Journey of Fortune: Dragon's Fire is the result of one part arcade fruit machine, one part role-playing game and one part board game mixed together to create a title that brings a casual, multiplayer RPG to the iPad. Featuring drop-in, drop-out gameplay, it’s perfect for up to four people but can quite easily be played solo. Playing with friends means that games can get quite competitive, especially as you can battle them if you land on the space that they are on.
You start the game by rolling a one (which is redundant if you’re playing by yourself) and then you move onto the game board. Certain spaces offer gold or boosts to your hit points or mana stats, but most of them contain enemies to fight. Once an enemy has been defeated in battle moving onto one of its other spaces won’t trigger an attack because once an enemy is defeated it is removed from play until a certain number of turns have passed.
Of course, you win if you reach the end first; in order to do so you must defeat the dragon which has 300 hit points. Defeating it is fairly easy though with what is known as mana bets; in battles you use mana for every attack which helps to power your attack up. A bet of one means that you’re guaranteed to do something on that turn, a bet of two means that only the health, mana and defensive skills are available, and a bet of three or more means you will offend so long as you land on the right segment of the large wheel in the centre of the board.
Having a large mana bet can yield an extremely powerful attack, but if you run out of mana you can only do a few primitive attacks and not have the ability to heal yourself; so there is quite a bit of strategy involved. Death is almost guaranteed but as you keep all your stats it should only take a couple of them to get all the way around the board. In addition to the hit point boosting spaces are vendor spaces that exchange your gold for health, mana and armour; very useful indeed.
Even though Journey of Fortune: Dragon's Fire is essentially a static display with virtual coloured LCD panels, the game really comes to life with the various sound effects and stylish artwork. It’s a huge amount of fun, although it can be marred somewhat with spelling errors cropping up in quite a few places.
But overall, you shouldn’t pass up this opportunity at the limited time pricing of 59p. The board game format works so well on the iPad and this game is yet another example why the genre is such a good fit.
Another great example of why the board game format works so well on the iPad. Recommended!
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