With cutesy visuals luring players in, a series of objectives are offered, clearly laying out what's expected of the player.
These objectives guide players through how to place new buildings, as well as more complicated things such as how to breed dragons to create new types. It's fun, at first, and feels quite satisfying, given the relatively short amount of time it takes to wait for things to conclude. Unfortunately, this is relatively short lived. After a time, the objectives list begins to repeat itself with only minor differences to previous tasks. More frustratingly, it can take many hours to complete higher level tasks meaning players are left with little to do other than wait. Of course, this is where the urge to spend real money comes into play as it does speed things up massively. With little structure to give players a reason to progress further, though, it's less appealing.
The process of gaining a new breed is particularly slow, given that players must wait a set time for two dragons to breed and create an egg, then have to wait just as long again for the egg to hatch. Without a trickle of small and shorter tasks on hand, it's tempting to forget all about Dragon City Mobile. Not all tasks involve waiting for something to complete, but the remainder does require recruiting friends. Completely connected with Facebook, meaning players can continue their game through their browser, does make recruitment an easier process but it feels more marketing spin than fun way to progress.
Ultimately, Dragon City Mobile feels quite a cynical production. Starting out fun and loveable only goes so far, and with no sense of story or basic interactive mechanics, it turns into a slow tapping exercise. Seeing new dragons emerge might be fun but it's going to take quite a lot of patience to see out.