Dragonvale is a different take on the city builder genre whereby you’re in charge of a dragon amusement park. Technically, it’s a city builder in a fantasy setting but its main focus is on collecting different dragon breeds, you do this by either buying them or breeding them yourself.
The great thing about this game is that it’s free, to download and to play. In app purchases are there for those who like to speed things up but if you are patient, there is literally nothing that you cant get without spending money. The game starts out with a tutorial that shows you how to do everything so if you have never played this style of game before, you should find everything fairly easy to pick up.
Gameplay is quite relaxed, you don’t have to have this game turned on constantly to play it seriously and unlike other games in the genre, projects don’t foul up if left for a long time. Basically, this means that anything you plant is still going to be useable no matter how long you leave it, which is great for the casual gamer who can only log in once a day.
Dragonvale can be played on iPod or iPhone but having used both devices, I’d recommend only iPad users play this game, everything runs fine on iPhone but loading up your park can take a long time, last time I tried, it took close to ten minutes but then, my park is fairly large. You’ll also need a broadband connection to play this one.
As you progress through the levels you will have the option to buy new buildings, dragons and food farms and you’ll also be able to buy additional islands to expand your park. Player interaction is fairly limited, you can visit your friends parks daily to claim cash bonuses however, I found there was little incentive to do so and the loading times make this a tedious task in any case. You can however send your friends gems, which they can use to by some of the more premium content. You’ll also have access to more dragons to breed and buy.
You can grow your dragons, enter them in contests for gems and experience and breed them to create different hybrids. The creators are constantly adding new content including limited time breeds and rare dragons that require a great deal of luck and patience to breed.
The graphics in Dragonvale are great quality, cute with vibrant colors. You can tap on virtually everything to get a detailed description and these are often quite humorous. My only real complaint is a lack of decoration items, hopefully that’s an issue that gets fixed in future updates.
I rate this 4.5 stars out of 5 it’s enjoyable and great quality but needs a little work on the social aspect of the game. It’s suitable for all ages and I think most gamers will enjoy this title purely for its relaxed gameplay and the addictive nature of the breeding. New content is released consistently but not so quickly as to be overwhelming and best of all, it’s free.