Blow Up Zombies With a Mechanical Dragon in Dragon Hills 2
Dragon Hills 2 ($2.99) by Cezary Rajkowski is the sequel to the original Dragon Hills that came out in 2015. If you enjoy fast paced arcade games like Grapple Gum and Pigeon Wings, then you'll love what Dragon Hills 2 offers.
With all that's going on in the world lately, I find solace in video games. Though my usual go-tos are relaxing puzzles or Stardew Valley on my Nintendo Switch, sometimes I'm just craving chaos and destruction on my screen. For those moments, I find arcade games like Kick Ass Commandos to be perfect. I remember playing Dragon Hills a few years ago, and I'm glad to see it return on the App Store in a new package.
App Feels Like
App Feels Like
In terms of visuals, Dragon Hills 2 supersedes the original game. While the first Dragon Hills did not look bad, the sequel brings in even more polished graphics that are gorgeous to behold. Dragon Hills 2 retains the cartoonish art style and humor, which is great for fans.
Everything's rendered in 2D, but with the city skylines and other environmental backgrounds, there's some nice depth to the layering. The world is fairly detailed and full of realistic textures, and character sprites are lively. The colors are bright and vibrant, with danger zones easy to spot from a distance so you have time to get ready. Animations are smooth and fluid so there's no lag on my iPhone 8 Plus. There's a quirky soundtrack that's fun to listen to during the action, and the sound effects are sure to bring a smile to your face.
While Dragon Hills 2 looks like an infinite runner style game at first glance, it's not. It's level-based with three unique worlds, and players must get through each stage with a challenging boss fight at the end in order to conquer all of the zombie towers. If you played the first game, you'll remember the protagonist, because she makes her appearance once more. But rather than fighting knights, you'll be taking out hungry zombies.
Controls in Dragon Hills 2 is as intuitive as the original game. The former princess takes control of the mech dragon and it goes forward automatically. When you touch anywhere on the screen, that causes the dragon to dive down, digging through buildings, the ground, and even enemies. As you release your finger, the dragon goes upwards, eventually jumping out of the ground. The dragon can only be underground for so long (progress bar at bottom indicates how long until you need to surface), so a combination of burrowing and jumping is key.
As you set out with your robotic dragon friend, you'll see zombies hiding out in buildings, vehicles, and other objects in the environment. You'll want to aim for them, because the more zombies you eliminate, the better. Everything in the environment is destructible as well, so you'll see entire buildings crumble and fall once you rip through them.
There's gold coins to collect along the way, if you manage to time and aim your jumps for them. The coins are for you to spend on upgrades for your dragon, such as increased health, more speed, or more potent burrowing capabilities. Additionally, in case your dragon needs more firepower, there are weapons that you can purchase and upgrade too. And like many games, there are power-up items that you can unlock, making things like collecting coins easier.
While you may start out in the game thinking you're invincible (you're in a mech dragon fighting zombies after all), it's much harder than you think. There are dangerous obstacles that you'll have to watch out for, such as laser beams, deadly acid pools, and even projectiles fired by enemy zombies.
Plus, the boss battles are a test of your ability to jump and burrow while dodging attacks. You start with one heart, which equates to one hit, but more upgrades means you can withstand more damage before you go down. Bosses also need more hits to defeat, so it becomes rather challenging.
Ride a dragon to cause as much destruction as possible.
Dragon Hills 2 is beautiful auto-runner arcade game that will keep anyone entertained. The graphics are stunning and crisp on Retina screens, and the sound design is fantastic. The one-touch controls mean this game is simple enough for everyone, but also challenging and gives you a sense of progression. There's also a dash of humor mixed in, which I love.
And if the game concept itself is not enough to keep you coming back, then perhaps the abundance of upgrades, weapons, and power-ups for your dragon will. After all, who doesn't want to see what a mechanized dragon can do after getting souped up for battle against an undead horde?
There's a lot of good going on for Dragon Hills 2, but I can't help but feel that this is just more of the same. I played the original game for a while, and this is just the same thing, but with zombies. It's great fun for those who haven't played the first one, though.
There's also a slight learning curve for those who haven't played before, and they may find the first boss fight more difficult than it should be.
Even though it feels mostly like a rehash, I'm still enjoying Dragon Hills 2. The graphics look improved over the first game, and the sounds are fun. Even though the game is fairly difficult, it's a welcome challenge and keeps you coming back for more in hopes of making progress. There's a plethora of upgrades to work your way towards, and I can't wait to blow up some zombies with a super dragon mech.
I recommend giving Dragon Hills 2 a try if you're looking for a fun arcade auto-runner game. You can find Dragon Hills 2 on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone and iPad for $2.99.