Developer: Chih-Ying Chiu
Price: FREE
Version: 1.2.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

maddragon09I love surprises. Specifically, I love nice surprises. It’s always a genuine pleasure to encounter something that’s unexpectedly pleasant, regardless of any possible preconceptions. And despite the somewhat underwhelming presentation seen in both the screen shots and video clip, Mad Dragon is exactly the sort of surprise I’m talking about.

Most treasure-seekers, whether they can breathe fire or not, don’t tend to like having their loot pilfered. So naturally when a goblin sneaks in to this particular dragon’s den for a little burgling, things get a bit messy. Mad Dragon is an endless runner, but it’s also sort of an endless flyer. And an endless physics destruction simulator. It’s weird but it works. Players can make their dragon jump by tapping the screen or fly for a limited time (so long as it has the stamina) by tapping and holding. Squash enough goblins and it can also start spewing fire, which can really mess things up. However, they’ll have to watch out for exploding barrels along the way, lest they have their run cut short.

Mad Dragon is such a simple idea, but it’s also kind of brilliant. Simply running and flying along while roasting goblins and avoiding explosives is decent fun, but plowing through structures and watching all the little bits fly everywhere makes it even more so. But that’s only a part of it. Aside from legitimately being fun to play, there are also quite a few things in the shop to spend those hard earned coins on. These include power-ups, upgrades to flight time, and so on as is the norm, but they also include a number of dragon customization options. I’d seriously be content just smashing goblins in order to unlock more of those head, talon, and tail options. Heck, players can even customize the dragon’s den with decorations and a treasure horde that actually grows along with their in-game earnings.

maddragon12It can be tough to spy the bigger goblins with explosives strapped to them amidst all the debris when charging through a building, however. That and the flame breath can actually be more of a curse than a blessing since, in my experience anyway, it has a tendency to burn down structures too soon and drop barrels right on top of me. I also have to say that I’m not too crazy about the dragon’s default jump height. It just feels a bit too high and makes those moments when a little hop would suffice impossible to pull off.

Mad Dragon, like most games, has a few minor issues but they never get in the way of the fun. And what an unexpected amount of fun it is! Even now I’m trying to figure out what I want to save up for next, and I can’t wait to get back to it.


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