Dragon Coins SEA review: bringing meaning to the coin dozer
I like coin dozer games. They’re mindlessly addictive and they’re a great time waster. Now imagine a coin dozer combined with monster collection and battles. Can you imagine what that’s like?
As it happens, Dragon Coins SEA is exactly that. Developed by Sega Networks and published by Taiwan-based publisher Ucube Games, the game combines coin-dozing with monster battles, and has a character fusion feature as well. Though it has a stamina system, you don’t really feel it until later on in Dragon Coins SEA, but by then, it will be a welcome break from the constant coin dozing.
Players are taught how to play by a generously-endowed female before being unleashed into the world with an army of five pets. These pets attack monsters whenever you drop a coin down their slots, and have skills that can be activated when you push a skill box down. They are your army as you traverse the world of Dragon Coins SEA.
Unlike traditional coin dozer games, you’re not limited by the coins you have in Dragon Coins SEA. However, you can’t spam the coins either, because each monster has a limit to the number of coins you can drop on the board. You can only drop more coins when it resets, though it does reset very quickly. Each coin-dozing adventure pits you against monsters that drop gold coins and gacha pods when they die, and these coins and gacha pods are added to your inventory once you clear the level.
Here are some screenshots of how the game plays:
If you go just by the coin dozing alone, then Dragon Coins SEA is not the best coin dozer out there. It looks great, but it lacks the chink and jangle of coins that other dozer games do so well. So the meat of this game isn’t really in the actual coin dozing, but rather in the pet collection and battling.
Pets in Dragon Coins SEA are cute. Barring my disproportionate teacher, it’s actually really refreshing to see ordinary cutesy monsters that look like they came out from a Dragon Quest game rather than from the shelves of an adult store in Akihabara. I’m sick to death of looking at moe, prepubescent individuals masquerading as knights and demons.
These pets are not animated, but they are well-drawn and eminently collectible. They also need to be managed carefully or you won’t be able to progress with the game. Collect too many and you’ll be forced to spend time fusing them before you can go on. Sell too many and you’ll be short of the fusion fodder you need to progress.
The pets are also divided by elements, and you will have to switch up your party as you progress through the game’s different areas. Some areas might call for grass element pets while others might need the fire elementals, so you can’t just build one super-powerful army of five. One pet also needs to be designated as your leader which will represent your dominant element. The coin-dozing in Dragon Coins SEA is pretty much a no-brainer especially in early stages, but the pets need you to use your brains a little, and I like that!
The social aspect of Dragon Coins SEA (did you really think that would get passed up on?) is literally shoved down the player’s throat, though. I personally like being a lone wolf and playing by myself, but the game forces me to keep a “player” pet on my team of five. That means each time a game starts, I have to select the pet of either a friend or a random player to assist my team. This causes no harm, of course; it just makes the misanthropist in me gnash my teeth.
Dragon Coins SEA doesn’t actively require you to interact with other players; you can use their pet even while they are offline, though you can also send them a greeting that basically says “please change your pet to this element”. On the bright side, social interactivity in this game awards you with friend coins, a virtual currency that can be used to buy new pets.
What really keeps me playing Dragon Coins SEA, however, is the game’s achievements. My big-breasted tutor is constantly reminding me of tasks I can complete in exchange for gold. There are also quizzes that you can take to refresh your understanding of the game; these award coins too.
To be fair, Dragon Coins SEA is painfully reminiscent of nearly any card collection or card or character fusion game you’ll have picked up in the past year, save for its coin-dozing mechanic. Brave Frontier and Puzzle & Dragons players will definitely agree. Yet Dragon Coins SEA still a fun, well made game in spite of these similarities. It’s lacking a bit in the sound effects department, but it has some solid coin-dozing and character fusion gameplay going on, and I’ll be playing it for a while yet.