Ludia and DreamWorks newest addition to the match 3 battle mobile game genre, Dragons: Titan Uprising, is lackluster affair. This disappointment is only compounded by the fact that it was a rather perfect time for a game in the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, considering that DreamWorks will release the third and final film, titled How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, later this month worldwide. Unfortunately, not only does Dragons: Titan Uprising add nearly nothing to the bloated match 3 battle genre, it packs so many features into the game that it never comes close to excelling at any of them.
The premise of Dragons: Titan Uprising is rather simple: players must match three or more colors in a battle setting. Above the rows of colors are enemy dragons and when these colors are matched, damage will be dealt to the A.I. controlled enemies. Different colors are linked to different dragons in the player's inventory. If this all sounds like standard match battle game fare, that's because it is. Instead of trying to reinvent or add something new to the genre, developer Ludia seems content with rehashing the same mechanics that players have no doubt seen countless times before.
To add to this, Ludia brings too many other features into the game like a resource-lite mechanic lifted right from civilization-builder mobile games in the form of fish, which is needed to level the dragons that players unlock. These dragons can be found in Dragons: Titan Uprising's draft section, where runes can be used to unlock a random dragon (though a free basic dragon can be drafted every six hours). Runes can be purchased for real money or earned through completing various offers in the game, though the latter hardly seems worth all the effort involved. Not only does it come across as greedy, but the overload of features doesn't mesh together into a cohesive whole.
Then there's the energy system in Dragons: Titan Uprising. While it's not so invasive at first and the game gives players plenty of the currency to work with, it eventually becomes a burden. In fact, if players are not lucky enough to draft strong dragons to their team or lack the fish needed or useless dragons for the preferred dragons to consume in order to level up, the game's levels quickly become too difficult to overcome. Considering the luck-based nature of the whole affair, this is likely to frustrate and alienate more casual mobile gamers. It all just seems designed to force players into purchasing runes in order to guarantee themselves higher tiered dragon types.
That's not to say that Dragons: Titan Uprising doesn't have its strong points. Graphically speaking, Ludia has crafted a beautiful mobile game with great visuals and characters and dragons that actually look like they belong in the How to Train Your Dragon universe. Its features may also be too bare bones to impress or separate itself from other games in the match 3 genre, but everything runs smoothly. Bugs, stuttering and crashing issues are practically non-existent and it's clear the game was designed by a studio that knows exactly what it's doing. It's just too bad that Ludia couldn't do something that comes even close to being as engrossing and interesting as the books and movies that inspired it.
Dragons: Titan Uprising is available now on iOS and Android. Screen Rant used the iOS version for the purposes of this review.