Dragon Breeed is a superb and innovative side-scrolling shoot-em-up from the same gaming stable that gave the world “R*Type”, Irem. Dragon Breed differs from other shoot-em-ups through its interpretation of the ‘ship’ that appears in other games of the genre; in Dragon Breed, the player controls a figure who rides a fully articulated and superbly rendered dragon. What makes this a particularly inspired move is that the Dragon’s body – which is invulnerable to enemies and enemy fire – can be used as both a shield and a weapon; the player can move the dragon in such a way that its tail can be used to surround its rider and protect him from his enemies. Any contact the enemy has with the dragon will also deplete the enemy’s power and eventually kill it. The dragon can also be ‘powered-up’ in a similar fashion to the space craft of other shoot-em-ups.
At various point throughout a level, small areas of land will appear at the bottom of the screen. These often contain power-ups and the player can fly the dragon down to the platform, dismount, and move around on foot.