Apologies to Anne McCaffrey
One of the last Dreamcast games released in the United States was an adventure game, “Dragonriders of Pern”, based on the popular series of books.
It was abysmal.
No, really. I vaguely remember reading the books as a kid and liking them, and my wife remembers reading the books as a teen and being a big fan, and we got about 15 minutes into this thing before looking at each other and moving on to something more interesting.
My latest iOS diversion is called “Dragon Flight”, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the Pern books other than that the name is sorta similar to the title of one of them, but what the hell, I needed a segue.
Dragon Flight is, well, it’s an unabashed attempt to sell in-app purchases, though I really can’t see why you would need to buy them. More on that in a sec.
Here’s the game: You’re riding a dragon, and you automatically shoot things in front of you. When they explode, they drop coins, occasionally gems, which you can spend to upgrade your… laser? It doesn’t really look like dragon breath, not that I’m an expert on dragon breath or anything.
The point of the game is to travel as far as you can. There’s no story as far as I can tell and no real reason to keep playing other than that the graphics are kind of pretty and it’s a way to turn off your brain, turn on the reflexes and watch things go boom. It ends when you fail to dodge something and die.
Eventually you get your dragon powered up to the point where you could, theoretically, just take your finger off the screen and let him fly forward, so they put in a little gotcha:
Occasionally you need to dodge these meteor things. Sometimes you need to dodge several. You can’t shoot them, so they serve to keep you from just letting yourself fly forward and rack up the distance.
The in-app purchases buy you the same coins that you get from shooting things, just in large quantity, so they’re only good for upgrading your dragon to make it easier to blow through things so that you can travel further and uh…
Yeah, there’s not a lot to the game. Still, it has something like 150,000 entries on its Game Center leaderboard, so apparently a lot of people like games with not much to them.
For the record, after about 90 minutes of messing around with it, I made it into the top 1/3rd on the leaderboard, and it didn’t get old. It’s not exactly the sort of thing I could play for hours, but it’s a good way to keep yourself entertained for 15 minutes.