Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
There are few things more inherently awesome than dragons. Even the most mediocre fantasy novel or DreamWorks movie can be made noticeably better by the addition of a flying, fire-breathing monster. Dragon Trials applies this theory to a multiplayer flying action game with pretty good results, but only for those patient enough to actually find an opponent.
After spending some time in the helpful training grounds, players soon discover that Dragon Trials is essentially Mario Kart's battle mode in the sky. Tilting the device will gracefully pilot the dragon across airborne arenas as they collect power-ups like fireballs, missiles, invisibility eggs, and mines to unleash against their opponents. To score points though players must collect the randomly spawning golden egg and guide it into the fixed goal hoop. Other players can steal the egg mid-flight though so skillful soaring and smart use of the weapons and dash ability is crucial.
However, while most environments are lush, open, storybook fields with a bright, flat, and colorful aesthetic, others are painfully cramped. Their twisted, linear layouts feel more like racetracks than battle arenas, and when the egg spawns near one player in these maps it’s unfair how almost impossible it is for others to catch up with them in time. Choosing a dragon with better stats can help but, of course, they cost extra. It still might be worth it to pay though seeing as video and banner ads for Clash of Clans constantly cross the line between acceptably annoying and unbearably obnoxious.
In the right arena though, Dragon Trials proves to be a fun, chaotic battle royale. Unfortunately it’s multiplayer-only and waiting for even just one more player to join, let alone three, will test players’ patience. While bots aren’t as good as live human opponents, they would’ve been a nice addition. Unbalanced maps and a small player base may sound like a lot to suffer through, but Dragon Trials' hot dragon-on-dragon action is exciting enough to justify most of these grievances. Burninating enemies Trogdor-style is usually worth the wait.