Dragon Marked For Death – Nintendo Switch – Review

Game: Dragon Marked for Death
Versions: Advanced Attackers & Frontline Fighters
System: Nintendo Switch
Publisher/ Developer: Inti Creates
Price for each: £13.49| $14.99| € 14,99 | AUS$ 22.50
Age Rating: Eu 16+| USA T
Release Date: 31 January 2019

Review code kindly provided by Inti Creates.

Is a 2D action platformer game developed and published by Inti Creates. The story starts off with you being one of the last survivors Dragonblood clan. You come to the dragon Atruum to get power to take vengeance on those who killed your clan.

Squad Up

There are four playable characters: the Empress, Warrior, Shinobi and Witch. The first two are part of the Frontline Fighters pack, and the latter two being from the Advanced Attackers. These two packs are the same game but you only get to have two of the characters. Buying both will allow you access to all of them, and are included along with the DLC in the physical releases. Even if you have only bought one half of the characters you can still pick up and buy the items and weapons for characters you have no access to.

Dragon Marked For Death does not have “local” multiplayer as it’s on the same Switch but does have multiple system (using your own copy of the game as well) local wi-fi and online play. A party of four can play any levels they’ve unlocked together. I’ve tried to play online with a friend a few times and it would disconnect us within the first two minutes. There hardly appears to be any others online to play with, even after the American physical release.

Multi system local co op works well, and is the best way to enjoy the game. Though there is a decent amount of lag at times.

Frontline Fighters

The Empress, the character I played the most as, has a sword and a dragon arm. For her, the dragon arm is most useful. As it shoots fire balls and can create a large burst of flame if you hold it. The fire attacks use the blue meter. She can perform a single jump and can also grapple certain points to swing across with it. This is on a strict diagonal angle but eventually you can get the hold of it. Her dragon arm also makes a large down swing attack which is useful for trying to get flying enemies down to your level. I only occasionally bothered with the regular sword. She is probably the best character for solo play.

Warrior uses an axe and has a dragon chest. He also has a tackle which can push objects and enemies slightly away. His main abilities are to go beserk which increases his attack power at the cost of his defense. As well as a Dragon Guard which creates a shield around him and any allies. He is quite slow and also only has a single jump. Being so slow I wouldn’t recommend him for single player but the shield can be quite good in co-op.

Advanced Attackers

The Witch has a couple of basic projectiles but has the most elements and combinations. As the Witch you choose an element and do a long combo, and to buff that you have to do another combo. After that the spell is used so in order to do it again, you’d have to start from choosing the element. Unless you used the Dragon Surge before casting, which uses the blue meter. The bigger the attacks the greater the damage, She also creates heal circles that applies to any friendlies standing in it, which makes her ideal for multiplayer. As well as the ability to illuminate a dark area without having to buy a candle or lantern.

The Shinobi has high mobility and can access different areas of a map, but is more vulnerable. Due to his double jump , glide and wall jump. The main attacks are his knives and projectile shuriken. He has a Dragon Dash which uses up the blue meter, but if it connects with an enemy it will lock onto them so you can attack more which then leads into a combo with the Dragon Kick.

The Adventure

The game is typical side scrolling action, but all the classes have different movement. So on the same map the Shinobi could travel a different way and the Warrior could open a path to treasure. Because of this design I can now see why it didn’t have couch co-op. All missions have a time limit, and at least playing solo you can only die three times and lose some of your reward. If your life bar reaches to the bottom, you run out of time, or a main objective fails, the quest will be over.

Mission objectives have some variety, such as one where you had to get seeds into three ponds to purify them. As well as escort missions and waves either on your own or protecting NPCs. Unfortunately there are only so many maps and many missions reuse either all or  parts of them. Not only that but there aren’t many enemy types, they do have elemental changes but not much.

Charging Through

Sometimes in a boss fight you can get the Dragon Sphere which restores your HP, Life Bar and other things to help power you up and take on the boss. It isn’t a regular occurrence but is helpful, as the bosses have a lot of health, more so with increasing difficulty.

One thing we weren’t fond of was that running into enemies causes damage, especially playing as a character with a limited move set you had to ensure a boss didn’t trap you into a wall. Else you would have to take some damage and use the invincibility frames to get through. Also the dash is only in very  short bursts so you couldn’t run the whole time.

There is a lack of instruction. Quests have details you can see before accepting them but often the objective isn’t clear and you might run back and forth across the map to find what you need. For example, in a quest where you go to fetch four boys, it does not tell you that the boys you go to rescue can die.


After missions, characters can level up and have a few stats they can add points to each time. Other than skill points and weapons there is no other way to improve your character, as the move set stays the same throughout. Around town you can go to the shops and pick up more items and equipment. Talking to some characters will give you side quests. The city is too large and doesn’t have a map. You gain access to the proper capital after earning a reputation. However, it only has two stores, and some more NPCs to grab side quests from.

You have a limited inventory and must prepare it before you go out onto a mission. Only weapons and items from treasure chests can be picked up to use after said mission. Anything dropped from an enemy will be used instantly.  This aspect makes going through the game solo far more difficult as you cannot afford to take much damage.

There are a lot of the usual status effects, which are inflicted very frequently. Thankfully a lot of the enemies tend to drop the colour herb that heals said status effect. That said, when it comes to something like paralysis you are unable to do much more than run away. Also there are instances were you can get caught or webbed and are stuck in place for some time. Companions cannot help you.

Rinse and Repeat

The game has nicely done pixel art and I like the character designs. Particularly the playable characters as they have a part of their body fused with the dragon’s power. Sadly there aren’t very many monster designs.

The game is obviously built around repeating levels so that your character can level up, and can grind for equipment. There is an exchange market where monster parts turn into items but they require a hefty amount of particular parts. Levels have a default difficulty you must clear, after which you can increase the difficulty which will add to the reward.


Dragon Marked For Death can be a fun game, more so if you play with at least one other person. There are unfortunately many design choices along with the odd way they chose to sell the game. Especially since it looks like the Australian physical will cost much more than buying the two sets of characters and DLC off the eShop.

Intentionally making the game a grind while also reusing maps and enemies all throughout really weigh this game down. I liked it when it was fun, but the game really wears itself out. That is why I have to give it an I’m not Sure.


One comment

  1. I kept thinking it was me. I really want to play this but I’m going to give up now. When I discovered how the Shinobi can jump and all after I leveled up the Empress I feel cheated. Go back to the drawing board devs.

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