Early Access is a program which allows game developers to release their game before the final build to allow fans to become a part of the development process. Fight the Dragon is fully playable in its current state and is only missing a few minor pieces such as additional classes.
The game features a creative and likable art style that lands somewhere between Minecraft and a papercraft feel. Classes feel fairly different and behave in ways you would expect. Melee characters can deal large amounts of damage at close range and have more health while mages preform magic attacks and are more prone to damage. Characters have a basic attack which can always be used, as well as special attacks which require either stamina or rage. Stamina recharges over time while health and rage can only be replenished via pick-ups.
Fight the dragon is focused on simplicity and that isn’t a bad thing. Players can play through missions comprised of both developer created and player created levels, either alone or co-op. Levels typically only take about 15 minutes. Because levels can be completed in a short amount of time it makes the game great for short breaks or extended play. The game is not very difficult expect for the dragon. (will get back to that) Rather, the game focuses on fun, quick dungeon runs. The distinction between Fight the Dragon and other hack n’ slash games or dungeon crawlers such as Diablo or Gauntlet is that Fight the Dragon is a more light hearted and simplistic experience. You still need to level up your character and outfit them with new equipment and armor from loot drops, and carefully place your character’s skill points.
While the majority of your time in Fight the Dragon will be spent either playing through short levels or creating your own, the main goal of the game is to “fight the dragon”. There is a place in the main hub called the dragon’s layer which you can enter very early in the game. However, you will need to significantly level your character up if you want to survive. The dragon stands tall with One Million health points and can quickly destroy the uninitiated (Me).
While the Fight the Dragon plays pretty well and doesn’t require a lot of computer power to play it, I did experience a few annoyances. Hit detection seems to be an issue, largely with the melee class and was the cause of quite a few deaths for me. Another issue is that sometimes I was unable to use my skill points.
The game is still in development and is rapidly updated. The groundwork for the game is promising and will only improve with future additions and fixes. If you are a fan of dungeon crawlers or hack n’ slash games or perhaps enjoy user creation tools, Fight the Dragon is a light hearted and fun experience worth trying out whether you wait for release or grab the Early Access on Steam.