Developer: Glu Games Inc
Price: Free
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

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

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

How is it possible to both be a gamer and not like dragons? There is just something about these fire breathing mythical beasts that have been striking chords with gamers for decades. With such widespread acceptance, it only makes sense that numerous games would employ the carnivorous critters for countless different purposes. In Glu Games’ new title Dragon Slayer, the player is tasked with slaying hordes of dragons. Imagine that! Can this free-to-play experience take flight on iOS, or is the adventure grounded in level grinding purgatory?

Anyone who has ever played more than two minutes of either Infinity Blade is going to instantly know what Dragon Slayer is all about. Players are put in control of a magical character and set lose on ridding regions of their flame throwing infestation issues. Along with dragons, several fantastical varieties of reptile also join the fray, all in the name of mixing things up a bit. But rest assured, no matter what the creature may be, it will look fantastic on virtually every piece of iOS hardware.

In what could only be defined as the most liberal definition of “borrowing” known to man, the title’s control scheme also seems to mirror that of Epic’s successful mobile franchise. Dodging, slashing and blocking are all there, with a few magical super moves thrown in for good measure. There are even chances to slightly modify the avatar’s weaponry, but frankly, the options for substantial upgrade are slim to none.

What drags the experience down even further are the constant prompts that tell the player about how in-app purchases will greatly help their progression. Additionally, the ludicrously sluggish rate that cash and gems are acquired through level grinding also renders the experience muted at best. Once players reach the third set of missions, it is darn near impossible to progress any further without the help of a few dead presidents.

It is one thing to pay homage to previously successful titles through use of similar game mechanics and design. It is something else altogether to be creatively bankrupt and shamelessly devoid of personality. Unfortunately Dragon Slayer seems to mirror more of the later statement than the former. Sure, it may look pretty on the surface, but the luscious sheen of brilliant visuals will appear far more tarnished once the constant reminders to shell out cash kick in. Don’t let this beast slay your wallet.

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