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Developer: Madman Theory Games
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: The new iPad

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Minidragon is an arena game where a dragon shoots fireballs at waves of endless enemies. I’ve played a game exactly like this before in a less fantasy-themed arena, Gun Bros. They’re both basically arena games with two joysticks, one for movement and one for shooting. Constant waves of enemies come at the player while they’re destroyed, blown up, and incinerated into many pieces of gore and blood. Minidragon was fun but not worth hours of time.

The game includes eight different dragons for the player to use in six different arenas. Seven different weapons can be picked up during the game to change the way the dragon fires (bomb-type fire balls, multi-balls, etc). Three power-ups can also be picked up during the game. There are three different camera views available in the settings. I absolutely hated the third-person view and dynamic was a bit too jerky, but I was happy with the default camera view.

Let’s talk about some problems with the game.

I’m not at all happy about where the joysticks are placed on the screen. I prefer my joysticks in the bottom left and right corners. These joysticks are closer to the middle of the screen which, if playing on an iPhone, isn’t a big deal. But on my iPad, it sets players up for an uncomfortable way to hold their device.

There’s no pause “button.” Players are left to find out that to pause the game, the faceplate of the dragon in the top-left corner of the screen needs to be pushed.

There’s an annoying clicking sound every time the dragon takes a step that I assume is supposed to be the sound of his footsteps. It’s a bit too high pitched. I guess it can pass as it’s claws clicking on pavement. But either way, it’s annoying enough for me to turn the volume way down despite the pretty awesome guitar riff going on during the game.

A button that frequently pops up that looks like “retry” or “replay” (an arrow wrapped in a circle) is actually the “back” button. It took me quite a few times of accidentally hitting it to retry a level before I learned my lesson.

While there are some slight annoyances in Minidragon, it provided a fun overall experience. For $0.99, most players should get exactly their money’s worth out of the game.

Gameplay footage below.


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