It's quite clever to release this as a mobile game.


Nintendo's latest IP, Dragalia Lost, is a mobile role-playing game that can be either simple or complex as you wish. Your role is a young prince whose mission is finding a dragon to build a connection with so that he can become strong enough to save the kingdom, where a demonic threat is growing. Accompanied by his younger sister, and later a big group of more than 60 members, the prince becomes stronger by completing quests, missions, and defeating bosses.

Although this is a mobile game, Dragalia Lost has many mechanics, such as party management and dragon rearing. Most triple-A RPGs’ game systems are shown to the player in quick succession over a two-hour opening, like Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Draglia Lost slowly introduces each one of its mechanics. There aren't many cutscenes during the first hour of this game. Even though some of the story elements are presented quite early, at the beginning of this game, you can play in small strikes that support everything you’ve learned from the tutorial. By the time Dragalia Lost starts showing you much more cutscenes, you've got a basic understanding of the game’s controls.

When the demo ends, I had played Dragalia Lost for 45 minutes and was rapidly becoming familiar with all of the features. What impressed me most about Dragalia Lost's opening hour was the fact that this game was appealing to 2 different types of players:  newcomers to the genre and RPG veterans. There are two levels in every lesson. After listening to one of the characters’ explanation, you have 2 choices: go do it immediately or wait for the game to show you what those explanations mean.

For instance, all characters have their own advantages and weaknesses, type of weapon and diverse skill tree. You can also equip some items to your characters and your dragons, build many shrines in your castle, raise new species of dragons and plant a mixture of herbs in your garden. Choosing characters for your team possibly affect how your entire party attacks, defends or heals and certain enemies can be easily defeated if you use specific weapons. During the first hour of the game, these features of Dragalia Lost will be introduced to you.

You can micromanage everything. You can use a spreadsheet and start comparing the percentages as you wish. However, if there is anything that you find too confusing or you simply don’t want to do, you can ask Dragalia Lost to help you. The game can maximize your characters' abilities based on the dynamic of your team and even suggest some changes for your roster if there's any suitable lineup available to take on the next mission. Although you lose some of the challenges if you continue doing this, it's a good solution in case you're struggling.

Dragalia Lost's opening hours are quite similar to Pokemon games from Generations I to III. In Pokemon games, the player needs to know how to catch Pokemon, how to battle while taking advantage of the type advantages, but more complicated mechanics such as different balls and every specific type advantage, are only shown in optional conversations. An experienced Pokemon player can easily challenge Brock with their Squirtle, but a new player can go around town, talk  to one of the folks near Brock's gym and learn that Water- and Grass-type Pokemon are the best choices against Brock, who mainly uses Rock-type Pokemon, as well as the location to find these types of Pokemon. The game educates you about type advantages and newcomers can utilize optional systems to gradually learn the mixture of type advantages.

Similarly, in Dragalia Lost, you will encounter enemies that use shields to protect themselves from certain attacks. When you see them, Dragalia Lost educates you how to command your main character to perform a Force Strike, known as the move that instantly destroys a shield if it’s perfectly timed. Once you learned that you have a character that’s capable of quickly taking down shields, you can easily defeat the harder enemy mobs and bosses later.

You can identify find out other methods to deal with powerful enemies by yourself or you can ask the game to suggest some useful hints. If you have played other RPGs, the battle system of this game will be fairly straightforward for you to get familiar with: it applies some interlocking rock-paper-scissors features, but the game explains how all types of advantages work if you're still learning to manage multiple in-game systems.

Dragalia expands this to all its features, which is especially helpful when you want to balance your four-person party, manage all characters' diverse skill tree, or choose the correct character for tackling a really challenging enemy. Dragalia Lost wants you to experience this game the way that you want, whether you're looking for some complicated RPG mechanics, straightforward story, or something in between. I have a smile on my face after my experience with the demo and ready to play more, which is quite expected for me when it comes to RPGs.

It is clever to release a game like Dragalia Lost to the mass audience on mobile devices. This makes it more approachable to a bigger group of audiences, especially kids or players who don't usually play games outside of Apple or Google Play stores. Dragalia Lost has silly humor, a simple story that you can follow, a diverse cast of characters, and really appealing music. I can see it reaching to the non-RPG crowd and helping newcomers find the joy behind micromanaging complicated video game mechanics.

Dragalia Lost is available on September 27 for Android and iOS devices.