Developer: Backflip Studios
Price: free Download on the App Store
One of the top apps on the App Store, DragonVale has made hatching and caring for adorable dragons one of the most addictive games available. Set on a magical island with wizards, the game gives you the task of building the best Dragon Park around.
As for gameplay, DragonVale is a simulation so most will be familiar, but for those of you who are new to the genre it basically entails building, collecting and creating a reason for more customers to come to your island. And while the way the game is setup might be normal, what's included in gameplay is very exciting. Come on, who doesn't love cuddly dragons?
The game starts off with a quick tutorial showing you how to hatch dragons, build habitats and in turn attract more visitors to your park. By doing this you earn Dragon Cash to spend on more items. One of the neat parts of the game is that while you're waiting for the dragon to incubate you can jump over to build the habitat. I'm not a big fan of having to wait for the item to do the next item so in this instance DragonVale makes gameplay more interesting.
And while at first the time to hatch or a dragon or build a nest isn't too long, as the game progresses the amount of time to do the same tasks become increasingly longer. That's where the gems come into play. At first, you're given a few gems to help speed up the process, but use them wisely as not everything needs to be done right away. Plus, they've very hard to come by. If you do become impatient or are just that motivated to grow your park, then you can purchase gems ranging in price from $1.99 to $99.99. And since it's a freemium title, there are plenty of more items available via in-app purchase.
And as you expand, how you manage the lack of space around you is crucial. After you reach level five it's not that huge of a deal because you can pay to have boulders, bushes and trees removed, which will improve your spacial needs. This brings a lot of fun to the game as expansion is key to more customers and more cash.
Overall, DragonVale is one of those games that doesn't reinvent the sim genre, but offers unique gameplay and provides a heck of a lot of fun before having to pay out cash for in-app purchases. A definite must download for anyone who loves a magical sim with lots of cute dragons.