Augmented reality game will allow users to ‘catch’ baby dragons in castles across Wales

Friday 23 June 2017

Those looking to photograph Cadw sites this summer may capture more than just castle walls thanks to a new augmented reality game that has ‘hidden’ 70 baby dragons across Wales for users to discover.

Today (Friday 23 June), Little Dragons, a brand-new game launched by the Welsh Government’s historic environment service (Cadw), will allow visitors to snap virtual dragons in unique surroundings at the touch of a smartphone button.

The game, which is accessed through the existing Cadw app, uses the latest technology to hide the scaly creatures in different locations around some of Wales’s best-loved historic sites.

Users can collect ten dragons at seven different castles including Harlech, Beaumaris, Conwy, Caernarfon, Caerphilly, Chepstow and Raglan.

Each Little Dragon is based on the animatronic babies that “hatched” at Caerphilly Castle last week. Once found, users can even take selfies with the creatures using the historic landmarks as backdrops.

The reveal complements another augmented reality fairy trail at Castell Coch, through which families can find and collect ten different species of fairies located around the magical site.  

Since Dewi the Dragon first found fame at Caerphilly Castle in March 2016, the public has watched in anticipation as the tale unfolded, with Cadw welcoming a female dragon, Dwynwen, on St David’s Day this year, and most recently, animatronic dragon babies.

Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates, said: “Little Dragons is yet another example of how Cadw is leading the way by using the most cutting edge technology to capture the imagination of people of all ages, while promoting some of the country’s most impressive historic landmarks.

“In the past we have successfully used CGI technology, 360˚ cameras, aerial video and even a GoPro on an archer’s arrow to show off our wonderful heritage in exciting ways.

“We hope this new game will encourage families to appreciate and enjoy our historic environment in 2017 — Visit Wales’s Year of Legends.”

The innovative game and baby dragons’ arrival is the latest chapter in Cadw’s Live the Legends campaign, which focuses on bringing Wales’s legendary past to life.

Families and dragon-spotters alike can meet Dwynwen and the real-life dragon babies that inspired their digital equivalents, as they embark on a tour of six Cadw sites this summer.  

Visitors can access Little Dragons and the Castell Coch fairy trail by downloading (or updating) the Cadw app — available for iPhone and Android users here. People are encouraged to use the hashtag #LivetheLegends when sharing images on social media.

To find out more about Cadw’s Live the Legends campaign — including where and when to see the Dragons.