Android App Video Review: DragonCraft

by Andrew Koziara

DragonCraft is a simple and fun new resource management title from Mobage. It has a cool theme and some interesting ideas, but it’s also very lacking on the technical side with poor stability and extremely slow loading. As far as these Facebook kind of games go, this one is not nearly as focused on the social aspect, though it does still try to tempt you with in-app purchases that you shouldn’t need. All in all, I liked it, but it definitely has some severe flaws.

In this fantasy world of knights, magic, and dragons, you play as a Dragon Baron--a kind of king who hatches and raises his own dragons while building his kingdom. By fighting off enemies and completing missions, you’ll get loads of wood, gold, food, and dragon crystals as a reward. You then build new buildings, research new troop units and abilities, and basically continue in that cycle forever.

While your lumber mills and mines are toiling away for a few hours at a time in search of resources, you’ll venture outside the castle walls to thin out the population of dangerous creatures wandering about, thereby making it safer for traders to come to your city. You’ll occasionally have to save players from a dragon by scaring them off with a single spear, as little sense as that makes. If you hit them with your spear, you’ll get one of five differently colored dragon scales. Collecting full sets of these scales will allow you to hatch a dragon after a set amount of time, and the more sets you complete, the stronger your dragon will be. Once your egg hatches, the cycle begins anew.

Here is where the real problems rear their ugly heads. You can throw both plain spears, or specialized dragon spears. Dragon spears will never miss, but they’re also hard to come by. Regular spears seem to miss the majority of the time, making it all rather frustrating. Dragon crystals themselves are also hard to come by, and can be quickly used up to grant special bonuses due to generally high resource costs. Of course, dragon crystals and spears are available through in-app purchases.

Honestly though, all of that isn’t what I hate about the game. I’m used to this kind of issue coming up. What I hate about the game is just how slow it is. It takes forever to boot up, and loading times are generally very long. It doesn’t help that they frequently make you sit through the same boring animations again and again for various tasks. The app has also frozen and crashed on me more than a handful of times. This is equivalent to a basic Facebook game in complexity and mechanics, and I just do not know what could possibly be going on with the memory and data management to make it so unbearably sluggish.

Besides those flaws, I actually really like the game. It’s not my usual cup of tea, but if you’re into this genre of titles you’ll probably like it. It does a lot to mix up regular conventions and has some genuinely cool ideas. The art is all quite well done, and the music was awesome as well. Hopefully this app improves in the future. Otherwise, it’s completely free, so you might as well give it a look. Just know what to expect.

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