All of the fun of bringing baby Dragons into the world, without the singed eyebrows.
Developed by Tritium, a Korean independent game developer, Dragonester is a casual time management sim with a twist. Based in a fantasy world where dragons are ridden into battle by Knights, the player takes on the role of a Dragonester, a person responsible for managing a Dragon nesting site.
The basics of the game are quite simple. In the given “farm”, the player must provide nests for the Dragons to come and lay their eggs. Once laid, the eggs are then gathered and sold, making cash that can be used to upgrade certain aspects of the farm. As always, things are not that simple though. The players must maintain the nests by repairing them once they become worn, or else they will be destroyed and new nests have to be built. Also of concern are the moods of the Dragons, with certain colours not really getting on with each other. Should a Dragons mood drop to the lowest point, they will fly away and destroy the nest. This can be avoided by moving the nests complete with Dragons, to keep some distance between them. This is where the real management kicks in.
The twist comes with the roaming monsters that invade your nesting ground and upset your Dragons. Hitting the space bar will turn the cursor into a targetting reticule that can then be used to shoot these offending beasties. Some of the monsters will drop gems that can then be sold along with the eggs, so every cloud etc. Different weapons can be bought as the game progresses to deal with the increasingly difficult enemies.
Within the farming mode, the player can upgrade certain aspects with their hard earned cash, such as increasing the capacity of the warehouse or the capacity of the wagon that takes the eggs to market. There are also upgrades to be bought from the main town that will allow for improvements there and increase the prosperity. Certain production plants are available that can increase profits from the farm. Each of these plants can also be upgraded within the farm mode.
The game offers a story mode, which carries through objective based levels, a collection of side quests and even some specific ranking quests for the online leaderboard.
Firstly, lets start with the fact that this is a Korean game which, sadly, has not benefitted from its translation to the English language. The various tutorial screens are not very explanatory as a result and the main story has suffered. Broken English aside, the story seems to be slightly lost anyway. It tells of a Dragons bond with its Knight, but actually fails to have much to do with the game itself. These intermittent tales of Dragons spending most of their time in the sky, are largely pointless, as is the reasoning behind trying to upgrade the town and things that are going on in neighbouring towns, as explained by the town Mayor.
But hey, ignore the story, it adds nothing to the game. So it is quite lucky that the game itself is actually quite fun to play. Through the early levels, the player will learn the intricacies of managing a nesting site. Before long, they will be selling eggs by the dozen, repairing nests and shooting beasties in a frantic attempt to complete an objective.
The shooting levels are a lot of fun, but it should be pointed out that the weapons on offer are not perhaps the most accurate, with more shots than is necessary often being needed to remove the threats. Also, the game has a decidedly retro feel to it, with brightly coloured graphics and blocky sprites that would have been more at home in the first Warcraft game.
With a dodgy translation and pointless story, inaccurate accuracy and distinctly old school graphics, one would be forgiven for thinking that Dragonester did not have much to offer. That would be the wrong assumption, however. Dragonester offers an addictiveness with its gameplay that will keep you playing beyond all of the games problems. Add that to the ample number of different levels and the reasonably low price point, and you end up with a pretty good game.
This game was provided for review by GamersGate