Dragon Academy is a free match-3 puzzle & adventure game available on multiple platforms. It follows the story of a group of misfit dragons as they embark on their adventurous journey fighting the evil Wobblin to get back the kidnapped hatchlings. Make big matches and feed dragons with mythic runes – they will grow and unleash great powers to help complete the mission.
The match-3 mechanism is familiar to almost every casual player. Make matches of at least three same colored runes to win points and fill up the star-rating bar; make bigger matches or combos to generate special dragon eggs with great power; and use limited moves to reach the passing requirements. Objective-oriented as it is, each level asks you to achieve certain goal – gain certain scores, obtain a number of scrolls or portions, clear all goo on the board, and so on and so forth. Only when you reach the specific goal can you successfully pass a level and move to the next; otherwise, you fail losing one life and need to try again.
On the basis of the established rules above, the game is interwoven with a layer of role-playing, or directly, the growth of dragons and the role of their abilities in the matching puzzle. As you pass levels one after another, you not only win scores and stars but also feed them to grow the different dragons – Melty the purple dragon, Emma the green one and Pokey the red and so on. Each dragon possesses a special ability including fire, sonic booms, lightning, ice, etc. that can be used to boost the gameplay when the dragons are fed to full.
The difficulty of the gameplay increases as you make progression with the appearance of more blocks that break off the board and ever higher goal to reach with limited moves. Meanwhile, you also unlock various power-ups like the Runic Hammer and Magic Wand and can use them in critical times to make a slim success in a level. Effective though they are, the power-ups cost real cash to purchase except the first two free tries. So for free players, you have but your skill to rely on to move forward.
Dragon Academy features more than 150 levels across thirteen differently themed worlds for adventure. The overall depiction is adorable and clean with awesome visuals for special effects. As you set off to save the hatchling dragons, you have hours of fun out of the challenge. While it is still conventional with the core match-3 mechanism, it brings something its own to break the old same pattern. At least, it is a bit different.