DRAGON: A Game About a Dragon Image
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  1. Apr 25, 2015
    In this day and age, any game that forces players to learn a new control scheme is immediately alienating a large part of the gaming population. Dragon: A Game About a Dragon isn't innovative, and it certainly won't win any awards, but it's still a fun adventure filled with offbeat humor and childlike charm.
  2. Aug 25, 2015
    Gamers who appreciate DRAGON: A Game about a Dragon's visuals will probably appreciate its humorous writing and gentle exploration while forgiving its brevity and roughness.
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  1. Oct 1, 2016
    DRAGON: A Game About a Dragon is “aggressively whimsical” according to the dragon who recommended it to me. This is, perhaps, the mostDRAGON: A Game About a Dragon is “aggressively whimsical” according to the dragon who recommended it to me. This is, perhaps, the most accurate two word description possible of this game.

    DRAGON is a 2D platformer where you control a dragon named Dragon. It is pretty basic – you can jump, hover in midair for a short distance, use one of five different breath weapons (unlocked over the course of the game), and claw enemies. While the breath weapons have different appearances, they’re all more or less the same, save that they allow you to bypass certain barriers (of which only a handful appear in the entire game) and are better against some enemies/bosses (in fact, some bosses require you to switch which breath weapon you’re using to damage them, with different parts of the boss requiring different breath weapons).

    The game contains six bosses, which are the real highlight of the game – each has their own unique attack pattern, and there’s an achievement for beating them without getting hit (harder than it seems). They’re reasonably challenging, and the no-hit challenges are more so.

    Sadly, the same cannot be said about the rest of the game. The levels themselves are mostly very easy and simple to the point of blandness. Many of them are very easy to rush through and more or less completely bypass – possibly by design. While in principle they get harder over time, in practice, due to the game’s levelling mechanic, it actually becomes easier – and the final level of the game can actually be completely bypassed without fighting a single enemy.

    There are collectables, which are somewhat more interesting to grab, as well as a couple of secret levels, but in the end, they’re not enough to really make the ordinary levels all that interesting on the whole – while some of them are alright and reasonably clever, others felt a bit guide dang it to find. Fortunately, the game does let you know that you’re missing secrets in levels by not putting a big green checkmark next to them.

    The collectables give you various power-ups, making you tougher, making you deal more damage, making you take less damage, letting you glide longer, and similar things. Some of them give you gold – as does defeating enemies – both of which allow you to level up the protagonist in various attributes… which also makes him more powerful. He can be levelled up 18 times in total, and becomes quite tough by the end.

    In the end, though, the gameplay of this is not the main attraction. The main attraction is the STYLE of the game. The whole game is drawn in either crayons or colored pencils (I’m not sure which), including the backgrounds. It gives the whole game a sort of child-like feel to it, and is very silly. This fits the story of the game, which is also very silly.

    You see, DRAGON is the story of Dragon, a dragon who has his girlfriend kidnapped by the king. The general and wizard, the king’s associates, seem kind of apologetic about the whole thing, and the enemies in general are kind of gloriously silly and incompetent. You have to dodge sheep revolutionaries, defeat a gay game warden who is actually your friend and you give a pat on the shoulder afterwards, have a chat with a fellow dragon (who, unlike you, doesn’t speak Dragon Common), and generally engage in a silly plotline which is something of a reversal of the standard plot, as the dragon has to save a girl from a… well, at the very least kind of bossy and pushy king, though he doesn’t seem like he actually wants to kill you so much as just make you stop trying to get your girlfriend back.

    Look, he doesn’t want a bunch of dragons running around his kingdom, alright? I mean, sure, you just kind of sit around watching TV and reading children’s books, but… come on, man!

    The game’s plotline is very silly, and due to the shortness of the levels, you’re constantly reminded of what is going on as you go through the levels. There’s a number of characters you end up ultimately talking to or interacting with in various cutscenes, and of course in the end you fly to the rescue of your girlfriend, by which point you come to much better understand everyone’s motivations in the game.

    If you’re not bothered by simple gameplay, think the aesthetic is interesting, and enjoy silly reversals of standard stories, this might be up your alley. If, on the other hand, you’re hyper-focused on gameplay, this is probably going to be a letdown.