Since the dawn of touchscreen mobile devices players have been gleefully flinging destruction from one side of the screen to the other in an effort to destroy group A in the name of group B. Is there room for innovation in the flinging stuff genre? Not really. So how is Snappy Dragons so entertaining?
Snappy Dragons pits dragons against wizards in a baby-saving battle to the death. You've got one of a handful of dragons on the left side of the screen tossing fireballs at malicious spell casters on the right. It's pretty simple, certainly simple enough that upon first glance someone might write it off as another Angry Birds clone.
But it's not. It's better than that. You aren't simply trying to knock stuff down here, you're obliterating massive chunks of land, Scorched Earth style. Then suddenly you're given these dragon babies to protect, so it's a little less wanton destruction and more measured, focused destruction.
And developer Extensive Studios keeps mixing it up. One dragon is simply a living artillery battery, focused on destroying as many enemies as it can in the time allotted. Another shoots a sort of guided missile fireball that must be manoeuvred through a side-scrolling maze before reaching its target. Soon wind currents come into play, and fans of the original PC trajectory shooters that started all of this nonsense can't stop the grin from spreading no matter how many things they fling at it.
There are downsides to this joy, mainly in the fact that the Android version I played on my Samsung Galaxy S II was free with ad support, meaning there was a giant freaking ad in the top middle of the screen at all times. Over on iOS there's both a free ad-supported version and a 99c full version. Hopefully they'll give Android gamers a chance to give them money soon, so my ad-fuelled madness might end.
Snappy Dragons [Android Market]
Snappy Dragons [iTunes]