Take to the high seas and clear the path for Christopher Columbus before he set sail and discovered the Americas in 1492. In Here Be Dragons, you’ll battle Tritons, Krakens and other dangerous sea monsters in turn-based, dice rolling combat. So, hard to starboard, load the cannons and get ready to set sail.

Gameplay

Here Be Dragons‘ battle system appears simple on the surface but you’ll soon learn that it is anything but. This may seem like a positive to those who are looking for more in-depth combat, however it doesn’t gel as much as one would like, rather being convoluted and relying on the luck of dice.

Strategy isn’t completely void within the combat – far from it. Rather, one wrong move can result in defeat, so it takes a lot of strategic thought, but that unlucky roll causes a lot of unnecessary frustration. Not only that, the user interface (UI) is cumbersome and counterintuitive with awkward button choices and text boxes covering important pieces of information.

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The strategy is bolstered by the game’s bestiary, with each monster having their own ability. The player must keep in mind their special abilities and be conscious of which dice they must use and just as importantly, which dice they should not use.

World Design

The game progression is quite linear as you make your way through chapters that each contain roughly three to four battles. With each chapter, you’re travelling to new countries around the world and each battle carries on the plot. It’s nothing particular unique but it certainly doesn’t need to be as it fulfils its purpose and maps out your progress as you go.

Story / Personality

Here Be Dragons has a light hearted, comedic approach that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Whilst some dialogue lines can come across as unnatural and awkward, it continues to take its tongue-in-cheek approach throughout the entire game. The humour they’re going for is silly, with great references to classics like Monty Python.

Despite the fun dialogue, its plot progression is poor and often feels disjointed. I found myself becoming less enthralled with the plot after chapter three and it doesn’t get much better from there.

Graphics / Art Direction

The art direction is probably what drew you to this game in the first place and I can safely say the same thing. The battered and stained parchment aesthetic is consistent throughout the game’s entirety and certainly adds flavour to its motif.

Music / Sound Design

The soundtrack consists of military trumpets, operatic vocals and ye olde bells that compliments the art direction well. During combat however, all you’ll hear are sounds of the ocean and battle noises which can make it seem boring over a prolonged period of time.

Final Score: 60%

Here Be Dragons certainly has great visual appeal, however it lacks substance and cohesive depth to its gameplay and plot. Its presentation is unique and if you don’t mind retrying battles multiple times in order to proceed with the plot, you may find this to be perfect for you and yet, the poor plot progression gave me little motivation to do so.

Thank you for checking out our Here Be Dragons switch review, thank you to Red Zero Games for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: