Dragon Camp is a fresh and free-to-play Puzzle & RPG hybrid game that blends the match-3 mechanic, dragon collection and turn-based combat together. In the game you will build your own dragon camp, take your battle team to the hunting campaign and catch more dragons in the turn-based puzzle battles.
Dragon Camp features a wide variety of fighting dragons that are categorized into six types. Starting off with a little fire dragon in the base, you can go to the deep forest battling to catch more. The battle scene is divided into two parts: the matching-3 puzzler and the turn-based dragon fight. You make matches of three or more of the same elements to empower your dragons who will take turns to deal damage against opponents.
The matching puzzler plays a little different from the classic. Instead of switching adjacent tiles, you can freely exchange one tile with another one on the board. This way you have more space to achieve combos or create big matches, which will certainly facilitate your dragons greatly. And the tiles on the play board also correspond to the different dragon types. The correspondence is another source of the strategy: you can better empower your dragon by matching the same elemental tiles. Besides, you need to pay attention to the life bar of your dragons and make timely healing by matching the Heart tiles.
With 15 distinct maps (so far) to explore, you can take your battle team to venture into the jungle, dessert, arctic, mountains, volcano, tropic forest, Jupiter, Mars and so on. Each map consists of four battle zone where you take on minion dragons in the first three battles and then fight the Boss in the final. In every battle, you can gain a certain amount of Loot, the only resource of the game, if you win and can unlock three new dragons by defeating the boss.
Based on the enemy types, you can adjust your battle team. You can select a three-member party out of the six types – Water, Fire, Nature, Air, Earth and Electric before the battle and can freely set the attacker – yes, only one dragon attacks in your each turn – to the central place. As you unlock more dragons by finishing maps, you need to purchase them first in the shop and then evolve them to maturity before you can put them in your battle team. All costs Loot. While some high-level dragon can directly fight, they usually cost Cash that needs to be purchased with real cash.
Dragon Camp is an interesting blend of several favorite genre, but it is not the first of its kind. If you’ve ever heard about or played Dungeon of Elements and Puzzle Troopers, you will immediately recognize the similar puzzle-battle pattern regardless of the different story setting and campaign design. And compared to its contenders, Dragon Camp is dragged behind by its clunky and slow dragon fight and the absurdly long time of free healing.
Overall, Dragon Camp is a solid and enjoyable mobile game with deep yet not overwhelming strategy and the mash-up of several favorite elements. It may need further tweaks in couples of aspects to become more polished and more fledged in the free-to-play model. But on the whole the Puzzle & Action RPG blend is a nice choice for hours (work on the Healing system!) of fun.