Dragon’s Lair in Review – My name is Sir Lance… er… Dirk the Daring

The early nineties left me a lot of wonderful wee memories for a wonderful wee lad. One of my fondest places to incessantly visit was the arcade. And of my favourite games was, of course, Dragon’s Lair – you know, the one where you feel like you’re making your own cartoon! Well, now you can enjoy the adventures of Dirk the Daring on the Jesus phone!

Dragon’s Lair is a cult classic. Don Bluth’s quest for saving the gorgeous Princess Daphne has lived many lives across various platforms, from the home version with a Laserdisc player bundled with the game (instead of the other way around as you might’ve figured), to arcade cabinets to various PC and console versions. And now it is finally available on the iDevice.

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The game centres around the adventures of Dirk the Daring and his attempt at saving the beautiful princess from the evil dragon. In each scene you must use one of the directional buttons or the sword one at the right moment to avoid death. And you WILL die often in Dragon’s Lair. But don’t worry about it. For one thing – you’ll simply restart from the beginning of the scene (or be pushed into the next one). And for the other – death is wonderfully drawn and extremely amusing.

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Dragon’s Lair features two gameplay modes and a handful of option tweaks. The modes are Home and Arcade. The Arcade mode is more unforgiving than Home and adheres to the classic arcade version’s sequence of scenes. If you die in Arcade mode you’ll be pushed into the next scene instead of replaying the failed one. But don’t worry – you’ll be forced to face them again before you reach the lair. The Home mode, on the other hand, is a bit easier and features extra scenes. In Home mode, you’ll be forced to replay the scene until you get it right.

To give you that extra handle on the experience, you may choose the number of lives you have to play the game (up to unlimited), as well as toggle the movement beeps and hints (the button to be pressed will light up at the right moment). I would advise going with the tips on unless you’re a die-hard gamer. Seriously.

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Dragon’s Lair is basically a cartoon, beautifully hand-drawn by the master of animation from Disney – Don Bluth. No wonder it features probably the best graphics in any game ever. The characters, the animations, the backgrounds – it’s just like watching a full-blown Disney animation movie from the good old hand-drawn days. And don’t even think about playing without sound or you’ll miss out on half the fun. Dragon’s Lair features the authentic music and sound-effects from the original game.

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Whether you’ve been a die-hard fan of this cult classic or missed it altogether – this game is a must have. The somewhat limited gameplay is completely offset by the beautiful graphics and experience. Think of it as buying an interactive cartoon from the good old Disney days. And watching Dirk die in various amusing ways – what could be better than that?

With this I declare Dragon’s Lair officially touched!

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App Summary
Title:Dragon’s LairDeveloper:Electronic Arts
Reviewed Ver:11.19.09Min OS Req:2.2.1
Price:$4.99App Size:207 MB
  • Beautiful hand-drawn graphics
  • Authentic gameplay
  • Tons of funny and amusing ways to die
  • Somewhat limited gameplay
  • Limited replayability

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