Dragons (Amsoft) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action

By Amsoft
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Action #1

Far from being a mythological beast, dragons are, it seems, plentiful enough for you to crush them beneath their own eggs. This is your task on 20 screens of floating platforms, which you have to rid of all dragons.

The platforms are picturesque slabs of rock - or possibly wisps of clouds - connected by flowery vines and creepers. You control a man who can run along the platforms and climb up and down the creepers. A white dragon flies left to right across the screen and every now and then...er...lays an egg. These bounce down a platform or two squashing you, dragons or other eggs in their path.

Once an egg has come to rest you can send it down through the rest of the platforms and off the bottom of the screen by pushing them with the man. You can run off any platform and drop any distance, as long as you don't drop off the bottom of the screen.

There are five different-coloured dragons, each with different movement patterns. Green dragons just shuttle left and right on a particular platform while blue ones will follow a fixed path on creepers as well.

Yellow dragons are much nastier and will behave as green ones until you are close enough, when they will start flying after you. Red dragons are the meanest and will fly, walk and climb from anywhere on screen to try to attack you from above.

Red dragons evolve from purple ones, which are created by picking up all the red and green gems on a screen. If you can crush purple dragons before they turn red you can light up the letters of the words Bonus, Extra and Super for more points.

The process of laying eggs and crushing things isn't the most tasteful I've ever seen, while control of the character is finicky when you're trying to climb creepers. The screens are very nicely designed but the dragons become indistinguishable blobs when they're walking around. Some screens have to be done in a certain order, platform game style, or you'll have to commit suicide and start again. Others are more a matter of reflex action and trying to outwit the dragons.

Good News

1. 20 difficult screens. 2. Attractive screen designs. 3. Novel game task.

Bad News

1. Frustrating control. 2. Simple gameplay. 3. Blob-like dragons. 4. Situations where death is the only way out.

Second Opinion

The eggs are disgusting. Otherwise, the graphics are pretty, but sometimes very indistinct - two yellow dragons together - one smudge. Controlling the character is tricky and I found the game ultimately a frustrating experience.

Bob Wade

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