Game Reviews

Feed That Dragon

Star onStar onStar offStar offStar off
Feed That Dragon

There’s a lot to be said for a sense of humour. A good joke can predispose you to a generosity of spirit where otherwise there is none. As a player, you’re the king and the game is the jester.

Feed That Dragon starts strongly, with the premise of a hapless peasant strong-armed into feeding the king’s pet. The gag is delivered over a series of comic book panels, with a nice little twist at the end.

Unfortunately, it’s not long into the game proper before things fall apart. A funny concept and likeable characterisation is squandered by development work that, frankly, is just plain sloppy.

Planks and Levers

Tasked with feeding an overgrown lizard, the peasant wisely chooses to keep his distance. It’s doesn’t matter whether it’s a giant ball of cheese, a hamburger, or a side of ham, they all conform to the same spherical shape and fit snugly into a catapult.

Tap the peasant and he lets the food fly. The goal is to manage the path and trajectory of the food so that it lands in the dragon’s gob. And judging by the dragon’s delighted reaction or dejected misery when the food does or doesn’t arrive, we’d say this pet is about as menacing as an excitable puppy.

Points are awarded for the amount of time the food is kept in flight, and of course there’s the obligatory three stars as a measure of your success in the stage.

You control the food’s flight with free-floating platforms, trampolines, and springs that, annoyingly, are fixed in their angles. You can drag them anywhere you like on the screen, but you can’t rotate them to better catch the food.

This rigid approach hints at the broader problem with the game. The solutions to the puzzles are totally inflexible. It’s a tiresome process of trial-and-error, to see where and how the food will bounce and then to restart the level to move the platforms accordingly.

If the placement of your platforms is even a smidgeon off-centre then the solution won’t come off. How do we know this? Because we opted for the 'show solution' button to show us how to solve a particular puzzle.

The official solution was broadly the same as we’d attempted, but for a fractional margin in platform placement.

Levers and Planks

This 'show solution' button is a thorny topic in itself. You're given three at the outset, and once you've used them all you have the option to buy more via in-app purchases. Those averse to the freemium model will find this particularly instance of it quite jarring.

Also, there was a little bug in the version we tested. Remember how scores are awarded for how long the food is kept in the air? Using the trampoline modifier, you can have the food going up and down indefinitely while your score mounts. It’s a minor thing, but the game hangs on this action until you hit the 'reset' button.

It’s all rather disappointing. With just a little bit more care and attention, and a bit more flexibility in how it plays, Feed That Dragon could have had some real fire in its belly.

Feed That Dragon

A feast for dragons, but a pitiable spread for the rest of us. Tasty visuals and concept let down by poor implementation
Bulent Yusuf
Bulent Yusuf
Bulent Yusuf is a ladies man, man's man, and a man about town. His endless barrage of witty anecdotes and propensity for drink makes him a big favourite on the dinner party circuit. He likes writing, he likes gaming, and with Pocket Gamer he gets to do a bit of both.