Reign of Dragons
A great game plagued by hellacious load times.
Few iOS games are in need of an update more than Reign of Dragons, a free-to-play card battler from Drecom. Powered by GREE, this title requires an online connection to play and constantly draws on that social network behind the scenes, which ultimately results in players staring slack-jawed at the tiny spinning wheel that appears even for doing the simplest things, like cycling through menus and claiming rewards. It's a shame, because we like the gameplay, epic-sounding music and attractive art. Apparently, so do thousands of other people, as Reign of Dragons is currently one of the most popular games on the App Store.
If you do get it to work, consider yourself lucky, as there's quite a meaty experience to dig into. Story wise, the game takes place within a fantasy realm filled with all manner of creatures. Not just dragons, but also humongous spiders, man-eating plants and werewolves. You'll also find an assortment of humanoid characters with various magic attacks. That said, the goal, as with most if not all games like this, is to build an ultimate deck comprised of death-dealing cards, then go on quests to battle enemies, picking up loot and new cards along the way, which you're free to enhance and evolve; fusing copies is a great way to make them stronger.
At the start, you must choose one of three card types (Justice, Chaos or Genesis), each one possessing unique attributes, advantages and disadvantages. What's more, you can utilize the social platform to make friends, invite allies to help out during battles and send messages.
Of course, there's a price to pay for such adventuring, and it comes in the form of Stamina. Since you only have a limited amount per day, the developers force you to refill the bar via in-app purchase, where you can also acquire more cards and the game's virtual currencies.
That is, if all goes according to plan. The loading is so bad our iPhones eventually went to sleep, only to be awoken and display the same load screen. For now, we'll just have to guess that the sheer volume of players attempting to connect wrecked the experience; on that note, our Wi-Fi connection is just fine.
It's a shame, because we really dig Reign of Dragons' artwork, as well as the new monster types born from evolving two of the same cards. Battles are fast-paced, the loot practically pours from the iPhone speakers and there's obviously a dedicated community itching to get the most from what this ambitious game has to offer. It's all for nothing, however, if they can't connect.
[Editor's Note: Did you have better luck getting Reign of Dragons to work? If so, consider this a 4/5 game, easy.]
What's Hot: Beautiful illustrations, speedy battles, money bins full of gold and other prizes, making friends and sending messages, free-to-play.
What's Not: Horrendous connection issues, excessive loading.