Berny and Blaze are in deep trouble. They have been imprisoned in a castle tower by the evil knight. Luckily for our heroes they are dragons with a license to fry.
You choose to play as either Berny the pink dragon or Blaze the green dragon. The game is played in landscape mode, and you control the movement of your dragon by tilting the iPhone. To fire up some fireballs simply tap the screen.
The evil knight seems to clean out his garbage by throwing it at you the innocent dragon. Swords, rocks, skulls and spears fall towards you. The higher up on the screen the item is when you shoot it the higher score you get. If you miss completely it will crash some of the stone floor you are standing on. If you accidentally run into the falling object you will die horribly. Obviously it becomes much harder when you have less flooring to move around on.
What sets Dragon Panic apart from other games of the same genre it the retro presentation. Both the graphics and sound have a retro feel paying homage to the Commodore 64 and NES. I like how developer Binary Square has really taken the retro style all the way with a grainy filter overlay. Music and sound effects are all inspired from games of yesteryear. You can play your own music together with the sound effects.
Dragon Panic is a simple casual arcade game where you chase high scores. Global high scores are well implemented in the same retro style as the game. As the game lets you develop your skills it is quite easy to get addicted to it.
Sadly Dragon Panic feels a bit shallow, and if you don’t get into the high score aspect of it there is not much to keep you interested. Nothing to unlock or achieve, and no sense of progression other than objects falling faster.
I also found that controlling by means of tilting the iPhone to be somewhat wonky when trying to aim properly. Several times I have died by the dragon walking into an object I was about to shoot. It is hard to simply turn the dragon, as it seems to want to wander a bit in the direction you have turned to. A control method based on touch buttons would be appreciated.
At $.99 Dragon Panic is an ok but shallow diversion. Retro fans might like to get it for the presentation alone.