A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Little Dragons Café is a fantasy adventure and restaurant management simulator for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 consoles. Players must run a small café, helping staff and customers along the way, while raising a small dragon and exploring the land and harvesting ingredients. There are quite a few positive themes in the story, including the importance of hard work, friendship, and caring for others. Most of the characters have unique personality quirks and flaws, but also show that these can be used or overcome in order to reach a greater potential. There's some minor, cartoonish violence in the game, but nothing graphic or explicit.
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What's it about?
LITTLE DRAGONS CAFÉ is a tale of fantasy, friendship, family, and food. Oh ... and let's not forget the dragons. The story begins with Ren and Rin, twin siblings who help their mother run their small family restaurant, the Little Dragon Café. One day, their mother gets sick, unexpectedly falling into a deep sleep with no way to wake her. A wizard appears and lets the children know that their mother is, in fact, half dragon, which is the cause of her current situation. The children are tasked with raising a small dragon of their own that, in time, will be the key to their mother's recovery. In the meantime, it's up to the twins to continue running the café in their mother's absence. It's up to you to keep things running smoothly, keeping the café's pantries stocked and expanding its menu to meet customer demand, all while raising your young dragon with great care. With a little luck and a lot of hard work, the café will become the talk of the land that your mother would be proud of.
Is it any good?
Running any sort of restaurant can be tough, but balancing the management of day-to-day operations, raising a dragon, and adventuring is surprisingly lots of fun. One of the great things about Little Dragons Café is that no matter how absurd things may seem on the surface, with wizards, trolls, and of course, dragons, running around, it still manages to create a world that you can't help but feel at home in. The characters have genuine personalities, and it's fun to watch them evolve over time along with the story. That's another unique thing about this simulation-style management game: It's got a real story with real progression. You can take your time with things, but there's still a path to follow with an engaging plot. Like a good book, you always want to know what's going to happen next, but you don't really want the story to end, either.
From a gameplay perspective, Little Dragons Café feels both familiar and new at the same time. Like a fresh take on a favorite recipe, it takes some common ingredients from different genres and adds in a few new flavors. For example, cooking up recipes means selecting choice ingredients, adding any extra "secret ingredients," and then switching things up and playing a rhythm game to a catchy tune to perfect the new dish. Or you might be doing some exploration deep in the mountains when you suddenly get a notice that your staff is slacking off, forcing you to fast-travel back to the café and whip everyone into shape while lending an extra set of hands. The game feels like it's got a little bit of everything but stops short of ever straying too far into one specific category. That's wonderful for folks looking for a more lighthearted experience, but may leave some who are looking for a deeper, more complex game a bit hungry for more. But overall, Little Dragons Café is still a sweet and savory treat that's well worth a taste.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about teamwork. What are ways that people can come together to overcome obstacles? What are some positive ways to encourage people to work together, and how can you deal with people who aren't pulling their weight?
What are some good ways to make the most of your time when working toward a goal? Why is it important to account for things like taking a break or getting rest?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Aksys Games
- Release date: August 24, 2018
- Genre: Simulation
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Language, Mild Fantasy Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.