Dragon City is one of the few games on Facebook that allows a break from fast-paced action brow-furrowing strategy games. In Dragon City, your goal is to hatch dragons and nurture them into adulthood, battling them against your friends’ dragons and accomplishing other tasks set forth by the computer to earn gems.
“Here be dragons!”…
It’s a light and inoffensive mix of SimCity Social, NeoPets and Pokémon, though it lacks the more diverse possibilities of SimCity, the intrigue of NeoPets and the excitement of Pokémon. That being said, how does it stack up? Let’s just say I won’t be telling you How To Train YOUR dragon… (okay that was bad).
Dragon City - OVERVIEW
The game starts off quite promising, walking you through the game basics such as how to hatch an egg, how to grow food on a farm, and how to feed and mate your dragons. Much like SimCity Social, you can build up a modest little city which may involve purchasing land, chopping down trees to make room for your buildings, and erecting structures such as dragon habitats, mating stations and farms.
It was extraordinarily easy to learn how to play Dragon City, as the tutorial really holds your hand for a great deal of time. Personally, I spent the entire tutorial excited at the prospect of playing this game – it was totally intriguing and I could not wait to engage in battle with my friends. One of the first things I noticed was, unlike other Facebook games, even the similar SimCity Social, there is no energy bar, which was fantastic, because I thought I would be able to play for hours on end!
Unfortunately, there are still quite a few limitations to the game. The number of times which you can engage in player-versus-player battle – an option which does not materialize until the player has reached level 10 – is limited to three times per hour. So when you actually do earn gold rewards, you often can’t replenish them at the same rate which you lose them.
Gold is required to do most anything in the game, from building a habitat to hatching an egg, and it comes back in small, somewhat infrequent events – such as your dragon leveling up. Those events also give off experience points. While playing conservatively by focusing on only a few different dragons, you can keep your gold as high as possible for a long time. Unfortunately, the tutorial contains a laundry list of tasks for you to get used to which cause you to essentially hemorrhage gold.
So while it’s easy to enjoy the concept of the game, the limitations prevented me to truly get into the groove of things.
Dragon City - STRATEGY
The dragons you start with are based on the elements (fire, earth, water, ice, etc.), so when bred together these dragons will always produce a new kind of dragon. From birth, a dragon goes through three phases – as an adorable baby dragon (levels 1-4), an intermediate level dragon (4-7) and finally a fully-grown, ready-to-fight dragon (level 7+). Though each dragon’s bio will state that it prefers a certain type of food, I learned early on that food produced is just generic “food” so you don’t need to worry that the food is not suitable for your dragon.
You can give your dragon a name – it won’t affect the outcome, but the slightest bit of customization makes the game a little more entertaining. Once your dragon grows to level 7, you can engage him or her in player-versus-player battles.
One feature that is a double-edged sword is the fact that you can never lose your dragon, nor does he become injured as the result of battle. It’s certainly a good feature for those just learning to battle, but when stakes are so low, it’s hard to really care that much. When it comes to “winning” the game, well, you really can’t. The point is to just get to a point where you are happy with your dragons and your city – a point which may be difficult to achieve once you run out of gold.
The point is also to collect as many types of dragons as possible – and there are over 150 breeds to cultivate.
Dragon City - TIPS, HINTS & CHEATS
Those dragons breed to create more unique, quirky dragons: flaming rock, volcano, mud, waterfall, tropical, cactus, star, alpine, armadillo, hedgehog, cloud, blizzard, firebird, spicy, laser, medieval, vampire, nenufar, coral, lantern fish, storm, iceberg, ice cream, mercury, dandelion, mojito (yum!), jade, carnivorous plant, rattlesnake, golden, battery, neon, platinum or zombie.
Not all elemental dragons can be combined (for example, dark cannot combine with water, and ice cannot combine with fire). Those secondary dragons can be combined with elemental dragons to create even crazier dragons such as a soccer dragon or even a poo dragon. In battles, elemental dragons’ strength is fairly predictable – for example, plant dragons are twice as effective against water dragons as they are against earth dragons. In the case of secondary (hybrid) dragons, the first symbol shown next to them determines their strengths – so a blizzard dragon (composed of fire and water parents) that has its fire badge listed first identifies with its fire side in battle.
Your dragons have stronger attacks the higher their level is, and dragons level up from being fed regularly, and also gain experience points from more battles. If you don’t have a large slew of friends playing Dragon City, there is a “global” battle option to take on strangers from around the globe. They’re not high-risk battles since your dragons never die, so it’s not much of a risk. As for gems, which can be bought, it’s better to earn gems the old-fashioned way – through levelling up your dragons and winning battles.
One of the biggest setbacks of the game’s credit system is that your dragons continue to age when the game is not in play, and gold will be generated, but if you’re not there to collect it, you lose it. For this reason it’s best to keep dragons which only generate modest amounts of gold – for example, earth, electric and tropical dragons have a low payoff, but keeping a laser dragon will result in losing out on 50,000 gold coins when you’re not there to collect it.