Dragon's Lair - created by developer Rick Dyer and animated by former Disney employees Don Bluth and Gary Goldman (later of The Secret Of NIMH, The Land Before Time and Titan A.E. fame) - has been released on pretty much every platform imaginable since its initial arcade appearance in 1983, and it's a safe bet that most of us will have come across it at some point over the years. Less well-remembered are its follow-ups Space Ace (1984) and Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp (1991), both of which are included in this Trilogy release, which itself has been around since 2010 and has now arrived on the Switch.
All three games play out as beautifully animated cutscenes, full of detail and personality, with player inputs determining what happens next. With only one thing for players to do - press buttons at the right time - it's slightly unfortunate that Trilogy makes things incredibly difficult. Some previous versions of the game flash help inputs on corresponding edges of the screen, enabling players to watch the story unfold and catch the commands in their peripheral vision. All three games here centre the indicator along the bottom of the screen, which means your eyes are glued most of the time, distracting you from what's happening on screen.
Hindering matters even further, the yellow indicator can be difficult to see against similarly-coloured backgrounds, and the margin for error is insanely small with hints flashing a split second before the input is needed and the window often closing before you even see it. Sometimes you'll swear that the indicator didn't appear at all, as you helplessly watch Dirk's armour fall off and his skeleton crumbles to dust for the umpteenth time. It ends up being a case of playing through and learning the inputs rather than a test of reflexes, which sort of goes against what the game is meant to be.
It might not be the most exciting game to play these days, and this isn't quite the best way to experience it, but it might just be worth a try for anyone with an interest in retro games who hasn't come across this one before.
DRAGON'S LAIR TRILOGY / DEVELOPER: DIGITAL LEISURE / PUBLISHER: DIGITAL LEISURE / PLATFORM: NINTENDO SWITCH / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW