Haypi Dragon is another MMORPG for mobile devices from Haypi, Co., LTD. out of China. Their first success, Haypi Kingdom (of which I have not really played), was successful enough that they launched a slew of Haypi Games: Haypi Fish, Haypi Thunderball, Haypi Dragon. All the games, aside from Thunderball, appear to have a similar theme: Explore the world before you, take on challenges (tasks), earn rewards, become a better player, and have a lot of fun in the process.
Where Haypi Dragon takes a step above the rest of the field is that it takes its cue from some other highly successful games (Angry Birds, Worms, etc.) and applies it to their ingeniously addictive task/rewards gameplay style. The first thing that came to my mind when someone told me about this game and how it was a lot like Angry Birds was, “If it’s so much like Angry Birds, why would I play it instead of Angry Birds?” Well, that question was answered after about 2 days of playing the game and I’m here now to tell you the answer.
Haypi Dragon is separated into two distinct areas of gameplay: Arcade (single player…mostly), and PVP (multiplayer). Each of these modes of gameplay are accessed through Haypi Town, the homebase of all Haypi Dragon activities. You will no doubt spend about 99% of your time between the two of these areas as this is where all the action is at. Your first dragon is Rocco (“Rock Dragon”) who is a formidable dragon of great ability and can easily get you through the entire game, if you so choose.
By entering the shiny blue portal, you are swept away to the world of Haypi Dragon. There are a few different worlds to choose from here, though beginners will only be presented with the first, Ancient Forest, and will have to work their way up through the game to reach the other levels. In Ancient Forest, the levels are easy, but to a beginner they can be difficult and you will find that leveling up your dragon and increasing its abilities and skills is the only way you’ll ever make it out alive. The levels themselves are fun to play, and you have the goal on each to earn 3 stars by getting a high enough score by A)Killing all of the enemies, B) Taking as few turns as possible (to an extent), C) Hitting all of the green dragon coins, D) Smashing as many blocks as possible, and E) Getting hit as little as possible in the process. If you can do all of these things well enough, you can earn the high score on the level and your name will be displayed for all to see!
At the end of Ancient Forest, as well as every other world, you encounter the boss who, for Ancient Forest, is the stylish-yet-deadly Leshy. As a beginner, you’ll almost certainly need to team up with other players in the boss level in order to beat him, and this is one of the more attractive parts of the game. Instead of simply rambling on through the game solo, you get to team up with other players all over the world to take on bosses and move forward through the game. It takes a certain level of teamwork to beat certain bosses, and by working together towards a common goal gives you the sense that this game is not just for you, but it’s for everyone. It’s a cool feature of the game, one that the developers certainly did themselves well by implementing in the game.
For every boss, (Leshy “Plant Dragon,” Lava “Fire Dragon,” Crystal “Ice Dragon,” and Angelo “Spirit Dragon”) you also have the chance to capture that dragon for your own use in the game! I will tell you right now, you may find yourself playing certain bosses over a hundred times just to capture as it is left up to chance as to wether or not you will get the boss dragon after defeating it (Leshy = 30% chance, Lava = 10% chance, Crystal = 3% chance, Angelo = 1% chance). Even in a statistically perfect world, this means you would be at it for awhile. In the real world, you might get lucky and get them all on your first try, or beat the boss over 100 times without any luck (My experience: Leshy=60+ attempts, Lava=6 attempts, Crystal=4 attempts, Angelo=still no luck).
PVP (Player vs. Player) is the second area of gameplay and is quite possibly the most entertaining. Instead of competing against the computer AI, you take on real-life opponents who are much more challenging to out-smart and defeat. You can choose to play PVP 1-on-1, 2-on-2, 3-on-3, or 4-on-4, though the teamplay scenarios can be difficult to set up without some chatting in-game. There are several different maps in PVP which provide ample opportunities for different strategies and can often level the playing field in an unfair fight.
Every time you win in PVP you get Honor points which are used to determine your PVP skill level. Each level is represented by a badge (Bronze through Crystal), which get displayed next to your dragon when entering PVP. While not entirely important to the game, these badges are signs of achievement for each player and tell you who is a formidable opponent, and who might just be an easy frag. Honor points can also be used to purchase items in the Shop, as can Gold Coins (which you should use sparingly as they can only mainly be replenished by purchasing in-game).
After you’ve completed all levels, you may find yourself playing PVP more and more. More social players are drawn to PVP as you get to play against real-life opponents and can talk about your experiences in chat at the same time. PVP is by far one of the most addicting portions of the game and is one of the features that sets Haypi Dragon apart from other games.
In Haypi Town you’ll also find other features of the game that set it apart from other titles. There’s your warehouse, where you can store items collected in the game such as stones, chests, and keys. The Synthesis shop is where you can combine lower level stones into higher level stones. The Magic Matrix is where you can embed stone into your dragons matrix, thus making it more powerful. Dragon Eyrie is the training area where your Dragons can go to earn extra experience points at the cost of money or coins. Explore is where you can send some of your dragons to search side-levels on their own for more experience, money, and some items as well, including the ever-important treasure maps.
With all these different aspects of the game, its hard to get bored! There is always a higher level stone to collect and embed in your dragon, or another map piece to explore for. And with five different dragons to train, you may find yourself switching back and forth and playing with different dragons so you can have an arsenal of dragon-power to defeat all of your enemies. Haypi Dragon is anything but one-dimensional.