dreamworks dragons

Dreamworks Dragons Dawn of New Riders Swooping In Next Year

Posted by | News, PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One | No Comments

On the heels of releasing a licensed Paw Patrol game, UK publisher Outright Games has announced a partnership with Dreamworks and Universal Games to produce a home console game based on the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, also known as the Dreamworks Dragons universe.

Dreamworks Dragons Dawn of New Riders is coming February 2019, to coincide with the release of the third feature film, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (Feb. 22, 2019).

As indicated by the title, Dawn of New Riders is a spin-off adventure that features new Viking hero Scribbler and his dragon, Patch. Patch is apparently a new hybrid dragon species called a Chimeragon. Scribbler sets out to recover his memories while exploring locations in the series, such as Valka’s Mountain and Havenholme.

“The first feature film How to Train Your Dragon debuted eight years ago and has since sparked a beloved franchise that has captivated audiences around the world, inspiring additional films, television shows and more,” said Terry Malham, CEO of Outright Games. “DreamWorks Dragons Dawn of New Riders gives us a wonderful opportunity to be a part of Dragons history by partnering with Universal to create an original story introducing two new, very special characters. We look forward to unveiling more details soon!”

The original story and characters should allow for far more flexibility. It should be noted that both Hiccup and Astrid (and their dragons) are featured on the box cover, and Astrid can be seen in one of the official screenshots. It’s safe to say they’ll at least make cameo appearances.

Dreamworks Dragons Dawn of New Riders is coming Feburary 2019 for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch. It has not yet been rated by the ESRB.

megaland

Megaland Review

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Publisher: Red Raven Games
Age: 8+
Players: 2-5
Game Length: 20 minutes
MSRP: $24.99

In Megaland players explore video game levels fraught with enemies but filled with treasure. If they survive they can use that treasure to purchase buildings and earn victory points.

Megaland plays quickly and easily and features beautiful artwork by Red Raven Games designer and illustrator Ryan Laukat. The gameplay provides a solid, family-friendly introduction into more advanced board game concepts such as set collection, resource management, and risk assessment.

Ready Player One

In Megaland each player starts with four hearts. Each round everyone jumps into a level, which is represented by a deck of 10 oversized cards. Players earn one treasure card from the treasure deck as each of the level cards are flipped over.

Level cards can contain enemies with 1-3 skulls, a blank, or a treasure chest. Encountering an enemy causes everyone who’s in the level to take damage equal to the number of skulls. If anyone would lose all their hearts, they’re knocked out and lose all their accumulated treasure. However, any time before the next level card is revealed, a player can choose to leave the level to keep all of their earned treasures.

megaland

The goal is to risk staying in the level long enough to earn as many treasure cards as possible. Treasure cards are more like resources or materials, such as carrots, gears, and eggs. These cards are then traded in to purchase buildings as each player builds up their own city.

Building cards are randomly selected from the box, so each marketplace layout plays a bit differently. Sets of unique treasure cards purchase buildings, while sets of the same treasure cards can be used to purchase additional hearts, allowing for longer (and more lucrative) runs.

We Built this City

Since everyone journeys on a level together, taking damage and earning treasure cards simultaneously, the game runs very quickly.

Purchasing buildings works similarly to a lot of deckbuilders, especially Dominion. But you’re not building a deck in Megaland; building cards are placed in front of the player, making it easy for kids to keep track of any possible ongoing effects.

These buildings often earn coins (victory points), either directly or through various triggers. The Hospital, for example, earns that player two coins for every player to their left or right who falls in a level, while the Fishing Pond simply awards two coins at the end of each round. The first player to reach 20 coins wins.

megaland

The risk of staying in a level to earn more treasure is a lot of fun, though it’s a shame the level deck is so thin. At only 10 cards it’s much more about calculating the odds each round rather than being surprised and shocked at the deck’s reveal.

The video game theme is also a bit thin. Other than a single jump ability provided by certain building cards, nothing inherently screams ‘video game.’ And most video games require you to finish the level, not quit early to get ahead. In Megaland the levels also never get more difficult; the level deck simply changes the order of which enemies (or blanks) you encounter with each shuffle.

On the plus side, the game moves very quickly and scales nicely as players earn more hearts, thus more treasure, more buildings, and finally more coins.

The Rating

Megaland is a great pick for kids who have graduated beyond the low age (4+) starter games but aren’t quite ready to tackle the big stuff (13+). Weighing the odds of when to jump out is a great teaching tool with stats and percentages, as is choosing which building cards to purchase. Although it’s competitive, players aren’t attacking each other, making Megaland a good game if you’re looking to avoid direct confrontation.

The Takeaway

Megaland is the perfect example of a board game publisher successfully applying advanced tabletop systems and mechanics to a wider, younger audience. Despite the small level deck the large number of possible building cards in any given game creates a solid amount of replayability, and risking it all for just one more treasure creates a lot of anguished yet enjoyable laughter.

Find Megaland at Target.

cartoon network

Smash and Grab in Cartoon Network Party Dash, Out now on Mobile

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Indie mobile developer Crystal Fish Games released an officially licensed platformer based on several Cartoon Network shows. It’s called Cartoon Network Party Dash, and it’s available now on iOS and Android. It’s free to download with in-app purchases and ads.

Cartoon Network Party Dash features 10 unlockable characters across three different Cartoon Network series: Ben 10, We Bare Bears, and The Amazing World of Gumball.

The 10 featured characters are Four Arms, Heatblast, XLR8, Gumball, Dwarin, Anais, Penny, Grizz, Panda, and Ice Bear. The characters are forced to join forces when several villains attack a party hosted by Ben 10, the Gumball crew, and the Bear siblings.

The gameplay features fast-paced 2D platforming as you dash through levels by filling a combo meter.

Each character can unlock new gear and perks as they attack enemies and grab coins. Coins can be used to purchase powerups like extra lives, shields, and jumps. Alternative outfits are available as in-game purchases. Party outfits mix in themes from other Cartoon Network shows like Adventure Time, The Powerpuff Girls, and Steven Universe.

Cartoon Network Party Dash is rated E for Everyone. It’s available now on iOS and Android mobile devices.