Its rare when I sit down to play Android games and Drake Escape is an enjoyable, free infinite runner. The gorgeous art is what convinced me to play it. On the surface, its basic and predictable, you run and avoid the spikes, but beneath the surface is nuance and subtlety. The further you get, the faster you run, but the controls let you control how fast your character runs, like a throttle. Other than that, you have a high jump and fire breath to take out a few obstacles.
Since you start out so slow, the first obstacles are the toughest to time the jumps. Later on when things go faster it becomes intense and you’ll need that speed throttle for precision. Its something other runner games have never offered.
In terms of obstacles, for the most part, its spikes, death pits and volcanoes that belch out fire. There are also barricades you can shoot for coins. These feel like fitting hazards for the environment, even if a bit generic for a game with a dragon. When you get far enough, a bee joins the fray and will fire projectiles at you as it hovers up and down. At that point, its a good idea to slow down and shoot it down by hitting it with three fireballs. It seems like an excessive amount, but the game in general is an excess.
The game promises unique characters, and while they are unique in terms of look and projectile, they only run faster than the previous one. I assume faster means further in less time, but why are you running? You run because its a game, so it shouldn’t matter, but beyond that its to collect coins. What do you use the coins for? Purchasing dragons, which is simple enough, but you can also purchase coin upgrades. For X amount of coins, get a silver coin upgrade where silver coins are worth 2, then a gold coin upgrade to make coins for 3 and finally, diamond upgrades. To the game’s credit you can even purchase something to nix the ads.
There are ads, and after few first few, you won’t see many more in your play sessions. You can even watch an ad for coins and I hate this has to be part of the review.
After unlocking all the characters, the game was less fun, but at that point I had played it for 4+ hours in total. There needs to be achievements or something, because I have a feeling most players will play it once and forget about it.
Drake Escape is a great game for its controls and artwork, but its still an infinite runner with little diversity. There are far worse games in the genre, but the genre as a whole is tough to get into.