I am not a fan of free to play games (more on that next time), so when I was coaxed into trying out Dragon Skies, yet another social, free to play game, I was wary. My biggest beef with these kinds of games is the not so subtle push for you to spend real money to buy special items or speed up certain processes. I thought Dragon Skies was no different, but more than a month into the game, I have to concede that I was wrong about this game. Read on to find out why —>
Dragon Skies ventures into familiar territory – you have a village to expand by raising dragons, breeding them, and having them participate in races. In the game, you can earn two kinds of currency: gold and crystals. The gold is used to upgrade your dragon stables and purchase basic dragons. Crystal, the rarer currency, is used to buy exotic dragons, speed up processes and upgrade basic buildings. You can buy more gold and crystals with real money, but in this game, I can safely say you're not obliged to.
Two things make Dragon Skies fun to play: the races and the breeding process. Racing is quite simple: you tap on the screen to guide your dragon to catch as many stars and XP (experience points) as it can. Breeding, on the other hand, allows you to pair adult dragons to form a variety of breeds.
The game ought to look better on the iPad compared to the iPhone but upon comparison, the iPad version does not seem to be optimized for a retina display. However, the dragons are odd, but cute and friendly looking – they in fact wear diapers when hatched and do so until they reach level 4, or adulthood. Breeding is a fun and mysterious affair, and the best part is you can breed rare and exotic dragons normally bought with crystals if you hit on the right combination. (See above) Here's a tip: the longer the breeding time, the rarer and more exotic the dragon!
Thanks to the flying and breeding, Dragon Skies will keep you hooked. Unlike many free to play games, Dragon Skies doesn't practically force you to buy in-game currency because you can earn quite a lot of gold and have enough to upgrade your stables and buildings. More resourceful players can do online research to find out which combinations of dragons produce rare and exotic breeds – it takes away some of the fun, however, if you already know. The game offers crystals to speed things up – so if you're the impatient type, you might be inclined to spend a few crystals here and there to speed up breeding, activate the legendary stone (to increase your chances of breeding legendary types of dragons), hatch an egg immediately, among others. You can earn crystals when you level up or sometimes, by accomplishing side quests.
The user interface could still be tweaked to make moving items around easier. It's still quite cumbersome the way the controls are designed when it comes to moving around dragon stables and the hatching area – you need to make a series of taps just to relocate. This is particularly cumbersome when you are moving multiple objects.
Take note, however, that you cannot transfer your game's progress between devices – meaning, you can only play a unique game on one device. I think the developers should be more clear about this in the app description.
Fun, free and easy to play, I hope that other free to play games will follow suit and make the game fun and playable without necessarily forking over cash.
appSIZED rating: 5 out 5
App: Dragon Skies
Download: Dragon Skies
Device: Universal (for iPhone and iPad)
Price: FREE (with in-app purchases)
Developer/Publisher: Breaktime Studios