Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
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I personally believe that dragons are an underused creature in video games these days. Sure, everyone loves zombies, and ninjas, and pirates, and maybe a few other things, but who doesn't love dragons? They make a great foe, and an even better buddy. Who's gonna mess with you when you've got a dragon to back you up? Well that's exactly the situation you find yourself in when playing How To Train Your Dragon (HTTYD), the new free flight game from Glu. Based on the forth-coming animated film from Dreamworks, HTTYD is brought to us by the makers of Glyder and Glyder 2 and shares many similarities to those games.
Playing as the main character of the film Hiccup, you spend your time flying your dragon around the varied game world, completing tasks, discovering locations and collecting items. Movement is governed through tilt controls, allowing you to guide your dragon by tilting forward to dive, backwards to climb etc. Rather than in Glyder where you had to find upward drafts to raise your flying machine, in HTTYD you are able to climb courtesy of your dragons flying abilities, allowing quicker and easier access to many of the games locations. The controls work very well, and it is clear that with each successive flight game, Glu are really nailing down their tilt controls.
There are 3 different locations to fly between, each with varying landscapes. Following the story mode will allow you to explore each of these, but there is nothing stopping you from flying off towards a distant landmass from the start. Dotted around each world are various collectibles which offer a distraction to the story mode (although collecting items is often what you find yourself doing while following the story). There are also a number of achievements for completing tasks whether it be exploration, item collection, or a combination of different things.
Unfortunately, there is nothing new here. The game is essentially a watered-down Glyder 2, maybe even Glyder 1, with a movie tie-in. The landscapes in How To Train Your Dragon are quite plain in comparison to the varied, colourful settings in either of the Glyder games, and there are fewer of them. In general there just seems to be less to do. It's nice to fly as a dragon for a change, but that's pretty much all this game has over the Glyder series. It's a fun little game for a while, but I'd find it hard to recommend to anyone but real fans of the genre. The real target market is young fans of the film, who will probably get plenty of enjoyment out of the game.
However, this game is yet to be given a price (at time of review) and it's possible that it may be free as there are pop-up adverts in-game. In that case it may compare well to Glyder 2 which will set you back $3. I'd say though, that if you find yourself an hour into How To Train Your Dragon and still enjoying it, then spend the money on Glyder 2 to enjoy Glu's market leader in this genre.