Pirates and Dragons is a relatively new Windows Phone game from MissinGames, an AppCampus alumnus. The game has an arcade, maybe even an endless runner feel where you pilot an airplane across thirty levels of game play, battling pirates, dragons and other creatures as you hunt down treasure.
While the game has a slight casual pace it doesn't lack in challenge. Graphics are well drawn up and in playing Pirates and Dragons over the past few days, it comes across as an addictive, entertaining Windows Phone game.
The main menu for Pirates and Dragons is rather minimal when you first launch the game. You will find options to pin the game to your Windows Phone Start Screen, visit the game's Facebook page and jump into game play.
After you have played Pirates and Dragons and return to the game, this menu will be replaced by a map view/menu. The map view charts out the thirty levels of play and to the side is a pull-out menu with options to purchase upgrades, view your missions, view your Facebook friends and access the game's settings.
Settings cover sound/music levels, turning on/off notifications, pinning the game to your Windows Phone Start Screen and viewing the game credits. Upgrades will add special abilities to your plane such as shields, magnets and game multipliers. These upgrades can be purchased with the screws you collect during game play.
Missions with Pirates and Dragons are performance based (collect x number of screws, etc.) much like you would see with gaming achievements. Lastly, you also have treasure chests that can be collected during game play or picked up through in-app purchases. The treasure chests are needed to unlock levels of play and can be used to continue game play if your plane crashes and burns.
When you jump into game play for the first time, an on-screen tutorial will appear that covers game mechanics. You are piloting a plane that is flying across the screen and to elevate your flight path on the screen, just tap/hold the screen. When you release your hold, the plane will dive to the bottom of the screen.
Each level of play will have a variety of dangers to navigate over and under. From spinning saw blades to spiked pillars, you will have to pilot your craft through this gauntlet and collect screws and treasure chests that are scattered about.
You will also encounter stone barriers that have to be crushed by tapping on them or cutting loose a battering ram. On-screen tips will appear throughout Pirates and Dragons as new gaming features are encountered.
Along with the assortment of deadly obstacles, the game also has a handful of bosses that need to be beaten. This is where the pirates and dragons (along with a stone giant) come into play. Some bosses can be defeated by outrunning them, while others require a more aggressive approach and will need to be shot down.
Firing your planes rockets is automatic but you will need to line up the targeting system. Once you line up the target, it will turn green and your rocket will fire. Just don't concentrate so much on targeting your enemy that you fly into a saw blade.
In the bottom right corner of the game screen you will find a treasure chest icon that has a number that decreases as your plane travels across each gaming level. You'll need to survive long enough for that number to reach zero to complete the level. Your gaming score is one to three treasure chests (based on screws you collect?), which in turn will help unlock additional levels of play.
Pirates and Dragons is yet another quality Windows Phone game that is the result of the AppCampus initiative. Graphics are well done and game play is challenging enough to keep things interesting. The mechanics are simple and will test your soft touch, timing and reflexes.
While I found a lot of positives about Pirates and Dragons, there is one major annoyance – full screen ads. These ads pop-up as you transition between the game screen and menus. While I understand the need for ad-supported games and apps, the full-screen ads can be rather annoying. I don't think the game screen has enough room for an ad banner but the menu screens could easily support this ad style.
While the full-page ads are a little over bearing, overall I found Pirates and Dragons to be a fun game to pass the time with. The game, at last check, is rated at 4 stars in the Windows Phone Store, which is about right for things. If you give Pirates and Dragons a try, let us know in the comments what you think and remember to rate the game in the Windows Phone Store.