Version Reviewed: 1.3.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
An exciting Match Three title that feels a cut above the rest? Surely not! That's exactly the case with Dragon Portals HD. It might prove to be quite a challenge to many players but it's certainly a far cry from so many stagnant and uninspiring Match Three games before it.
The premise of the game is a little outlandish. Saving the world is in there but in a fairly unconventional way. All players need to know is that they have to send dragons back from whence they came from. To do this, they must match orbs of various colors. Ah ha, there's the Match Three side of the game. Don't run away though. It works well. Four dragons are on screen, each with a number of orbs inside their bodies. Players can only match the orbs by dropping them down, never up. This adds the much needed level of strategy. Not needing to manoevre much also means that controls are limited to just one tap. Players only need to have one finger available at any time in order to tap an orb to make it go down. It's as simple as that.
Special powers are provided which offer a mixture of passive bonuses and magical attacks. While one might highlight all relevant moves, another can unleash a lightning bolt from the sky. It keeps the action flowing quickly which is vital in a game with such a tight time limit. Dragon Portals HD is not for the faint hearted. It's pretty tough in later stages, even for those used to the genre. It wasn't long before I found myself in a race against time at the end of each level with dragons desperate to fall from the sky. It keeps things ticking along nicely, however. While Dragon Portals HD might ultimately be a fairly repetitive and formulaic game, the speed in which progression must be made makes it feel more exciting than other games of its type.
Besides the main story mode of the game, there's also a survival mode which is pretty self explanatory - last as long as possible. There's also a form of mini game in between levels which offers a photography task. Players must take photos of dragon faces. It's an OK distraction but pretty dull after a while and easy to skip past.
Dragon Portals HD might be yet another Match Three title but it does so with a flourish. The style of the game is very appealing and the gameplay is fast and addictive. It's an ideal combination.