DreamWorks and Microsoft have announced the launch of DreamWorks Dragons Adventure World Explorer on select Windows phones and tablets. Announced in October 2013, the game in inspired by the animated film How to Train Your Dragon 2, and sees gamers’ own real-world locations transformed into medieval villages in the style of Berk from the films.
The game is split into two portions for playing at home, or while on-the-go. The at-home portions see users completing missions to rescue dragons from dragon trappers. Users start with either Astrid or Hiccup and their single dragon companion, but can eventually unlock all six dragons with enough play time.
The game’s 38 story-based quests are completed in real-world locations, like Berlin, Nairobi, Shanghai, Washington D.C., Vancouver and many others. Each is presented in a similar style, with real roads transformed into dirt paths, and skyscrapers, hotels and other businesses transformed into inns, taverns and the like. Huts dot the landscape to represent homes, and water features are retained with boats floating on the water.
Players fly around these areas with their dragons by tilting their device to turn or change altitude, and they’ll complete a few major quest types along the way. One might see users lighting torches, while another is an item collection quest, as players may need to pick up vikings, sheep or weapons in one part of the map and take them to key buildings elsewhere. A light combat system sees players attacking dragon trapper towers to finally rescue dragons, while other basic missions require users to simply “find” specific buildings, like inns, by flying over them.
Since gamers likely won’t be familiar with every town, a helpful waypoint system offers a directional arrow and a path of purple orbs players can follow to reach their destination(s). Key buildings also tend to glow, with light beams shooting into the sky.
Outside of story mode, or after its completion, players can train their dragons by heading into the real-world via integration with HERE Maps GPS mapping technology. Users enter an address they’re going to travel to, and can watch as a buggy representing their vehicle appears on the map (again, in the medieval style of Berk) and drives along the roads towards the destination, stopping when the real car stops, turning with it turns, and so on. These training sessions are free-play scenarios. Users can fly around the world at their leisure, or can activate missions like those from the story mode to pass the time.
The environments are further fleshed out using Weather Channel data to implement real-world weather conditions, and Foursquare popularity data to populate the world with Vikings near popular points-of-interest in the real world.
Completing missions in either mode gives players upgrade tokens for their dragons. These can help dragons increase in flying speed, strength and attack power (when attacking towers). The game gives players more than enough tokens to max out each dragon, with plenty of tokens left over.
“DreamWorks Dragons Adventure World Explorer provides players with an unparalleled mobile gaming experience where the real world around them becomes their own virtual Viking playground,” said Bryan Biniak, Vice President and General Manager of Developer Experience at Microsoft. “While other games have touched on GPS and mapping integration, no other title has done so with real time 3D graphics, the depth of gameplay and creativity that this DreamWorks game offers, making play time at home or on the road a captivating family adventure.”
DreamWorks Dragons Adventure World Explorer is now available to download for free on Microsoft Surface tablets and a range of Windows Phones, including the Lumia 2520, 1520 and 1020, among others. It does not offer in-app purchases. Check out the game on the Windows Phone Store or the Windows Store for more.