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Dragon’s Lair

07 Apr 2014

Dragon’s Lair game review

Dragon’s Lair is one of the oldest video games committed to laserdisc, and now it’s managed to hit modern day smartphones, including the Android. You play Dirk the Daring in this game – a knight who is trying to save Princess Daphne from Mordroc’s castle.

If you weren’t born in the right era to play this game first time round – be it in a ZX Spectrum, Atari, Gameboy or Xbox - then grab the chance now, as it’s great.

Back in the early 1980’s, Dragon’s Lair was highly popular thanks to its beautiful, streamlined graphics which set it apart from its clunky contemporaries.

To make your way through your quest you have to make the right move for each situation – turn in the right direction or use your sword as directed by the flashing button. If you get the timing right you’ll manage to attack or dodge enemies, but if you get it wrong, it’s game over for Dirk.

Dragon’s Lair::by Electronic Arts Dragon’s Lair::by Electronic Arts Dragon’s Lair::by Electronic Arts Dragon’s Lair::by Electronic Arts Dragon’s Lair::by Electronic Arts

Dragon’s Lair screenshots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a timeless and tight storyline. Dirk is heroic but a bit bumbling and naive as he struggles through an enchanted castle looking for Daphne’s captor Singe the dragon. It’s simple, and so is the game play.

You can play in either Home mode or Arcade mode. In Home mode you progress through a story, whereas Arcade mode is a series of set pieces which play out as individual challenges. Failing in one scene doesn’t lead you to repeating it, you move on to the next challenge. However, in both modes you’ll have to complete the challenges in order to rescue Daphne, and this game is rattling good fun whichever mode you use. If you have a few hours to spare, then Home mode is best. If you’re waiting for a train, then Arcade mode is for you.

Dragon’s Lair isn’t a direct control game. It’s more like an animated story that offers the viewer/player the chance to hit the right buttons at the right time to save Dirk from a bad end. One criticism of the game is that if you fail, you’ll just reappear onscreen at the entrance to each room, and this can get very tedious and repetitive.

However, to actually play the game, you press the direction pad to guide Dirk the Daring in the right way. Your sword should be enough to beat everything that Mordruc the evil wizard can throw at you, so you just need to work on your timing.

This game really is very good to look at. Animated by Don Bluth Studios, the action is very fluid, with a hand-drawn style that stands out against the cheap, generic CGI games prevalent these days. You can imagine how kids thirty years ago felt when playing Dragon’s Lair, and it’s great to choose the option that lets you sit back and watch the action as a movie.

This really is a great gaming experience, with amazing graphics, good sound effects and a classic damsel in distress to rescue. It’s highly recommended.

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1 comment

  • 1
    Whoa! This blog looks just like my old one! It's on a completely different topic
    but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!

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