Review: Have Fun Storming the Castle in Dragon Hills

It has been widely acknowledged that "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" and Dragon Hills developer Cezary Rajkowski would almost have to agree. In this recent "App of the Week" featured title, Dragon Hills tells the story of a princess's journey to smite the knight that rejected her. But, since she was already looking to murder one knight, she thought, "Hey! I'll just kill them all!" Thus began her transcontinental journey of death, destruction and mayhem as she clings, helplessly, to the back of her trusty pet dragon.

The game will cost you $1.99 on Android and Apple devices and comes without any ads or micro-transactions to worry about. All upgrades are purchased with in-game currency and must be earned by (*gasp*) actually playing the game! How weird is that?!

The game plays like a sidescrolling leveled endless runner. (Think Rayman Fiesta Run). The player controls the movements of a dragon who propels himself forward over hill and dale like he ate a hoverboard but still has a curious appetite for fresh, delicious dirt.

The controls take a minute to get used to, because in a great twist of control mechanics, the familiar tapping motion that normally elicits a "Jump" will in this case cause the dragon to make a beeline for the underground. There is a timer for how long he can stay under, so this motion doesn't actually make the game easier.

Also, if you take into account that the dragon starts off his "princess chauffeur" career with two hit points and the worst possible weapon, the first few levels are essentially a self-fulfilling tutorial, while you make incremental progress to build up your coin stash and every so slowly live long enough to make it through a handful of levels.

Dragon Hills employs the typical endless runner gambit of "pretty much-impossible-to-avoid" damage and insta-kill traps, which makes the game feel typically frustrating. The addition of levels contributes a bit of much needed achievement to break the gameplay up, but succeeding in one level will cause you to ride seamlessly into the next level.

The graphics on this one are a bit cartoony, but it creates an environment that is realistic enough that blowing it up is not a terrible feeling. (And now the government is tapping my phone...)

The background music is probably the one thing that I absolutely HATED about this game. It is an Alternative remix version of the chorus to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Yep. Over and over and over.
The SFX can get a bit abrasive also, especially the shrieks of the princess as she cling for her life to biggest mistake that she has probably ever made.

I gave the game 4 stars, because I liked it, but didn't love it. It kept my attention for an afternoon and for $2, that's OK by me



4.0 / 5.0
 
review by CheerfulStar (Mallary) | Apr 22nd 2015

 

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