iPhone game of the day: Dragon's Lair

Game: Dragon's Lair
Price: $0.99 / £0.59
Size: 205MB
Buy it now from the iTunes store: US / UK

We're going old school today with the classic Dragon's Lair, originally released in 1983 on a game machine the size of a refrigerator. At the time, it was dazzling - a laserdisc wonder with visuals light years ahead of other games' meager pixel mosaics. It was also pretty much a nightmare to play, devouring quarters like a ravenous beast while gamers flailed miserably and cluelessly at the controls, never knowing when to do what. Thus, the heroic knight Dirk was repeatedly subjected to deaths so grisly they'd make a slaughterhouse janitor wince in sympathy. That's why this version, thanks to one small tweak to the controls, may actually be the best version of Dragon's Lair ever released.

The tweak in question is simple, but it has a huge effect, at least for us: The controls - four arrows and a single sword button - are shown on the screen now. And when you need to take action, the control you need to press lights up for a split second, showing you exactly what to do. In any other game, it would be too much hand-holding. But in this game, in which you often have a mere split second to give Dirk direction before he's gruesomely murdered for the 10,483rd time, it's a welcome crutch.

There are two game modes in this version: Home mode, which takes you through the original arcade game, but with unlimited continues, and Arcade mode, which shuffles the scenes each time you play, so you can't guess what you're going to get next. If you've never played Dragon's Lair, now's the time to do it. If you're a veteran, this is a great way to freshen up a timeless classic.

Oct 12, 2010


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  • philipshaw - October 13, 2010 11:06 a.m.

    This game stole my money in the arcades so I refuse to buy any other version of it
  • cj12297 - October 12, 2010 3:35 p.m.

    "deaths so grisly they'd make a slaughterhouse janitor wince in sympathy" lines like that make GamesRadar the best.
  • sheepy94 - October 12, 2010 3:23 p.m.

    @SlatrhowsJantr How is that racist? Slaughterhouse janitors are not a race of people, they are heartless animal murderers who like nothing more than to torture innocent animals, rather than letting people buy meat from the supermarket where it's made and no animals are hurt.
  • SlatrhowsJantr - October 12, 2010 8:11 a.m.

    Your article implies that slaughterhouse janitors are feel no empathy because of their line of work. That is racist, and offensive sir. Being a slaughterhouse janitor myself and a also gamer, it is extremely disappointing to see that gaming journos have such callous attitudes towards people in such sensitive line(s) of work. I hope you sleep well tonight knowing that you have fun in undermining others.
  • Redeater - October 12, 2010 4:35 a.m.

    @8bitBaby Yeah I could definately use some more Daphne.
  • 8bitBaby - October 12, 2010 3:49 a.m.

    y'know... i love dragon's lair... always have. but i am really tired of don bluth riding that games dusty old QTE riddle corpse to the bank every time a new platform or whatever comes out on the market that he can shove it onto. C'MON BLUTH! take some of that land before time part 45 money and put it into making a new version of this game! craaaaaap i'm probably gonna' get this version too! BLUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTH!

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