Dragon Mania Legends is an entertaining city builder game from Gameloft where you build up your city, breed dragons and battle neighboring Vikings. The Windows Phone game was updated today to version 22.214.171.124 to add a few more gaming features but most noticeably increases the cost of playing the game.
There is no change log listed in the Windows Phone Store for this update but if you install the game and tap the Gameloft symbol in the upper right corner of the screen you can find the changes listed under News.
While Dragon Mania Legends is a free game in the Windows Phone Store, you do have in-app purchase opportunities for items used during game play. These consumables can be earned during the course of gameplay but that can take some time. For example, to level up a dragon you have to feed them food grown on farms you build in your city. With the update, the amount of food needed to level up your dragons has increased.
You are also seeing an increase in the amount of scrolls and gold needed to train a dragon and increase their abilities, an increase in the cost to upgrade habitats and the amount of gold needed to remove obstacles as you clear land to build new structures on.
As a result of these increases, it will take you longer to progress through the game or require you to make in-app purchases, all of which takes a bit of fun away from the game.
Another downside to the update is that it is 99MB, and an additional 19MB are required after you launch the updated version of the game to complete installation of graphical content.
On the plus side of things, the update does decrease the amount of energy needed to use the Focus Attack in combat, adds cleaner looking graphics, and breeding tips are now accessible from the Map. It also appears you have more opportunities for online battle (six instead of three).
I am puzzled by Gameloft's strategy with this update, just as I was with their decision to drop Windows Phone support for Spider-Man Unlimited. Here are two games that are (or were) showing signs of success in this format only to see the rug pulled out from under them. It is almost as if Gameloft has someone actively seeking out ways to screw up a good thing.
If you are a Dragon Mania Legends fan, let us know what you think of the updated version in the comments below. It is still a fantastic game and city builders by nature are a long term gaming project. I just fear that this update stretches game play out too far.