Game: My Universe – My Baby Dragon
Genre: Simulation, Adventure
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam (Windows & Mac) and PlayStation)
Developer | Publisher: Microïds
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US E
Price: UK £34.99 | EU € 39,99 | US $29.99
Release date: November 24th 2022
Review code used, with many thanks to Microïds.
I’m a huge fan of books and stories about dragons. A good thing for us humans is that they don’t exist in real life, but the fantasy version sounds pretty cool. And I think I would love to imagine that they have a little dragon of their own. One that doesn’t set your rug on fire but just exists in a video game. My Universe – My Baby Dragon brings such little creatures to children, and it’s assured to hit a high score on the cuteness meter. But how is the gameplay? Let’s see!
Be a Dragon Warden!
After customising your character, you find yourself at a little cottage and talking to Wallis. She is there to guide you on your steps to being a dragon warden. First, though, explore the environment for a bit. There’s quite a large area around the cottage you can explore and find some fruit on bushes and vegetables in the fields.
Pretty soon, you get to choose your first egg. There’s no additional information, and the eggs just have different colors. The egg you choose sits on the workbench, where you do a series of mini-games to determine what kind of dragon it is. Set the lamp behind the egg to see the baby dragons shape, use the magic wand and see what kind of notes vibrate off the shell, use the magnifier and see the sort of scales the little beastie has and use a sort of doppler to hear what kind of sounds its heart makes.
My first dragon in My Universe – My Baby Dragon, turned out to be a fire dragon, but now I still had to get the egg to hatch, which is why it was set in the dragon’s nest. You must place different objects in the nest to make it comfy. Specific objects at a certain place make the unborn dragon happy or not. It will hatch the next day when you’ve filled the hearts above.
Your Constant Companion
From that moment on, your dragon follows you around, and it’s up to you to give it all the love and attention you can. Bathe it, pet it, feed it snacks and cook a meal with the veggies you found. That all sounds great for any simulation game lover, but things like bathing and cooking are just one click of the A button. Although you do see a cute cutscene with the dragon doing its thing. Feeding snacks and petting the dragon is more interactive and is needed to fill hearts to get its affection up.
Most important, though, is teaching it how to fly and breathe dragon fire at targets.
The targets appear behind a castle-like wall ( I guess a dragon is a medieval beast!). You earn gems, coins and experience with that in an attempt to level up your dragon baby.
After that, it’s time for flying lessons. The dragon must follow the flying medallion that you have to control. Using jumping mushrooms and special drafts, you have to let the dragon fly through golden circles, earn coins and experience once again. It was with the flight lessons that I struggled. The medallion moves sluggishly, and it’s difficult to judge the depth in the screen. Time and time again, I thought I jumped on the mushroom, only to fall short again. You want the dragon to soar high, and it’s really difficult to steer it upward.
Get the Baby Ready for Dragon School
Aside from doing the daily activities, you use the gems in the GemStitch in your house. It makes things with it, like accessories for you and your dragon, but also items used to make the egg comfy in the nest and more.
You repeat the activities with your Baby Dragon until it reaches the level where it is ready to go to Dragon School. As soon as you are ready to let it go, Wallis comes to pick it up and gives you the choice of a new dragon egg. But that’s not the last you’ve heard of your baby, as they send you letters from school!
The new Dragon Baby will have other tastes in snacks or activities to do, giving each their own personality. Meanwhile, you meet characters who visit your little corner of the world. An adventurer who brags about his many adventures. A girl who wants to be the best baker but isn’t really succeeding. And a mailman who is afraid of Dragons.
The pull of starting over and over with a new Dragon is finding different types and seeing how they look and their personalities. I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t have several Dragon Babies at the same time or find my own eggs.
Cute Visuals and Difficult Controls
The visuals in My Universe – My Baby Dragon are cute, cuddly and colourful and just right for this game, aimed at kids. I’ve played more My Universe games for reviews and liked this style.
I wasn’t too happy with the controls, however. As I already mentioned, I really didn’t like the flying lessons. I must admit that I’m a klutz anyhow in these things, so I asked my daughter to play the flying parts. She did fare much better than I did but had the same complaint. You want to be able to fly easily through these rings, but you are hampered by not being able to pan the camera, not seeing any depth in the screen and the fact that flying higher can be a frustrating affair.
The camera angle of the entire game felt off to me. I kept wanting to see more on the horizon but couldn’t. And there’s another thing I really have to mention. The loading times are long. And not just starting the game. For every action you do, going to the petting screen, going to flying lessons, entering the house…you do see a cute picture while waiting, but it is really much too long.
The My Universe games are aimed at kids, and I’m sure the young ones will love taking care of their Baby Dragon. It’s fun to see what Dragon Baby you get to take care of, though I do wonder if the gameplay loop doesn’t get boring after you’ve delivered a series of dragons.
Still, I hesitated whether to add an I Like it a Lot to this review of My Universe – My Baby Dragon. Ultimately, I chose a slightly lower I Like It because the controls didn’t sit well with me.
Final Verdict: I Like It