Dragon’s Lair 2: Time Warp in Review – Out of the frying pan and into the fire

I remember in the ’90s everyone was saying that “The Future” of the entertainment industry will be interactive movies. You know, where you can actually influence what the hell is going on on-screen. This, unfortunately, is still far far away from reality, but the early attempts left us with some rather noteworthy titles. I’m talking, of course, about the handful of Laserdisc classics, best known for Don Bluth’s Dragon’s Lair (TMA Review) series. Well, iOS was recently hit with the sequel to the classic adventure – Dragon’s Lair 2: Time Warp.

Dragon’s Lair 2 continues the fine interactive movie traditions of other Don Bluth works. After a brief period of Happily-Ever-After with Dirk the Daring, Princess Daphne finds herself kidnapped yet again, this time by the Evil Wizard Mordroc, who apparently has a crush on her. Motivated by his Mother-In-Law, Dirk races after his beloved through time and space to snatch her from the grasp of the evil one.

Gameplay-wise Time Warp doesn’t stray far from the original – you have to press the right button at the right moment to help Dirk avoid a gruesome demise and watch the next part of his adventures. Thankfully the developers decided to eliminate the need to guess exactly where to press in order to move on to the next part of the scenery, thanks to the highlighting of the action buttons. Not all is that simple however. In addition to simply moving from one screen to the other, you’ll have to keep your eyes open for specific artifacts that briefly flash on screen. Unless you collect them all, you won’t be able to proceed after a certain point in the game. Despite the built-in help system and flashing visual aids, it can still be difficult to miss certain treasures. As such, you definitely need to keep your eyes glued to the screen at all times.

Whether you’re a fan of the original arcade or Director’s Cut mode (with a different ending for the latter), you’re to choose if you wish to play with 3, 5 or infinite lives. In case you do die you’ll restart from the latest checkpoint, though I did feel they’re a bit too sparse for comfort. And all the focused attention on the flashing stuff does interfere somewhat with the enjoyment of the visual side of things. It would be great if the developers added the option of watching the whole game in one go as a cartoon after completing it.

Speaking of which, Time Warp features the same gorgeous graphics by Don Bluth that made the prequel famous. In your quest to save the princess, you’ll encounter on several occasions well known characters, including the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, among others. You’d be damned to find any difference in quality between full featured Disney animation films and Dragon’s Lair 2. The only disappointment is the absence of a universal mode, as enjoying it on an iPad would be just so much better.

Just as it says in the iTunes description, Dragon’s Lair 2 really is the only true sequel to the arcade classic. Revisiting the adventures of Dirk the Daring, augmented with a bit of treasure hunting and in classic Disney-quality animation, the game is sure to bring tears of nostalgia to the fans of the series. Time Warp is a unique and unmatched experience, bringing the cartoon adventure to life right under your fingertips. If only the developers included a Universal build for the iPad and a more frequent checkpoint system, it would truly be perfect.

With this I declare Dragon’s Lair 2: Time Warp officially touched!

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Dragon’s Lair 2: Time Warp Developer: Electronic Arts
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.0 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $2.99 App Size: 346.49MB
  • Unparalleled visual quality, on par with full-scale Disney cartoons
  • Lots of amusing ways to die
  • A Disney-quality adventure at your control
  • Original and Director’s Cut versions
  • Sparse checkpoints
  • Easy to miss the treasures
  • No Universal mode


A project manager in a major telecommunications supplier, an iPhone junkie and lately - a TMA editor. Love long walks on the beach and my wife, who is the most beautiful girl on the face of this planet. You can also follow me on twitter for all things iPhone and project management (and some personal stuff as well): http://twitter.com/ChiffaNe

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