Dreamworks Dragons: Legends of the Nine Realms – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure game
Developer: AHEARTFULOFGAMES
Publisher: Outright Games
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox series X/S, Switch
Tested on: PS4

Dreamworks Dragons: Legends of the Nine Realms – Review

Site Score
5.3
Good: Fun combat
Bad: Very simple gameplay, Visuals look cheap
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0
(0 votes)
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The Dreamworks movie How To Train Your Dragon dates back to 2010, so it isn’t the most recent IP. Yet it’s still remarkably popular with fans across different age groups, enough for it to spawn several spin-off shows and books. One such show is Dreamworks Dragons: The Nine Realms, a series set in modern times, and it was released more recently. Based on this show, multiple video games were made. So in essence we’re looking at a spin-off of a spin-off today. Dreamworks Dragons: Legends of The Nine Realms is the full title of this game and it’s quite a mouthful for a deceptively simple game that is clearly aimed at a younger audience. Though that doesn’t necessarily mean grown-ups can’t enjoy it too.

Story

Legends of the Nine Realms does not require any in-depth knowledge of the Dragons series since it’s a prequel to those events. Neither does it matter if you’ve watched the preceding franchise. It opens with a cutscene that explains the premise with some very pretty storybook animation. Years after the events of the original movie – which was set in the Viking era – dragons have become a myth, with many humans believing them not to be real. In truth, dragons just live hidden deep inside the earth now, in what’s referred to as the Hidden World. One such dragon is named Thunder, and when an earthquake happens he gets separated from his family. To find them again, Thunder travels through the different realms of the Hidden World, meeting friends and defeating foes along the way.

Since the dragons don’t talk, the entire game is narrated by the main character of the TV series and it’s presented as a story he’s telling to the audience. This is a nice touch as it allows for some funny fourth-wall-breaking references and also means the plot can be laid out in a very simple manner for the younger kids who will probably be playing this.

Graphics

For a game that was made by a studio as prominent as Dreamworks, the graphics of Legends of the Nine Realms are arguably rather cheap looking. It’s definitely not the worst we’ve ever seen, but it looks like something slapped together with leftover assets from previous games. The different dragon species designs are pretty creative, but the bird’s eye camera angle doesn’t really allow you to appreciate them outside of the cutscenes. The UI is also very simple and exaggerated, though this can also be attributed to this being a kid’s game. What’s most disappointing are the locations you visit, which seem to be recolored with little real variety. Overall this is a big letdown.

Sound

Where the graphics fail, the sound design of this game picks up a lot of the slack. The music is fun and creative. Some of it is probably ripped straight from the show or sounds like it at least. But honestly, that’s not a bad thing. Why change a winning formula? The game has good sound effects, including fun screeches for the dragons you fight. As we mentioned above, the game is narrated by one of the show’s characters. They got his actual voice actor to reprise the role and he does an excellent job at it.

Gameplay

Dreamworks Dragons: Legends of the Nine Realms is a pretty standard adventure game with simple mechanics so children can play it easily without getting frustrated. If you’re looking for a challenging experience, you’ll probably not find it here. That doesn’t mean it’s not fun, however. Playing with your team of dragons, you travel through the world and collect gems. These gems are used to upgrade said dragons and unlock their powers, allowing them to fly better, move quicker or learn special attacks.

Flying will be needed to get around the levels. To call this game a platformer would be a bit ridiculous considering how easy it is, but you’ll be doing a bunch of jumping and gliding to find your way around. The levels aren’t exactly linear, but a path of green gems always points toward the exit. Similarly, you couldn’t call this a puzzle game because figuring out how to proceed through roadblocks is as easy as defeating a certain amount of enemies or finding a magic power gem to hit as if it were a button. Overall, it’s nothing too exciting.

The only thing that does give Legends of the Nine Realms an edge is that the combat is surprisingly diverse. There are different dragon species you face off against, all having their own unique powers on top of you having a pretty diverse arsenal to pick from. At the end of each level, there’s a boss fight too. The dragon you’re not currently playing slowly heals, meaning that death is not exactly a threat. Nevertheless, the mechanics are fun enough to keep even us adults occupied for a few hours. And if you do want to play longer, each level comes with a challenge mode that ups the difficulty and makes you play with severe penalties such as no healing or slowly depleting health.

Conclusion

Overall, this game might not be a masterpiece but it manages to accomplish that which it set out to do: be easy and entertaining. We know we’re not the target audience here, but if you go into it with the right expectations, you might just get a bit of fun out of it. Just be wary of the price, fifty bucks is a lot for a game with barely five hours of content.

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Jessica


Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

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