The other thing that one can do to increase their dragon’s effectiveness – without increasing its exp – is to equip stat boosting magical stones to slots that open up as the dragon gains levels, and the stones themselves are thankfully something that must be earned as random rewards in game rather than purchased with real money. You will rarely find anything beyond level 1 or 2 stones in your travels, but if you have three stones of the same stat and level – not counting ones you’ve already junctioned – then you can combine them into a singular stone the next level up of the same type. However – due to the limited number of slots initially available in your inventory for holding on to stones you aren’t yet using – you will find it difficult, but not entirely impossible, to get three of the same stones at any given time without purchasing increases to your inventory space with real money.
After you single handedly complete all the other stages available in a given area, you will open up access to that area’s boss stage. Boss stages play differently from normal PVE stages as they allow, and encourage, for a team of up to four players to band together against odds that are far worse than anything normally encountered in other PVE stages. Successfully completing a boss stage causes players on the winning team to have a chance of adding a new dragon to their personal collection, with the odds of getting the dragon being based on how many people were in the party and if any of them were on each other’s in-game friends list. Furthermore, completing a boss stage will open up access to the next PVE area filled with more stages for the player to challenge and overcome.
For players wishing to pit their skills against each other – rather than computer controlled forces – there is the PVP arena, which for the most part works the same as PVE itself does. A player starts either by creating – or joining – a room of the correct match type they want to participate in, and then when everyone in the room says they’re ready the game matches them up against a randomly selected room of the same size that is also ready. The only problem with this is that the game has no concept of a tiered matching system, so you can often find yourself matched up with players so far above yourself in stats that they more or less destroy you just by looking at you crossly. It goes without saying, but it’s very frustrating to lose a match against a player who doesn’t know the first thing about aiming simply because he has superior stats.
That said, you won’t want to ignore PVP – instead focusing on PVE exclusively – because one of the quickest ways to get game world money every day is to complete your daily randomized checklist of personal goals. Your personal goals for the day may include completing so many stages in a certain area, getting so many three-star grades, getting a dragon to a certain level, playing a certain boss stage, etc. Once a personal goal is completed you will be awarded with game money and personal exp, with your personal level increasing the amount of experience points a dragon gets every time it stays in the training eyrie.
The other annoying thing that can happen in PVP – outside of a completely non-existent tiered matching system – is the fact that the game, or at least its current version, seems to have a semi common bug that involves crashing back to the desktop whenever you’re in a level loading screen. When this happens in PVE it’s mildly frustrating, merely forcing you to restart up the stage and load the level again with no other forms of consequences occurring. If this happens in PVP – however – it will count as if you had run away against your reliability percentage, and if it happens to your opposition you will get stuck fighting non active versions of them that do nothing at all (if they are 20 levels above you, it will be a very long and boring fight of chipping away the comatose dragon’s health).
If I have during the course of all this somehow misrepresented anything about the game itself, or am somehow missing the secret method to truly efficient exp acquisition, I would like to point out that the game’s built in tutorial is anemic to the point of almost not existing. Most of what I know about the game I had to figure out from pure trial and error, as the few things the game did explain barely told me anything at all about how the game itself works or is meant to be played. This is terribly unfortunate as the early frustration I experienced, while trying to figure things out, could have so easily been avoided had the game’s tutorial simply covered more things in better detail.
With all of Haypi Dragon’s game play finally out of the way, I want now to close by talking about one of the game’s weirder components: the omni-present chat room. There is a singular chatroom that is present throughout the entirety of the game, and – judging from how much foreign language I regularly see – it may even be the only chat room in the game for the entire world. While the chatroom itself can be turned off in the secret options setting panel found in the upper right hand corner of the main menu, which the game does not tell you about, if you turn it off you will miss out on valuable chatter that can help fill you in on things that the game’s tutorial itself won’t tell you about. However, if you leave it on, you will also have to deal with things such as people who would like to passionately assure you of their conviction in the fact that the number 8 is apparently equal to precisely the letter D.
iFanzine Verdict: Despite the rough edges that is has, there is a lot to like in Haypi Dragon. You can derive a lot of pleasure from figuring out how to best take on an enemy army, participating in a beautifully orchestrated boss fight, or proving your superior aiming skills over someone in PVP. Unfortunately, you are also going to have to deal with a lot of grinding along the way to do all of this. It would also have been nice if the game crashed less and better explained how it functioned. Still, the game is free and therefore you don’t have to risk any personal money to see if you like it or not. With any luck, its rough edges will be ironed out in a future update.