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Developer: NextFloor
Price: Free
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: new iPad

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

The endless shmup with upgrades is nothing brand new, but Dragon Flight is more like the love-child of an endless runner and a shmup. Shooting is automatic, and the enemies attack down the screen in wall-like waves. Play becomes a matter of carving your way through these walls, with dodging as key to progress as well-aimed shots. So pushing through Dragon Flight is like pushing through Temple Run, with quick reflexes and stamina both required in equal measure. Meanwhile upgrades and power-ups help me get that little bit further, as well as consolidate that all too dangerous one-more-go factor.

If that one-more-go factor is the hook then the bait is simplistic and appealing play, and Dragon Flight scores high here too. Sliding my dragon across the screen is a cinch, even if the quick slides sometimes necessary do bring on friction burns. Power-ups are similarly easy to use, like sliding up to produce a wide light beam attack. Alongside simple play is a cute retro look with modern definition. The retro is in the colorful variety of scrolling landscapes, like the dunes of a desert or the greenery of a dense forest, and in the bright spectrum of beams that make up my shots. Both evoke memories of many a classic shmup. Meanwhile the mulitcolored waves of dragons, as well the chibi image of my pink-haired valkyrie gleaming with victory at the end of each run, is plain adorable.

On the flip side, Dragon Flight is lacking in variety. Endless waves of ever-sturdier dragons, however colorul, are always going to feel monotonous, especially with a dearth in power-ups. It’s maybe greedy to ask it of a free game (albeit one with purchasable coins for upgrades), but more power-ups and the occasional boss fights would take Dragon Flight to the next level. It’s maybe because the foundations of play and presentation are so solid that the lack of development is a little disappointing. On a side note, while I don’t doubt its success as a marketing ploy it’s still a bit low to constantly badger players to review your game with the bribe promise of 5000 free coins for doing so.

Sneakiness and monotony aside, Dragon Flight is certainly worth trying out. It may only keep interest for a few minutes or it might take over your day, but either way I’m confident most will enjoy their time with it. It’s free, it has endless shooting, it has dragons, and it has a cute pink-haired valkyrie. What’s not to love?

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