App games birthed the endless runner, a genre that has now grown further with Dragon, Fly developed by Four Pixel Games, now available on iOS.
The game is a free download with optional in-game microtransactions. In Dragon, Fly the player is a newly hatched baby dragon collecting diamonds and potions while the dragon’s mother takes flight to bring her child home.
Of course, a baby dragon cannot yet fly. The gameplay consists of touching the screen to trigger running and not touching the screen to take flight. The flying mechanic is operated by touching the screen to build up speed and letting go when the baby dragon reaches the bottom of a hill in order to take off flying upon reaching the top of the next hill. By timing the landings and take offs correctly, the player soars higher and higher with each jump until flying in the clouds. The player continues running and flying until the mother dragon catches up.
Diamonds are the in-game currency. Diamonds are collected during the run and also can be purchased in packs of 5,000 for $1.99 or 50,000 for $16.99 or 500,000 for $99.99.
Free downloads give disabled gamers access to the game for firsthand experience to assess the game’s accessibility without the need to risk money with a purchase. The gameplay is straightforward, based only on touching the screen and letting go. In fact, the gameplay heavily relies on visuals and the player’s ability to discern when to press the screen and when to let go. The early levels are clear sky environments that show the red baby dragon sharply visible against a light blue sky. As a deaf gamer, I most often play app games without sound, and I experienced no frustrations with the game due to any audio concerns. The game appears accessible for physical and sensory disabilities. For disabled gamers who become invested in beating their high scores, collected potions and diamonds provide power ups which can also be purchased with real world cash if a particular level causes frustrations.