World of Dragons Simulator is brought to you by Gluten Free Games, the same folks who brought us a variety of virtual pets and animal sims covering everything from crocodiles to tigers. Set in a world where islands float in the sky and orcs live alongside giant spiders in harmony, World of Dragons lets players experience life as a giant fire-breathing lizard. It’s always awesome to be a dragon.
The game starts with the player dragon on a hilltop. Another landmass is visible below, but the world is open. With a tap on the row of buttons on the right, players can order their dragon to attack, roar or fly. My best advice is to be careful here: my first attempt I missed the island and had to fly back up to it, just barely keeping my eyes on the underside of the land mass. I wondered why there wasn’t an invisible barrier that would keep the player dragon from flying out of view of the playable area. Though the analog joystick worked well enough to maneuver me around the aerial archipelago, it was a little imprecise when it came to taking on small enemies close up.
Once out and flying, players have the choice to interact with the world as they see fit. Certain abilities need to be unlocked, like the dragon-defining fire breath, so bosses and castles are best left until a few level-ups down the line. As expected in a sim, World of Dragons players must manage their dragon’s health, energy, thirst and hunger. Conquering the dragon’s thirst requires tapping the teardrop icon at the bottom of the screen when standing in water. Health, hunger and energy levels can be managed by eating sheep or defeated enemies.
Mating and nesting round out the simulation experience. All other dragons are hostile except the player’s own kind. Once found, players can bond and gain a companion. When players find the nest and unlock the ability to hatch an egg in the menu, they can mate, eventually adding yet another dragon to the group. The nest is also where players can increase their family’s strength through bonding exercises like mating and roaring. The player dragon, on the other hand, increases in level by defeating and devouring enemies as well as incinerating defensive towers. Bosses, castles and strongholds drop treasure that can be used to buy armor upgrades, as well as colorful fire and dragon skins.
The majority of enemies are familiar from high fantasy games: giant spiders, sword-wielding skeletons and green orcs. Non-boss enemies don’t indicate the cleverest AI, and sheep are dumb enough to run off the edges of the islands, but the bosses and fellow dragons present their own interesting challenges and are easier on the eyes. Graphically, the world is incredibly vivid, but the colors can be grating at times. Thankfully, World of Dragons Simulator‘s ease of use and depth of play make up for what it may lack in visual appeal. Further, the ambient sound is excellent and made me feel like I was in the midst of an enchanted forest. When my dragon took to the air, the wind howled impressively and resisted the flapping of my leathery wings.
Overall, Gluten Free Games took all the things traditionally associated with dragons in games and delivered an experience where players are given the wings, fire and teeth to tear that colorful fantasy apart. There is a good amount of content, especially for only 99 cents, and players should appreciate that all Gluten Free Games are completely free of ads and in-app purchases, but those who truly enjoy the look and feel of the game will cry for more. An expansion would be welcome. If players don’t go into World of Dragons Simulator looking for something with the realism of the Discovery channel documentary The Last Dragon: A Fantasy Made Real, then they will be pleased to find a solid game and an excellent deal for the price.
Is it Hardcore?
A dragon’s world may be Technicolor but it’s fun to raze.