REVIEW: Tiny Dragon Story (Switch)

Released May 5, 2023

Jump right into an epic adventure set in a 1-bit world. This Tiny Dragon is no pushover and will do anything in his quest to find the Wizard who stole his stuff. Jump over floating platforms, deadly traps, and fierce foes. Defeat the sneaky wizard at his own game and recover your stolen treasures.


  • MSRP: $12.99
  • Category: 2D 1-bit side scrolling platformer
  • No of Players: 1
  • Multiplayer: n/a

VISUALS

Tiny Dragon Story has fairly typical 1-bit style graphics, meaning they are largely black and white and pixel based. Think of GameBoy graphics except true black and white instead of pea soup green. Most of the levels, backgrounds and characters are well developed and have a good level of detail.

The odd thing is that the main character itself, Tiny Dragon, seems to be the most lacking in graphic detail and could have used some additional polish to really stand out. As it is, the graphics are good, and certainly support the overall aesthetic, but could have a bit more detail to be truly great.

AUDIO

The audio in Tiny Dragon Story is a bit of a mixed bag. The music is comprised of generally really good chip-tunes, and most of the audio for the various sound effects range from good to really good.

The only exception to its generally excellent audio, however is the sound effect chosen for the “swimming” sound; it’s terrible and ear wrenching. It’s bad enough that I considered taking down the audio score a point, and it probably kept if from being a nine.

Everything else is fine, but man, that swimming sound is bad.

GAMEPLAY

The gameplay and control in Tiny Dragon Story is honestly what surprised me the most about the game, because the controls are exceptionally tight and make platforming a joy. Tiny Dragon’s fire breath is also very well executed and the number of hits to kill enemies just “feels” right. Bosses aren’t too difficult, but I still died a few times on the first boss because I made silly mistakes and got in its way.

The game also has a world map that feels somewhat like Super Mario World, complete with alternate paths you can pay coins to unlock. If you want to just speed through the game you can get through its four worlds relatively quickly, but if you want to collect all the items and visit the optional levels, it could take you a while longer.

If you want to see some of my Tiny Dragon Story gameplay, you can check out the video below:

FUN

Most importantly though, is Tiny Dragon Story fun? For me, that’s a yes. Between the well executed graphics, largely enjoyable music and sound, and tight controls, Tiny Dragon Story was a pleasure to play. For completionists you can go back through the levels to collect all the treasures, or you can just speed through it and clear all the stages. Either way, its a good time.

BOTTOM LINE

Tiny Dragon Story is honestly unexpectedly good, combining solid graphics, music, sound, controls and level design into a complete retro-themed experience. Any fans of platformers, or retro gaming should give it a try, however the game itself leans toward easy mode. If you’re really into challenging experiences, like Super Meat Boy, this likely won’t have enough challenge to hold your interest.


REVIEW SCORE

8.0

  • VISUALS: 8
  • AUDIO: 8
  • GAMEPLAY: 8
  • FUN: 8

If you’re into chill old school platformers – play it!

If you like to be really challenged or you’re not into retro-styled games, you may want to pass

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