Raising or learning how to train a dragon has never been a blase experience, as these fire breathers have made their mark in animated films and on television. If Daenerys Targaryen and Hiccup hold a sure hand in nurturing these world beating beasts, why can't we? Battle Dragons gives us that exact shot at greatness. Do we take up our swords and fight, or does this free to play game die a thousand dragon deaths?

Battle Dragons is that rare title that is literally hard to put down, especially if you dig fun multi-tasking experiences. Although the core of the action deals with you collecting a crew of dragons to obliterate nearby towns and kingdoms, there is a healthy amount of tasks to accomplish on your home grounds. To keep the dragons feed, you need to raise sheep. More food for the creatures lends to an even higher population, but a big part of strengthening your home lies in grabbing as much loot as possible from neighboring lands.

Dragons can either be birthed by using sheep or purchased with gold. The gold bought dragons are the more elaborate fighters, as they protect your home during invasions, while the sheep eaters are the troops you generate on the ground. It's these foot and air soldiers who bring home the proverbial bacon for your kingdom, and many of them die at a pretty fast clip during their journeys. Training grounds are necessary to train a selection of fighters, with some of the dragons skilled at crushing their way through obstacles, and others adept at fire breathing a path of destruction.

When invading surrounding territories, you can deploy your units at different parts of the enemy's kingdom. Having a mult-pronged attack will increase your chances of success, since having a bunch of soldiers situated in one section of the battlefield should guarantee their immediate deaths.

Here's a shot of my guys returning to The Fiery Crown to do some damage. Unfortunately, the area currently has no sheep or gold to spare. So why in the world am I invading a barren area? Because my sister's the smart one.

As much as I love sending my dragons into the front line, there is a lot to be said of kicking it back on the prairie. Raising sheep for their eventual slaughter, powering up my army, and collecting gold from the local mine are all fun activities. As a reward for all my hard work, I recently purchased a Blast Sheep to defend my fortress. Although I have no idea of this animal's protective powers, sheep blasting sounds either extremely dangerous or inhumanly perverse -- so color me curious!

Along with sheep and gold, gamers also have a collection of pearls as currency. Pearls help speed up the process of building new structures and raising your troops, and although these bad boys are available as in-app purchases, the developers give us a bunch of pearls to work with. Spacetime Studios could have easily thrown us a couple of pearls and then slapped up with a mandatory purchase to ruin our gameplay experience, but they decided to give us a great head start on building our kingdom. It's a goodwill gesture that will keep me glued to Battle Dragons for quite a spell. In my book, Battle Dragons is a total winner.

There's also a PVP and Spar mode if you're tired of coordinating all your battles within a story structure, and you also can join a tribe filled with fellow Battle Dragons enthusiasts. Once my dragons get stronger and my land appreciates in value, I'll either start my own tribe (it costs 50,000 coins), or simply join the herd. I've had my share of doubts regarding free to play titles, but thankfully Battle Dragons has reignited my faith in a freemium universe.


App Store Link: Battle Dragons for iPhoneiPad | By Spacetime Studios LLC | Price: Free | Version: 1.0.2 | 8.8 MB | Rating: 9+

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