SNAP Review – Dragon’s Breath
You and your fellow players are little dragons, hoarding sparkling stones. But the stones are all stuck in a column of ice! Dragon Dad can melt the ice with his fiery breath, but who can grab the most stones as they fall?
We’ll tell you about Dragon’s Breath, a game for all ages, in just 5 minutes. Listen in, or read on below.
Dragon’s Breath was designed by Günter and Lena Burkhardt and is published by HABA Games. It’s a fairly simple game for 2-4 players, ages 5-99, and it plays in less than 15 minutes. It also won the 2018 “Kinderspiel des Jahres” (Kid’s Game of the Year). What is it about this game that is so appealing? It’s fun, easy to learn, and beautiful.
The board for Dragon’s Breath sets up completely contained in the box for the game. Dividers in the bottom of the box hold up a platform, on which you construct an “ice column” of blue rings, then fill it with gems. Each player chooses a dragon child and inserts it into their corner of the board.
How to Play
Each round, one player gets the “dragon dad” figure. All the other players take turns choosing a token representing a single color of gems. “Dragon Dad” chooses last.
Then Dragon Dad removes the top ring from the ice column. The player must touch ONLY the top ring, BUT they may be strategic in how they remove it: fast or slow, straight up or pushing gems out to the side.
Once the ring has been removed, players divvy up the sparkling stones that fell on the board. Take all the gems of the color(s) you chose at the beginning of the round. Put the gems in the “cave” behind your dragon child. Any gems of an unclaimed color that fell out of the column get pushed into the holes near the center of the board.
Every player gets an equal number of turns to be Dragon Dad. After the last ring is removed and the last fallen gems have been claimed, it’s time to see who won!
Remove the game board to reveal the “caves” underneath. Each player can count the gems in their dragon child’s cave – or pull them out and line them up, comparing line length if counting past 20 is too difficult.
HABA (and the Burkhardts) have done it again – Dragon’s Breath is fun for little kids, big kids, and even adults.
The theme is fantastic – cute dragons adding to their hoard, and “dragon dad” breathing fire to melt the ice. And we love that the game pretty much cleans itself up as you play!
Little kids can play it as a simple luck-based game; in fact, you can assign the color tokens randomly, or keep them for the whole game to make it simpler. Bigger kids begin to see how their choices matter, even with a hefty dose of luck; and adults enjoy it because you can be very strategic in how you choose colors AND influence what falls when you lift a ring.
It’s not suitable for very young children, however. The sparkling stones are too small and will be tempting for some youngsters to put in their mouths. They’re also small enough to be easily lost; thankfully, losing a few will not noticeably change the game.
Speaking of “dragon dad”, his chunky figure is perfect for little hands, but it’s barely used. It’s just an indicator of who the last player/ring lifter is each round, but it adds tremendously to the theme.
It’s been one of our favorites to play this year.
What does the family think of Dragon’s Breath?
Claire: thumbs up. “It’s really interactive, and it cleans itself up as you play!”
Asher: so-so. “More fun for littler kids, can be annoying for older kids.”
Elliot: thumbs up. He loves the “jewels and rings”.
Mom & Dad both give Dragon’s Breath a thumbs up as well.
Final verdict: 4.5 thumbs up out of 5. Find Dragon’s Breath on Amazon, or ask for it at your local store for toys and games.
SNAP review music is Avalanche, provided courtesy of You Bred Raptors?
HABA provided a copy of Dragon’s Breath to The Family Gamers at a discounted price for this review.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.
Number of Players: 2-4
Age Range: 5-99
Playtime: 10-15 minutes