20 Sep

DragonVale is a Freemium “Build A Zoo” game and is released by Backflip Studios.

“Raise and care for your own magical dragons in DragonVale! Create a park full of adorable and friendly dragons by hatching them, feeding them, and watching them grow up. Share your dragon land with your friends and help each other with gifts. You can even breed your dragons to create new and exciting types!”

The idea of the game is to build an island filled with a Dragons. You will get visitors (like a zoo) and they will give you money depending on the level and type of the dragons on display. This money can be invested and purchase new dragons and extras for the island.

These extras are split into five types:

  • Eggs (Various Dragons available, some are available with gems, but can be obtained by breeding)
  • Habitats – Areas for the Dragons to live.
  • Decorations – Things to make your zoo look nice.
  • Buildings – Build Farms to make Dragon Treats and the vital Breeding Cave.
  • Islands – Yes, you are not limited to the original island, you can buy more.

There are three main resources to control in the game Money (for buying items),  Dragon treats (needed to grow the dragons) and Gems (used to reduce waiting times by 1 gem per hour). If you are waiting for an egg that will take 8 hours to hatch, then 8 gems spent and the baby dragon is born immediately.

As your progress in the game you can create new habitats for the dragons and grow them in size (level) until they can appear in the Colosseum (when you have built it.)

You are set Goals to achieve that will give bonus cash, xp or dragon treats.

There is also a social element to the game allowing you to add friends, sending them gifts and visiting their parks etc.

On the Freemium side, you do not need to use real world cash to continue playing the game, and you may be able to play for about an hour or so before you really need to start waiting for things to happy. If you are willing to say twice a day you can still progress at a steady rate. If you want to sit and play it for hour after hour, then you will find yourself waiting and wanting to spend real world money to speed things up.

The game is controlled by selecting items from the menu and placing them on the map. Things on the map can be clicked and a menu will appear at the base of the screen for using that item.

The graphics and sound are very good. The graphic of the Dragons changing and growing as they gain levels is really nice.

On the upside:

  • Well designed game.
  • Lots of feelings of achievement as your Dragons grow and new things are built.
  • Keeps you coming back for more.

On the downside:

  • Kept me coming back too much, a bit to addictive.
  • The gem side of the Freemium – gems are the only thing that cannot be earnt in-game. Give one free per day or something?
  • Some of the UI needs a tweak, like laying pathways and the hatching on eggs (confirm a sell button click.)

Overall, this is one of the best “Build A Kingdom/Zoo” style games I have played. The Freemium is there, but you do not have to make the in-app purchases to play and enjoy the game (as long as you are willing to wait a little). Therefore, if you are someone who cannot wait this game will cost you a lot of money and avoid if you don’t have the cash. Otherwise, it is well worth checking out, just do not be surprise if you are tempted to make an in-app purchase.

Rating: 84%

Size: 18.1 MB

Price (at time of review): Freemium

Link: DragonVale – Backflip Studios

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Posted by on September 20, 2011 in Game - Strategy, iPad, iPhone/iPod Touch, Reviews


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