Dragon Quest I is old. It's a curio, a glimpse back into the dim and distant beginnings of the JRPG. You can tell it's old because characters say things like 'verily' and 'lieth' and you'd quite like them to stop.
All the bits and pieces are here. Swords, magic, Slimes, a huge map to explore, and a world to save from some dragon-y evil.
But it all feels a little bit clunky. The genre has been refined over the nearly three decades since the game's original release, and the absence of that progression makes for a dated experience.
You play a hero who's thrown out into the world to continue the legacy of your forebear by finding out what's happened to a princess and slaughtering an awful lot of monsters.
The game is broken up into exploring the world map, stomping through dungeons, and taking refuge in towns. It's a rhythm that anyone who's played a JRPG in the past couple of decades will understand.
Like Dragon Quest IV and Dragon Quest VIII, Dragon Quest I has been shifted into a portrait orientation. It doesn't feel as smooth this time round, and things can get a little fiddly when you're trying to navigate closely packed corners of the world.
Battles are turn-based and simple. You can attack, use magic, quaff an item, or try and leg it. If you don't flee you and your opponent will whomp each other until one of you runs out of hit points.
In my day
As a piece of nostalgia that fits neatly in your pocket, Dragon Quest I is perfectly solid. It's much cheaper than the previous mobile entries in the series as well, which is a sensible move from Square Enix.
Mainly because if it was charging a tenner for Dragon Quest I I'd tell you to avoid it like the plague. It's a decent game, and a good way of seeing how far the series and the genre have come, but its legs are starting to wobble a little.
Through rose tinted spectacles it's a classic JRPG for barely any cash at all. But once those wistful pangs of memory have worn off you'll probably find yourself wandering away to play something else.