Dragon’s Lair 2: Time Warp Wants You To Hate It — And You Will [Review]


Dragon's Lair 2

When I was a kid at Showbiz Pizza (back in those carefree days before that upstart rat staged his coup), the Dragon’s Lair cabinet always fascinated me. People would step up, watch a cartoon for about three seconds, and then they’d put another quarter in. They’d watch the same cartoon, and then they’d put another quarter in. And so it went until they said some words that my parents didn’t want me using and went off to play Dig Dug.

Dragon’s Lair 2: Time Warp by Digital Leisure
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: $4.99

I didn’t understand what Dragon’s Lair was until much later; all I knew was that it looked like a movie and annoyed people.

This week, the iOS port of its 1991 sequel, Time Warp, made its way to the App Store, and it’s pretty much here to ruin your day and make you hate your fingers and your slow, stupid brain.

So basically, the old-school experience is intact, and I love it.

Dragon's Lair 2
Get used to this screen. Know it. Love it. Accept it.

If you’ve never played a Dragon’s Lair game before, here’s how it works: You’re playing a movie by animator Don Bluth (director of An American Tale and The Land Before Time) in which you must guide hero Dirk the Daring through a series of split-second decisions to avoid his immediate and painful death.

In the iOS version, you do this by hitting arrows representing directions or a larger button for Dirk’s sword in the second and a half in which they light up. Otherwise, you fail and go back to a checkpoint.

I pressed left, you f***.

In the arcade, every death meant you owed the machine more money, but this version gives you the welcome option of infinite lives. This also means that you’ll watch a lot of scenes repeatedly and end up banging your head against difficult sequences until you power through them, but it’s also way cheaper.

Dragon’s Lair 2 for iOS is annoying, repetitious, frustrating, and hard. So it’s a pretty good port, really.

Dragon's Lair 2Game Name: : Dragon’s Lair 2: Time Warp
The Good: Effectively captures the twitchy and frustrating arcade experience of the original…
The Bad: …and all that entails. You’ll die a lot and get tired of the same clips.
The Verdict: Not for the impatient or easily frustrated, but it’s a healthy slice of nostalgia for us old-timers.
Buy from: App Store – Dragon’s Lair 2: Time Warp | Digital Leisure