Fight the Dragon for PC
It seems that basic hack-n-slash RPGs are a dime a dozen these days, from simplified entries such as Tiny Keep and Claustrophobia: The Downward Struggle to the more well-known Diablo series and beyond. Fight the Dragon is yet another in this storied genre, focusing on quick, easy-access action and short, community-built adventures to keep things interesting. With an integrated ‘Adventure Construction Kit’ (or ACK) and straightforward gameplay, there’s a lot more than may initially meet the eye. I took a look to see if this ever-changing, approachable title holds up in a growing list of similar games.
Gameplay in Fight the Dragon begins much the way that you’d expect for an RPG. You’ll create a character, choosing a class and a look for your new adventurer. From there, you’re dropped into your home, which serves as the game’s menu. The home-menu offers access to adventures, the ACK, a monument to the game’s Kickstarter backers, the Dragon Arena, and the Loot Shrine — a place to stash equipment you’re saving for later, or for donating unwanted items to the gods for a chance at better loot. Dumping all your unwanted loot at the end of each adventure keeps your inventory open for more looting, and offers great rewards when your donation gets high enough. The meat of the game, though, is definitely adventuring.
Adventures in Fight the Dragon offer some options, as well. You can either allow a random adventure to load in any given space around your house, or you can choose from a list of available adventures, both developer- and community-made. Each adventure has you exploring various areas, fighting monsters, and seeking treasure along your path to the level’s exit. Checkpoints along the way will save your progress so you’re not beginning anew with each death (up to a limited number of lives), and can also be stood upon to restore some lost health up to a per-checkpoint limit. Monsters and chests will drop gold, equipment, keys, and potions that help you along your way as you fight through the beastly horde to reach the finish.
Fight the Dragon is, of course, ultimately a game about fighting a dragon. A more than formidable foe, the deadly and difficult combat allows you three attempts per ‘Dragon Scroll’, collected by completing adventures. You’ll need to do plenty of quests to gain the levels and loot you’ll need to stand a chance of even attempting to harm the fearsome fire-breather. The few times I attempted the battle, I was quickly dispatched after making nary a scratch in the mighty dragon’s considerable defenses, but it was still enjoyable to try it out and see how my low-level Fighter could fare against such an impressive enemy.
What sets Fight the Dragon apart though is the ACK, or Adventure Construction Kit. A full-fledged level editor that’s easy to pick up, especially with an available tutorial including video, it offers a good breadth to the adventures that can be created and played. While I didn’t spend a ton of time with it, putting together an adventure is as simple as clicking and dragging to create land, walls, monsters, chests, and more. Both the editor and gameplay can be approached with mouse and keyboard or gamepad, allowing options based on player preference. While the more detailed aspects of level creation can get pretty involved, such as dictating enemy paths or establishing various event-triggered occurrences, slapping together a quick and functional dungeon is pretty simple and intuitive.
Ultimately, Fight the Dragon offers a quick, approachable play with a nice element of customization and community involvement that keeps things interesting. The Loot Shrine system is a nice addition to the mix, since it gives players something to do with found loot that can’t be used just yet or simply isn’t good enough to use. With a wide variety of adventures to try out and a simple yet effective equipment and character system, it’s great for killing some time in short bursts; the longest I spent on any given adventure was a bit under ten minutes. With a going rate of $14.99 on Steam, and multi-copy discounts for those wanting to play with friends, it’s a fair price for the amount of content. Still, as usual, I might recommend holding on for a sale if you’re on the fence.