Dawnlands is a new survival MMO that owes a big debt to Zelda and Genshin Impact

Screenshot of iOS game Dawnlands
(Image credit: Seasun Games)

App Store icon for iOS game Dawnlands

(Image credit: Seasun Games)

iPadOS / iOS / Free with in-app purchases

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Some games wear their inspirations a little more visibly on their sleeves than others, but it’s hard to remember a title that does so quite as obviously as Seasun Games’ latest fantasy adventure Dawnlands.

Fresh from a somewhat shaky open beta, the cross-platform game is now available for everyone to play on iOS, where you’ll be able to try out for yourself what appears to be a winning combination of Genshin Impact’s UI and mechanics, and Breath of the Wild’s art style and survival gameplay.

Set in an impressively vast, Zelda-like open world for a mobile game, players must gather resources, build shelters, and carry out Minecraft-style crafting of weapons and tools in order to survive. The game also boasts a four-player multiplayer mode where players can team up to build and explore together.

The cell-style graphics are impressive, the gameplay challenging, and the crafting system is deep and surprisingly rewarding, with a decent variety of biomes to explore, each with its own unique challenges and resources.

Bugs and lag, but plenty of fun to be had

There is, nevertheless, something of a steep learning curve, which, coupled with its grindy gameplay, has the potential to put off more casual players.

Arguably more of an issue, however, is the fact that there remains plenty of bugs for Seasun to iron out that were apparent during its beta, with crashes and lags commonplace. On top of that, while most game modes are currently unlocked, the threat of game-ruining "gotcha" microtransactions and optional subscriptions looms large.

These reservations aside, Dawnlands has the makings of a solid survival and crafting game that is sure to appeal to fans of the genre.

Crucially for some gamers, outside of the iffy world of emulation, Dawnlands stands as the closest gamers are likely to get to playing Breath Of The Wild on an Apple device.


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Kevin Lynch

Kevin Lynch is a London-born, Dublin-based writer and journalist. 

He started out as a music writer in the late 1990s, before moving to the Daily Mirror to become the newspaper’s technology editor, during which time he wrote a weekly column that saw him chart the boom of consumer tech and gaming as well as the resurrection and rise of Apple Inc. 

He has also served as editor of GuinnessWorldRecords.com and has been a member of the judging panel for the BAFTA British Academy Video Game Awards.