Time management games became much more than FarmTown (the original farming Facebook game) and Diner Dash; now these social games are likely to toss in clan involvement, leaderboards, combat, and more. In Battle Dragons, warring factions of dragons battle for supremacy and honor by harvesting gold and sheep, then using those resources to build massive towns and train fighters. It’s part time management, part real-time strategy, part tower defense, and for people who want to up the ante on their FarmVille experience, Battle Dragons could be just the game to do it.
In Battle Dragons you’ll be the head of your own town of battling dragons. You choose what buildings to erect and what types of defenses to mount to keep invaders at bay. Each unit requires either a certain number of sheep or gold to create, which you generate by building mines and farms. Both currencies are backed by pearls, the game’s real-money-based currency. Pearls are used to boost production rates for resources, instantly complete building and unit contstruction, and purchase special resources that come in limited supply. Though the game starts you with a small number of pearls to kick-off, and you can gain more through unlocking in-game achievements, there’s definitely a solid advantage to purchasing pearls and using them to refill your sheep or gold coffers when they’re low, or to insta-build buildings. Getting some of the introductory buildings and upgrades can take a couple days without additional pearls; whether or not you buy them is up to you.
The chief draw to this game, if not the dragons, is obviously the battle. At your camp you’ll spend sheep to train dragons; there are tons of different offensive dragons to train as well as defensive ones to watch your base. Each dragon has its own special abilities and ranges of effectiveness. After training your troops you can send them off to victory (or defeat) in either story, Player vs Player, or Skirmish battles. During each fight you’ll position attacking troops outside the bounds of the enemy city, strategically choosing which units to deploy and at what time to bring down the enemy’s defenses and raid their storehouses. A couple solid battles can be a great way to bring your own sheep and gold counts back up if you’re low and don’t feel like shelling out pearls. Combat can take some getting used to, and there’s not much more than trial and error to teach you proper combat techniques, but with time you can figure it out and pillage to your heart’s content.
For those looking to climb the Battle Dragons leaderboards, winning PvP matches allows you to get trophies and raise in the ranks. You can choose to join a clan and your trophies will contribute to the clan’s overall trophy count and clan ranking as well. Clans have their own chat channel to converse about strategy, make requests, or just talk. Clan members can also send each other troops and temporary production boosts to help those who need assistance, so joining a clan can be pretty beneficial. It’s a well-managed system that encourages players to network with each other and contribute to the community.
You’ll probably chomp at the bit for the first few days without shelling out a few bucks for pearls, admittedly. It doesn’t rope you in from the beginning, but if you have a little bit of an addictive personality, and you like the idea of feudal Japanese fighting dragons, the unit variety, PvP focus, and clan communities make Battle Dragons a good casual-play game for those looking to add some edge to their social gaming experience. Check it out on the App Store and Google Play for free.
Overall Score: 3.75 out of 5