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Advanced Dungeons and Dragons: Dragon Strike

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DragonStrike is a 1990 computer game based on the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game.

Gameplay

The game is set in Krynn, world of the Dragonlance saga, during the War of the Lance. DragonStrike combined elements of computer role-playing games and flight simulators. The player character is a knight who flies on the back of a metallic dragon equipped with a lance and various magic items (among other things a magic orb that acts as a radar in the game). The player's dragon can use its recharging magical breath to attack and can also attack with its claws if the dragon passes closely above enemies. Opponents in the game include evil dragons with and without riders and other flying monsters such as manticores and beholders. Flying too close to the ground is another hazard for the player as enemy archers are present in some areas.

Completing successful missions provides the character with more hit points and the opportunity to obtain a more powerful dragon. Depending on what dragon the player choses (between a bronze, a silver and a gold dragon) the ending and missions become slightly different.

Versions

DragonStrike was also ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1992, although this version had a top-down perspective and played very differently from the other platform versions.

The game is not to be confused with Namco's Dragon Spirit, an arcade game (also ported to the NES) with a similar theme and gameplay (minus the RPG elements; it is a straight shoot 'em up).


Reception

The game was reviewed in 1990 in Dragon #161 by Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers gave the game 5 out of 5 stars.

A reviewer at GameSpy stated that "Westwood [Studios] was finally hitting its stride as a developer with another forgotten classic and badly underrated DragonStrike." The reviewer also stated that the game "looked great for its time, with beautiful VGA graphics and primitive fractals used as a terrain engine, and unlike later dragonflight games, it rewarded thinking, strategizing, and taking the time to assess the situation before striking rather than pure reflexes" and that while the flight model was a bit simplistic, "DragonStrike is long overdue for a remake."

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