Opinion: Dragalia Lost is a quirky and free one-handed Action RPG for mobile

Opinion: Dragalia Lost is a quirky and free one-handed Action RPG for mobile

on | OpenCritic

Nintendo's latest iOS/Android release is the brand new IP Dragalia Lost. But is it worth the download, or is it just another generic mobile import? It's the kind of mobile game I adore, as a father of two young ones - the kind that I can play with one hand while the other holds my kids. But so many F2P mobile RPGs come out every week, and so very few of them are ever worth the time it takes to download them.

Dragalia Lost has a chance to be different. As a cooperative development between Nintendo and Cygames, the goal is to create a new JRPG IP that's instantly familiar, classical in its fantasy stylings, and hopefully generate tons revenue from "summons" like Fire Emblem Heroes has managed to do over the past year or so.

You're going to be pretty familiar with the setup, if you've played an F2P RPG on mobile phones - missions are broken into little 2-3 minute chunks all over a campaign map (not unlike a match-3 puzzle game), with story bits coming into effect in between. These are often well done too, with surprising amounts of decent English voiceover work too. You can tell Nintendo and Cygames care just as much about the presentation as they do about the monetization of their title.

The action is one-handed, left or right, and you hold the phone vertically. Your thumb directs your character and his party members, while tapping with the same thumb activates basic combo attacks. Special skills are just a press away too, though on cooldowns. What makes things more interesting is that when you charge up the ability, you can shape shift into a powerful dragon and wreck some face.

In between chapters and missions, you summon new heroes to fight with you, play with friends in "raid" dungeons, and try to level and gear up your cast of characters. It's a much more traditional mobile RPG than previous Nintendo offerings, and part of me wonders if that's the point. It's fun, it's simple, and it's addictive, without feeling like you need to pay to progress. But at the same time, the allure of unlocking bigger and better party members to play with makes the idea of spending real money not so far off.

Will you be giving Dragalia Lost a try today on your phone? Worst case, it's something new to play on the toilet, am I right?

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