Do you remember watching sci-fi shows when you were younger? The ones that portrayed an almost idyllic future with cars that traveled on highways in the air? Where robots were friendly and compliant, and the possibilities ahead were wild and endless? Well, scrap that admirable dreamscape and accept your galactical fate in Space Dragon Unchained by 3lb Games.
Who wants a white picket fence and a perfectly green front yard when you can blow shit up in space? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Not only are you now the destroyer of planets, but you also traverse the vast expanse of our galaxy with two space dragons for arms! Wait a minute - space… dragons… for arms? Get into it because you’re in for quite the adventure with this one.
Sci-fi arcade shooter
Meta and SteamVR
Nov 3, 2022
Levels aren't challenging enough
Fast-paced and immersive
Only ~one hour of gameplay
YOUR HANDS ARE DRAGONS!
Nostalgic and Fast-Paced Bullet Hell
Almost immediately after popping on my headset and starting the game, I was hit with an overwhelmingly positive wave of nostalgia. While gaming during my childhood was limited, I found myself hypnotized by the simple controls and satisfying level completions of early games like Space Invaders. If you love being in the thick of it all, you won’t want to sleep on this bullet hell arcade-style experience.
The graphics themselves are just stunning and the game runs very smoothly. It was easy to navigate with simple, beginner-friendly controls and colors that will make you stop just to admire them. I was particularly entranced by the space dragons themselves - the way they moved was intuitive and I didn't feel any motion sickness despite flying around in space, and sometimes at warp speed.
A Musical Score to Remember
Not only is 3lb Games’ CEO a badass game dev, but she’s also a talented musician. If you’re familiar with the band Jack Off Jill, you’ll recognize her as the band’s bassist. You can expect to hear an eclectic score featuring tunes created by Robin Moulder, and it perfectly complements the whimsical and chaotic energy that’s so prevalent throughout the gameplay.
Get Your Dragon Hatchlings and Go
So, remember that part about your virtual arms literally being dragons? I can’t stress enough how freaking cool that is. I mean, even Bruce Campbell probably wishes he could be so loaded. The story here is pretty simple. When a malevolent AI tries to enslave the galaxy’s megafauna, you pair up with two fiery space dragons that are on a quest for revenge.
Fly around space blowing up solar systems and basically, anything else that gets in your way while working to eradicate the trapped monsters. Using the innovative move-and-warp system, your enemies won’t see you coming until it’s too late. Dodge bullets and other space refuse and use your dragons’ firepower to maintain control.
VR Beginner-Friendly Controls
It’s a known fact that motion sickness can happen when playing games in virtual reality. Some people can hop into any game and immediately gain their VR feet, while others can’t get a headset off their heads fast enough. A big part of enjoying VR is the 6DoF experience, so developers must consider this when choosing their game’s locomotion options.
I was honestly worried about all the zipping around through the cosmos and if it was going to make me feel dizzy. 99% of the time, though, you get a smooth traverse through the metaverse without getting that lump in your chest that makes you want to hurl.
Lacking in Difficulty Overall
There’s something great to be said about a simple game that anyone can jump into and play. But sometimes, that simplicity can leave you feeling unsatisfied. When you work hard towards a goal, the payoff is often far more worth it than if it were just given to you. That said, I didn’t feel challenged at any point and I found it too easy to complete the game (it took roughly an hour).
This was a common critique online, too, and one that hasn’t fallen on deaf ears. Considering the game was originally released on Steam five years ago and then downgraded to fit Quest 2 specs, it makes sense that it’s short and sometimes a little laggy. There are plans to include a harder difficulty mode, make changes to the boss fights, and add an update with some extended features.
Where to Play Space Dragons Unchained
You won’t have to worry if this exciting VR arcade shooter is available on your headset. You can scoop up a copy of your very own on Steam for PC VR, where it’s been available since 2017. Or if you’re a Questie, the game was recently released in the Meta store library in November 2022. You should expect to have at least 1GB of free storage on your device to download it seamlessly.
A Short but Sweet Play Through
I always get excited about a new space-themed virtual reality game, especially when I find out that the dev is a woman (yeahhh, Girl Power)! And Space Dragon: Unchained gave me exactly what I was craving. Between the neon colors and intriguing adventures, it was difficult to stop playing. If I’m being honest, though, I didn’t want to stop anyway.
While you can quickly play through the entire game, it’s a great experience to share with friends and a title that you’ll be happy to have in your collection. There’s never a bad time to shoot planets with dragon arms, now is there? When I think of this game, what comes to mind is the shower curtain in my washroom that features a sloth wearing floral pants and surfing on a unicorn while eating a pizza. Organized and beautiful chaos!
Stay Updated Through Social Media
Have you already picked up this game? Or are you still meandering on the fence? Make a decision already! In the meantime, keep yourself up-to-date with everything Space Dragons-related by following the team on Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, Discord, and Facebook.