Dragon: A Game About a Dragon (PC) Review

By Ian Soltes 29.03.2017

Review for Dragon: A Game About a Dragon on PC

When it comes to indie games, while there are many shining gems, there are also those hidden titles that everyone dreads lurking. The complete rip-off zombie game, the horribly broken mess, and the 'retro' game that would rather punch the player for every possible step than be enjoyable. As for Dragon: A Game About a Dragon, it falls into the category of 'self-indulgent title that was likely only fun for the creator.'

There is a thing in media called the 'fourth wall.' Taking its name from old stage-plays, it's the notion that each play has four specific walls, with the most important being the 'wall' between the play and the audience. If a character says or does something that the people within the play would not understand or does not make sense in the context of the play, but makes perfect sense to the audience as it's addressed to them, it's known as 'breaking the fourth wall'. This is not an inherently good or bad act. Certain characters like Deadpool and Neptune can do so reliably and enjoyably. However, when a game or character breaks this wall and lacks the same wit, it comes off as childish, stupid, and worst of all, annoying. Dragon fits all three perfectly.

Right off the bat the problem is apparent from the very get-go. Dragon (the main character of the game, not the title) is a lazy bum who sits at home watching T.V., playing games, and basically relying on his girlfriend instead of being a terror or menace. He can barely fly or breathe fire, and is more a threat to the snack bowl than any living creature. Despite this, the King of the realm feels that it's dangerous to have too many dragons lying around so he kidnaps Dragon's girlfriend. Can anyone spot the problem with this and why it is a terrible plot?

Screenshot for Dragon: A Game About a Dragon on PC

For those who don't get it, it's really quite simple. Dragon… is a dragon. He may spend all his days being a lazy bum, but he can still fly, breath fire, and the like. While he was just lounging around, he wasn't being a threat to anyone, and probably would have continued to not be a threat to anyone. The player might recognize what's actually going on (a reversal of the traditional dragon kidnapping princess and so forth) but, within the context of the story, the king has basically just provoked one of exactly two dragons into becoming a dangerous threat for no other reason than to provoke him. This sort of think keeps abounding.

For example, one of the enemy bosses builds a giant cruise ship that fires off a horde of missiles at the dragon, funded of course by tax-payers dollars. Why? Maybe if it was played up to show that Dragon is actually a hero and the king and generals are oppressing the people it might be funny or at least worth noting, but the people seem generally happy and prosperous while being more than willing to jump to the defence of the kingdom or ignore dragon peacefully than get involved. Even in the original Super Mario Bros. the toads were grateful that Mario had freed them and wanted him to rescue Peach and defeat Bowser.

Screenshot for Dragon: A Game About a Dragon on PC

That aside, the game is stuffed with jokes that, not only adults would get, but only adults sufficiently involved in specific scenes, and even then they're less funny than painful. For example, on Dragon's status screen, modelled after a D&D character sheet, one of dragon's languages is something like 'Jamaican Creole.' Even if Dora the Explorer teamed up with Sherlock Holmes, neither of them would be able to find the joke. Not only does it break the fourth wall, its pun is something that someone already in on the joke would even be able to find (and it isn't even that funny then). The mighty wizard who was of immense power had the very mundane and underwhelming name of 'Tim', Sonic will get fed up with the game and flat out leave the player if they remain idle enough, and Dragon speaks Jamaican Creole because… um… because?

The game itself doesn't fare much better. It unfolds in a manner akin to most Mario titles, with selectable worlds in which the goal is to reach the end, but unlike those, the levels aren't enjoyable. For starters, they're far too short. It's entirely possible to beat this in under two hours, without help or even trouble simply due to the fact that Dragon can fly over half of the enemies to reach the end, which is never too far away. Even when fights do happen, the foes come in the distinct varieties of 'pathetically easy' to '[insert explicative] YOU!' cheap with even the bosses attaining such underwhelming heights. Not to mention that the levels are dull. Massively so. Nothing of interest happens in them; there is nothing of interest to look at; the art style can hide platforms in plain sight; and there is really nothing to elicit more than half the player's attention.

Screenshot for Dragon: A Game About a Dragon on PC

To top it off, the controls are stupidly limited. Dragon's jump and flight feels stiff and that he cannot attack or really do much of anything while jumping further, surely adds to this feeling. When in the air he can't claw or breathe fire, which both makes some enemies needlessly harder and seems to make people feel less like they are playing a good retro game and, instead, a bad one made for half the budget. Likewise Dragon can't breathe fire or claw on the ground, and his breath isn't quite as long as it should be making it all feel cheaper.

Lastly… the art style. Done in the finest crayon, it… is… stylized. The problem comes in the form of making everything feel artificial, and treating the player in a more child-like manner than its jokes imply. Combined with the short and easy levels, and it almost seems to be telling the player that they are lazy and easily amused by stupid jokes, and not worth much more than that.

Are there any positives? Well, honestly, not really. The "best" thing is that the game is short, so it can be beaten swiftly and co-signed to the dustbin of obscurity. The art style, while a poor choice, comes across as at least… tolerable. Gameplay-wise, while easy, is also not frustrating, so as long as one of the few very annoying enemies are on screen. That is, sadly, about the whole of it.

Screenshot for Dragon: A Game About a Dragon on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 3 out of 10


Full of dumb and uninspired jokes, a plot that's silly, fourth wall breakings that are more annoying than enjoyable, and a questionable art style, Dragon: A Game About a Dragon should best be avoided, and maybe given to small children who hold no aspirations, as that is the game's greatest sin. It strives to be nothing. It exists, but it doesn't want to be fun, enjoyable, or even feel like it's putting any effort inside. It would rather lazily recline and tell a weak story than try to be anything more.


Games With Dragons In




2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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