Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons, and Birthdays the Beginning fans rejoice! Game Designer Yasuhiro Wada’s newest game Little Dragons Cafe is now available on the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. This brand new IP has been in development for over two years and is every bit as unique as you might have imagined.
Little Dragons Cafe combines gameplay elements from previous games by Yasuhiro Wada and infuses a story driven adventure. Is this enough to win fans over to make the jump to Little Dragons Cafe? Lets find out!
Little Dragons Cafe Details
Save your mother with the help of a dragon
In Little Dragons Cafe you play as either Ren or Rin who, along with their mother, live in a cafe. Under their mother’s guidance, the twins are leaning how to cook and manage the family cafe. One morning the twins discover that their mother won’t wake up.
While trying to figure out what to do about their mother, a mysterious old man appears and tells the twins that they must raise a dragon in order to save their mother’s life. Along with the cafe employees, the twins must figure out how to successfully run the business and raise a dragon to save her life.
I have to admit, the story behind Little Dragons Cafe is a bit out there. Though, I really can’t imagine it any other way. The story gives purpose for your actions and in turn provides a fairly solid experience with colourful characters.
The search for the right ingredients
Little Dragons Cafe is a long-running game. You spend the day collecting resources and serving up some of the best dishes to your customers. Ingredients grow everywhere, in the forest, in the garden and near rivers. Some areas are only accessible once your dragon has grown to a larger size.
Once your dragon has grown, it will be able to push rocks, break obstacles and defeat wild animals. After a while, you’ll be all to familiar with this collection process—you’ll be doing this over and over again. I found that playing in small doses, seemed to elevate the repetitiveness of this process.
An average “day” in Little Dragons Cafe lasts about 15 minutes. The story tab conveniently lets you know what the next step is to advance in the story, which I found to greatly help with the somewhat repetitive gameplay.
Learn new recipes and master the art of cooking
Equally as important are the food recipes in the game. After all, without some tasty recipes your cafe will not be successful. In order to unlock a new recipe, you’ll have to locate the four pieces of the recipe. You’ll find these in crates or from the various people you talk to.
Once you have found all the pieces of the recipe, the real fun begins. In order to incorporate the new dish on your menu, you have to play a little rhythm mini-game. Ingredients scroll on a ribbon at the top of the screen, and you must press the correct arrow direction when the item is in the window. The more accurate you are, the better your dish.
In all, Little Dragons Cafe includes one hundred recipes to find and serve up to your customers. More over, there are several different ways you can cook the dishes for your customers. Do your customers like spicy food? If so, add a little pepper to your meat. Does your customer have a sweet tooth? Make them a mouth-watering juicy steak, but this time include some maple syrup.
Only the finest ingredients will do!
It’s important to select the best ingredients available for your dishes. The better the quality, rare or ultimate, the better quality of dish you make for your customers. In addition, don’t be shy to use the “fertilizer” that your dragon so graciously provides you. You’ll be amazed and just how much your harvest can be with it.
Little Dragons Cafe management system is really well thought out. When you run out of ingredients for one of the recipes from the restaurant menu, you are notified. You can then replace the dish with one of the many from the master list.
While playing, my character was able to use an app on his smartphone to do all this remotely—while I was all the way at the other end of the forest looking for ingredients. Alternatively, with a simple click, you can return back to the cafe to make the necessary changes.
An attractive presentation
The first thing you notice when you start Little Dragons Cafe is its unique art style. Its cel-shaded graphics are simply beautiful to look at. The characters all have a colourful personality, which made me smile on many occasions.
There are however, some technical difficulties with the game—at least on the Switch version of the game. The frame-rate at times can take a hit and loading screen appear more often than I would like. Although these issues are not game breaking, they are surely with a mention. Hopefully these can be remedied with a future patch to the game. Only time will tell.
Little Dragons Cafe is another delight to play from Yasuhiro Wada
Little Dragons Cafe is a delight to play. Fans of Yasuhiro Wada’s previous games, Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons and Birthdays the Beginning will see gameplay elements from these games fused together in Little Dragons Cafe. While the game isn’t without some technical issues, overall, I had fun with the game.
I really like the game’s stylized graphics, found the characters to be charming, and the story cute. While the game may appear to be aimed at younger players, it’s clearly a game that anyone at any age can enjoy.
+ Easy to pickup and play
+ Stylized graphics that are unique and beautiful
+ Colourful cast characters
+ Easy-to-use management system
– Gameplay can become repetitive
– Some performance issues
– Pace of the game is slow at times
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF LITTLE DRAGON’S CAFE
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5
Overall Rating 3.75/5 (75%)