littleDragon 3D
iPhone App
$0.99 Buy now!

littleDragon 3D

Our Review by Ray Willmott on August 7th, 2012
Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: FLYING HIGH
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There's not much fight but there's plenty of flight in this littleDragon. Will you take a journey with him?

Developer: Flyleap Studios
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.1
App Reviewed On: iPhone 4S

Graphics/Sound Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

Dragons are cool, aren't they? They can breathe fire, live undisturbed in vast caves, and best of all, they can fly.

Like most cool things these days, though, dragons are everywhere. In addition to merchandise and movies, so many games in the last few months have featured our hard-skinned friends in one role or another.

However, one recent title, littleDragon 3D, dares to be a bit different.

Players are tasked with helping a little blue dragon soar past mountain-peaks and tree-tops. By tapping the screen, the dragon responds to the player's touch by climbing in height.  By swiping the screen, players can also adjust height, swoop down to build up momentum, and move from side to side. The controls aren't always very responsive however, and players will regularly find themselves nose-diving into rocky stalactites and cavern faces. The option for additional tilt functionality would have definitely improved the overall experience.

The game allows for a controlled freedom but never fulfills the open world experience it yearns to provide. Player's view and manoeuvrability are constricted to the reach of the camera and despite the shift in environments,

they can still feel altogether confined.

The objective of littleDragon 3D is to see how long your dragon can fly, gauging the distance, speed and style of the flight. A combination of these will give players a mark out of 5 stars; a player's overall quality of flight openly assessed at the end of each turn.

It's not a new concept, certainly, but the free-flowing form of a majestic dragon taking to the skies, despite the hindrances of nature, eases players in, creating a bond of familiarity almost instantly.

In a strange, but not altogether unexpected development choice, players will need to guide their dragon into pieces of fruit that conveniently happen to be floating in the air in order to get a boost. Collecting these also add to your style as they generally direct players towards the game's best suggested route. Plus this gives gamers the chance to see the game at its finest; watching a little blue dragon swoop, glide and soar at full momentum against elegant backdrops.

littleDragon 3D is a beautiful game, but it is disrupted by regular graphical hiccups from the Unity engine. Players will regularly find their dragon tumbling through the landscape, falling out of the bottom of the world after losing control of the blue-winged wonder, and finding themselves glitching out to a game over.

There's a lot of ambition, but it is hampered by poor execution. littleDragon 3D would benefit from improvements across the spectrum, yet there is still a charm that manages to seep through that stops players from outright despising the game and, in fact, finding a bit of fun in there.  

iPhone Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

little Dragon 3D screenshot 1 little Dragon 3D screenshot 2 little Dragon 3D screenshot 3 little Dragon 3D screenshot 4 little Dragon 3D screenshot 5
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