Little Dragons Café is much more polished than I was expecting, to be honest. It boasts a pleasant pallet of pastels and warm shades, with Wind Waker-ish cell shading that look as if drawn with colored pencil by a skilled artist. The inside of the café itself is a quaint, homey scene that could have been torn directly from a page in a children’s storybook tale, one of those picture books that both parents and kids adore.
You may play as either the boy or girl of a pair of cute and capable twins. Their mother falls ill one day and the twins are tasked with raising a dragon that has something to do with reviving her (something something, half dragon Mom, something dragon blood, etc.), while also keeping the family café running in the meantime. The reasoning doesn’t make much sense, but that doesn’t matter as it’s barely brought up. You get a new magic grandpa wizard to watch over the twins, and a few interesting characters that show up to work in the café. These characters have plenty of personality to keep you entertained, and their personal growth through the story is in no way lacking.
Gameplay Loop and Progression
Progression is tied to recipe acquisition and daily café success, measured in customer ratings. You can assign recipes to your menu after cooking them yourself once. The better you cook the initial recipe and the better the quality of items used in it affect the quality of the food item overall. The higher quality of items offered on the menu, the more customer satisfaction you earn daily, which progresses the story and dragon growth faster. As the story progresses, the scope of your island exploration increases, allowing you to reach new areas and find new ingredients as well as recipes.
Café management is not too intensive. You’ll spend the bulk of your time our exploring the island and gathering ingredients with your dragon companion. You’ll receive a notification when your staff is slacking off and you can teleport back to the café whenever you want. You can go back and get things right on track. Each day cycle last about 15-20 minutes, making for a good game that can be played in small bursts, and it excellent for multitasking other media at the same time.
Your dragon will follow you throughout the game, performing helpful tasks around the island to clear the way, fetch ingredients, and make things easier for you, such as digging for roots or hunting small game. The companion AI functions well and does not frustrate. Your dragon will grow larger over time and develop new abilities, catering to your beck and call whenever you whistle for it. Eventually it can fly, of course. Its color can even change based on what you’ve been feeding it. Most importantly, you can pet or cuddle the dragon at any time!
Little Dragon Café is meant to be simple, clean, and wholesome. It is a feel-good game you can pick up or set down, allowing for long breaks in between without forgetting how to play it, unlike more complicated sims where you may need a refresher after setting it aside for a while. It is obviously very child-friendly as well, so you can play it with young family members without concern.
Little Dragons Café’s simplicity is also its main drawback, as it is too easy and has minimal challenge, with some sadly long loading screens. A difficulty adjustment option would not have gone amiss. Little Dragons Café earns a 7/10. Fun but easy, pretty yet simple, this low maintenance title may not hold your interest for long sessions but is enjoyable for what it is, as long as you aren’t expecting too much.
Thank you for reading!
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