Developer: Spicy Pixel
Price: $1.99
Version: 1.0.4
App Reviewed on: iPad

Graphics / Sound Rating: Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Game Controls Rating: Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Dragon Swarm is an extremely streamlined real-time strategy game developed by Spicy Pixel. Although the game isn’t the best looking game for your iPad, it definitely makes up for its visual inadequacies through its gameplay.

photo 2 (34)The concept behind Dragon Swarm is very similar to most other real-time strategy games. Players are tasked with building up their army of dragons so that they may defeat their enemies and defend their own territories. What makes this game unique is that a player’s number of dragons is the single, most important factor in determining victory. To explain: each player starts with a designated dragon nest. These nests automatically produce dragons, and the number of these dragons determines both the defense rating for the nest and the power of that nest if a player chooses to attack another nest. The ultimate goal of the game is for players to manage the generation of dragons such that they conquer all of the opposing dragons’ nests.

To keep things varied and interesting, players can upgrade nests, but again, this will cost players a designated number of dragons. These upgrades include the ability to boost dragon production, fire upon enemy dragons in transit, and generate powerful “elder dragons,” among other things. Because these upgrades, as well as almost everything else in Dragon Swarm, is determined by the number of dragons available at any given moment, players will need to balance progression with the generation of dragons if they wish to succeed.

photo 1 (34)The balancing act that Dragon Swarm demands of players is easily the most interesting thing about the game, and makes each game session quite fun. Unfortunately, this experience is dampened by a somewhat crude visual style and a relative absence of human players to compete against online.

In the grand scheme of things, there could be bigger problems with Dragon Swarm. The game is perfectly competent and interesting to boot. I suggest players concerned with multiplayer or visuals should steer clear though.

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