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Visually stunning but extremely shallow interactive cartoon
Dragon's Lair is a classic example of style over substance, a groundbreaking piece of arcade work that featured stunning cartoon quality graphics for the first time in gaming history but which forgot to include any actual gameplay. Escape from Singe's Castle is actually the second half of the first game in the series, which was broken down into two parts as it was simply too big for home computers to handle at the time. It continues the classic tale of a daring hero, in this case Dirk the Daring, a bold if rather clumsy fellow, as he attempts to rescue his fair maiden from the clutches of Singe, the evil dragon. The actual rescue is seen in the first part so this one focuses on the actual escape, as the name rather obviously suggests, but which continues in the same vein as before. What it all boils down to is basically one long set of quick-time events where the player views the action from various camera angles and must simply press the appropriate movement or action button at the right moment, in response to on-screen events. There's no denying that Dragon's Lair is simply gorgeous to look at, with beautifully drawn environments and characters and with sound to match, so it's worth playing for this fact alone. However, perhaps the word used should be 'watch' not 'play' as this really is more akin to watching a movie which just happens to have the occasional requirement to press a button than an actual game. It's clearly an important historical artefact but as a game, it just doesn't cut the mustard.