[PS4] Little Dragons Café Review

by Tracey

Little Dragons Café is a gorgeous looking release and a very fun game that oozes charm. Learn more about it in our Little Dragons Café!

Once you boot up the game you will see twins Rin and Ren, and you can choose who you want as your protagonist, and the other will act as your helper. Your mother runs a little café, and the twins often help her with things. She will ask you to run a few errands, which serve as a tutorial, asking you to collect ingredients, serve a customer and clean up afterward. Once the tutorial ends you learn the twin’s mother is not very well. After everyone goes to bed, the twins discover that their mother has not got out of bed. They enter her room to discover they can’t wake her up. A mysterious Wizard appears, giving the twins a dragon egg. Raising the dragon inside of the egg is the key to helping their mother recover, so you better do a good job!

The characters in Little Dragons Café are colorful and full of personality, and the environments are absolutely gorgeous and full of detail, as you’ll get to experience when you’re not managing the café. And let’s not forget Draco, your pet dragon! Sure, you can rename him if you want to, but I think Draco really suits it, so I left the default name as is. Draco’s color is random so some players may get a red dragon or a green one – mine was blue which is great since it’s my favorite color!

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The twins have to not only raise a dragon but must also take over running the day to day of the café. Luckily the twins will have a few members join the café staff, so they will not be alone. You can entrust these misfits to look after the café while you go out and explore the world and collect as many ingredients as needed and search for recipe fragments, of which there are hundreds. The more you progress in the game the more its world will open up for you, leading to a lot of exploration.

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Why? Because you need to help Draco grow and develop so that it can do new things to help you with the exploration side of things. For example, Draco can push stones towards a platform for you to climb on, and he can also destroy rubble, but not until he has grown up a bit. And when he develops even further, he will be able to fly and take you to faraway islands to collect new ingredients and new recipe fragments!

In every chapter, you will meet a new character who needs your help in some way. Once you do your thing and help them out, they will be on their way, ready to once again face the world. Seeing a new character in every chapter keeps the game feeling fresh, especially with the very distinct personalities for each of them! The perfect meal at the perfect time goes a long way, and your customers demand only the best.

You can choose to spend your time working in the cafe until ingredients start to run low, or you can go off and explore the world and collect more ingredients and look for recipes while you entrust the café to your staff, or mix and match as needed. You do get alerts to when your attention is certainly needed at the café since, as much as I like the staff, they obviously don’t have the same energy or drive of a human being like us taking care of things.

To collect ingredients you will end up shaking down trees for fruit, have Draco go into caves to collect stuff for you, and you can also fish! The fishing is pretty simple here since you press the X button to cast and then when the red sign appears over your head so that you can press the action button to reel it in. As Draco grows, it will be able to ram into enemies to give you meat you can use as an ingredient.

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Cooking is a big part of the game. You have Luccola as your chef, but you’re also free to cook anything you want as long as you have a recipe for it and the corresponding ingredients. The cooking mechanic is a rhythm-based mini-game where you need to press the correct buttons in time with the music. Visual cues are present so that players with a hearing disability can also enjoy this part. As you gain better ingredients for recipes the difficulty of the mini-game ramps up, but the better the food quality, the happier your customers will be, and this increases your establishment’s reputation. You can only have ten dishes on the menu, so you will need to learn what goes up on the board and what needs to be retired.

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I have to say I loved my time with Little Dragons Café. It’s excellent art style and presentation, the charming and colorful characters, the mix of gameplay mechanics with running the café and exploring to find ingredients, helping Draco grow, it all comes together nicely, giving us one of the most fun games I’ve played on PS4 this year.

This Little Dragons Café review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Aksys Games.

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