Along with its epic name, "Dragonbolt Vanguard" has much to offer gamers looking for something casual that still has depth and strategic gameplay. "Dragonbolt Vanguard" is made by solo indie developer Sean Young, yet the game manages to compete with more popular titles with much larger teams. Inspired by the charm of "Fire Emblem Heroes" and "Puzzle & Dragons," the game is composed of loveable characters, colorful retro graphics and many options for free-to-play gamers.
Characters and graphics
A noticeable feature of this app is its polished graphics. The player is introduced to a "legendary airship" called the Dragonbolt, shown against a moving, pastel-colored sky. At the various levels the player will be treated to a variety of backgrounds, with different color palettes that fit with the theme of flying. The graphics are combined with an interface that responds quickly and is easy to understand, and the text is clear and easily read in the various menus and descriptions of items, weapons and characters.
The characters are tiny sprites. Although they may appear simple, they each have distinguishing marks and colors, including headbands, hair color and masks, that allow them to be differentiated. If a player enjoys the style of game found in "Crusaders Quest" and "Final Fantasy Brave Exvius," these characters will also be of interest.
The gameplay of "Dragonbolt Vanguard" allows the player to customize and make their own decisions. The player manages a team of five units, each of which is assigned a color – blue, green, red or colorless. In battle, units must be dragged around and lined up in a 3x4 grid for an attack that will be made on the enemy’s corresponding line. The units are also equipped with various "spheres," which can be activated depending on whether they are attacking, defending or supporting.
However, going through stages can become repetitive. There is a gacha system that suffers from low rates for rare, 5-star characters. There is also a stamina system, where energy is fully restored once an hour. Although casual gamers might not be bothered by these aspects, a gamer looking for an app in which to invest many hours might be disappointed.
New features and developments
The developer, Sean Young, is doing well in keeping "Dragonbolt Vanguard" updated. The game recently debuted a "Chaos Tower," which includes 100 levels of challenges with new monsters and bosses. A Theatre was released, where players can watch ads to gain extra in-game prizes. Limited edition units were also made available for the summer.
"Dragonbolt Vanguard" is currently in early access on the Google Play store, and it will soon be released for the iOS. It is free to play and includes optional, in-app purchases. Because the game is still in its early stages and new features are constantly being added, a torch rating cannot be made at this moment. However, this charming, casual game definitely shows promise and is worth a try.