A couple of months ago my FB timeline was completely clogged with people begging me for Candy Cane lives. Oh, how I laughed as I ignored their pleas.
How could fully functional adults get so caught up in a computer game? How pathetic they were.
Well, dear reader, I am laughing on the other side of my face now. For my name is Jacq and I am an addict. A Dragonvale addict.
It all started when DH bought me a Nexus 10 tablet for Christmas. I was thrilled to finally have a tablet of my own. We already had a small collection of iPads that wander randomly through the house but I didn’t want one of those. I am allergic to all things Apple and I wanted an Android tablet instead.
So here I was with my brand new, shiny Nexus and what were the first things I downloaded. That’s right, games.
I wanted a game that I could just pick up during the day and play for a few minutes, before putting it down again. I downloaded a few possibilities, but with a lot of them you could only go so far before you had to start using real money. Others were designed for smaller screens that my Nexus and the graphics looked awful on it. Finally I found Dragonvale. It doesn’t have to cost you anything and the graphics are crystal clear on my 10 inch tablet. I’ve been playing it ever since.
The aim of the game is to create a zoo-like dragon theme park by breeding different dragons, and attracting as many park visitors as possible. As you increase your level in the game; by breeding, raising and caring for magical dragons and decorating your park, more options open up to you. Your dragons earn money which you can then spend on food to increase the dragons’ level. The higher a dragon’s level, the more dragoncash it makes you. The number of visitors who visit the park is dependent on the type and level of dragons in your park and how well designed it is. The ultimate game challenge seems to be to breed a number of rare dragons including the Sun, Moon and Rainbow Dragons, but there always seems to be another new challenge to take up.
The game is free for Android and Apple and if you are prepared to wait, then you can eventually get everything you want without spending a penny, and by experimenting with different combinations of dragons. But if you have a little spare cash, and want to hurry things up a little, you can use real money to buy food, gems or Dragoncash. Beware of this function if you are letting your children play the game and you have in game purchases approved.
You can figure most things out yourself but I have found the Dragonvale Database and the Dragonvale Wiki very helpful with the breeding and racing of my virtual pets. If you have a question about any aspect of this game, chances are high that you’ll find the answer on one of these sites.
I’ve really enjoyed playing Dragonvale and it fits in well with my ‘now and then’ gaming brief. I can pick it up, collect some cash, plant some food, incubate some eggs, chose who to breed next, then close it all down until next time. But sometimes I find myself playing it when I should be doing something far more important and my husband complains that I pay my dragons more attention than I do him. He’s probably not wrong.
And of course the kids noticed I was onto something different fairly early on. For about 6 weeks, they all took turns at helping me with my Dragonvale game, and apart from the fights about whose turn it was, all was well.
Then DH downloaded the IOS version of the game onto the iPads, so everyone has their own version of the game. Suddenly I had competition!
DD1 is hell bent on breeding every new dragon before I do, and makes a huge song and dance of it if she succeeds. She is not a good winner.
We have had instances of people accessing other’s park and selling all their good dragons or wasting all their money, and have had endless tears because a breeding didn’t result in the dragon egg that was wanted.
Then we’ve had the awkward questions; this morning DD3 wanted to know if dragons had willies…
Of course, all this madness could be stopped if I just deleted the game from all the tablets. I threaten to do this at least daily and it really works well for getting kids to do things they don’t want to. That’s a useful card to have , right?
And if I deleted theirs, then I’d have to delete mine too. And then what would I do with my spare time?
I’d have to take up Candy Crush!