Fly like a dragon (and smash into walls) in fun but flawed Dragon Raiders

DRAGONS1

A whole roster of special power-ups keeps Dragon Raiders fresh and exciting.

I’m soaring through the air, dodging fallen trees and rocky overhangs, and evading plumes of sooty black smoke while trying to collect as many runes as I possibly can — and I’m loving it. Who would have thought being a dragon would be so cool?

In Dragon Raiders, an intriguing new iOS runner game, you’ll duck, dive and dodge your way through endless levels of entertaining fun to save the land of Landslandia from the meddling Megawobblins.

Graduated from Dragon Academy and ready to take on the world, each of the dragons in this colorful and exciting game is fully unlockable and available to customize to your heart’s content … so long as you cough up the coinage, that is.

Yes, unfortunately, Dragon Raiders is packed to the brim with in-app purchases that make grinding and replay almost essential. You can probably skip the fancy boosters and customizable gimmicks, but you’ll most likely find yourself returning to each level just to complete all the star challenges. Anyone who, like me, struggles in their ongoing commitment to complete every game to its full extent will probably feel the impact of just how much this game demands.

All this would probably be forgivable, if it were not for the game’s frustrating design flaws. Disappointingly, Dragon Raiders is plagued with clunky controls and spatial-alignment problems, largely demonstrated by the fact that I would constantly find myself on the wrong side of the path from where I wanted to be, as well as frequently crashing into obstacles I had knowingly tried to avoid. All of the above leave you with the sense that the game could have benefited from some extra time in development to iron out these troublesome niggles.

It’s not all bad, though. The game’s difficulty strikes a nice balance, managing to be entertaining and not too frustrating. Coin collecting can be a royal pain in the butt, although you’ll accumulate coins within each level and gain extras just for matching runes of the same color. Coins can then be used in exchange for the in-app purchases that will help you complete the various challenges throughout the game.

Fly like a dragon (and smash into walls) in fun but flawed Dragon Raiders

What makes Dragon Raiders unique? Its lavishly beautiful 3-D environments and glorious art style, and also its infinite replayablity factor, with each level consisting of three challenges every time you play. Better yet, there’s a truckload of achievements you’ll feel oddly compelled to check off, including earning a specific amount of coins or flying through every hoop in any level.

Currently spanning three different environments, Dragon Raiders keeps you on your toes with some incredible boss battles and intriguing gameplay mechanics. Sadly it doesn’t bring anything largely new to the table, and runs out of steam well before it takes off.

DRAGONTMBDragon Raiders by Team Chaos (99 cents)
The good: Beautifully rendered 3-D graphics; a buttload of replayability; easily accessible & charming gameplay.
The bad: IAP-heavy; frustrating design flaws.
The verdict: Bang for your buck, but a little too demanding.
Buy from App Store

About the author

Lucy IngramUK based freelance writer from the South of England, Lucy Ingram contributes to CultofMac by advising iOS users of some of the leading apps on the App Store today. She has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148apps, TouchArcade and GameSpot. You can contact her directly on Twitter @pixelartjunkie.

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