Tag Archives: Dragon’s Lair

Without a doubt the second worst game I’ve ever played

Dragon’s Lair is one of those games that has legendary status. Originally a 1983 laserdisc arcade machine, it’s been ported to just about every format ever. Curious about a part of gaming history, I bought the iPhone version from the app store a while back.

It’s without doubt the second worst game I’ve ever played. To my knowledge, only once have boredom, frustration and outright offensiveness been combined to greater effect. While Don Bluth’s animation does look beautiful on the iPhone screen, that’s all the game is. Originally shipping on a laserdisc meant that all the game could do was play pre-recorded video clips in response to timed inputs. You have no control here. It’s singlehandedly responsible for the deluge of so-called “Interactive Movies” that blighted the mid-90s, when we all finally got the smaller silver platters in our own homes. Today it would be known as nothing but a succession of quick time events, and the iPhone version handily takes a lesson from more modern games and displays the correct button to press on the screen. Previous versions relied on guess work and memory. You die a lot in Dragon’s Lair.

The fact that arcade audiences not only paid to play this, but came back and paid to play it again and again literally boggles the mind. Avoid.