Unlike other free, social gaming apps, DragonVale doesn't want you to build cities or farms or whatever; instead it's about something special: raising dragons. The clean, well-designed interface, combined with the constant help from onscreen tips, makes the game fun at first, but its limited action can drag the overall experience down.
DragonVale introduces its players into its nicely designed virtual world through a very helpful tutorial, teaching you about the care each little dragon needs. We liked how the app teaches players about caring for and learning about dragons, as well as interacting with the society. The game is centered around creating parks where you can place your little dragons to generate visitors and cash. Building a park sounds like fun if you want to unleash your creativity, but the app allows little interaction. And what we couldn't quite understand was why you must go shopping all the time. Compared to other apps, we were surprised how many times you have to go to the market in order to progress, without having other options to grow.
Our feeling was that the app was designed for a younger audience to help them learn how to be successful, which sounds like a great idea, but the great design couldn't balance the limited creativity and fun DragonVale offers. As they spend more time playing the game, older users might feel the need for more challenges and goals than those DragonVale currently provides.