Drop It Review

Drop It Cover
Drop It Cover
Released 2018
Designer Bernhard Lach, Uwe Rapp
Publisher KOSMOS (Website)
Players 2 – 4
Playing Time 15-20 minutes
Category Dexterity
BoardGameGeek View on BGG

If you thought competitive Tetris was too easy, welcome to Drop It

So a few weeks ago I went over to Alpal’s for some Sunday gaming as usual.  With a huge grin on her face, this box is produced bearing the words Drop It.

Looking at the pictures and a cursory glance at the manual, I think Tetris with Connect 4 elements maybe?  I was correct, but only in the best possible way of being completely wrong.

Watching the game board being set up, I couldn’t help but play with the coloured geometric shapes.  Alpal starting explaining the rules to me, and while intrigued I admit all I was thinking was ‘Wonky Tetris’.

The explanation is really simple – players take turns dropping pieces of their choice into the tower, and the higher the piece is the more points you get.  Winner has the most points.  Simple, right?

Looking at the tower, one of the first things you notice is the lines across the tower.  These are your scoring areas, the higher they are the more points they are worth.

Drop It Components
Even unassembled, you get a pretty strong sense of what you should be playing soon

The wonky description comes from both the tower and the shapes.  Unlike Tetris with its perfectly formed connecting shapes, Drop It has various geometric shapes of various angles and indeed weight, including circles.

Instantly I started forming stacking strategies in my mind on how to get a mostly stable base happening.  This tower was going all the way to the top if I could manage it.

Looking at the setup, I noticed all of the shapes on the sides and base had an X on them.  While I thought I knew what was going on, I asked Alpal what that meant.

And I was right.  Any piece touching the matching shape, either on the bottom of the tower or the sides, did not score that turn.

My tower started rearranging itself in my mind, and started calculating risk and reward for sacrificing some early points to score big later.  I was still confident this tower was going places, but only after a few setbacks.

Drop It 4 Player
4 Players - a colour each. Nice and simple. Everyone has the same shapes and strategy.

And then the last placement rule came.

Any piece that touches a piece of the same shape or colour will not score this round either.

Tetris suddenly became Super Puzzle Fighter in my mind.  The height of the tower no longer called me, but how could I place shapes that would score while messing with Alpal’s plans?

Now all this in Alpal’s kitchen took about 2 minutes, and I was eager to play.  And that is one of Drop It’s greatest strengths – it’s a game that when people see it, they want to play it.

It’s like Apples to Apples/Cards Against Humanity where spectators suddenly feel like they are already a part of the game just being on the sidelines.  Even younger players will intuitively just ‘get it’.  Sure, maybe some finer tactics may be overlooked, but this is a game you can have fun with anyway.

Drop It 2 Player
2 Players? Take 2 colours each, all the rules are the same - but you have many more options. You can see the irregular shape of the tower from this angle as well.

Unfortunately for our first games, we discovered that one of the colours was missing two shapes.  This got sorted out in short order, but even missing a couple of shapes did not diminish our enjoyment of the game at all.

Playing with less than four players, each player gets a mixture of the remaining colours and shapes so that all tiles remain in play.  So in a two player game, one player has all of the red and green shapes, while the other player has blue and yellow.

In a three player game, each player selects a colour but the shapes of the fourth colour are distributed a little differently.  This is great because the game does feel different at the different player counts.

Strategies you use in a two player game such as alternating colours to avoid touching the same colour no longer work.  In a three player game, using one of the common colours among all three players is a tactic you can use to force opponents to use shapes or colours they may not want to.

Drop It 3 Player
I think the most devious combination - 3 player. Because you all share a colour, blocking and placement becomes even more tactical like this.

While Drop It offers a lot of fun and surprised me with its ability to draw me in, ultimately it is a filler game for me.  I can see myself playing it a lot, especially in a ‘we want to play something but don’t know what’ setting with it’s light party feel, but I wouldn’t setup a game night around it.

And if you thought that longevity wise Drop It might not last, there are a couple of surprises in store for you.

The shapes on the side and the bottom?  You can play Shapes or Colours there are inserts for both, and I can’t see why if you really want to mix things up you couldn’t mix the two.  Shapes on the side and Colours on the base for example.

The tower area where your pieces drop also isn’t really straight.  The higher you go up the tower, the narrower the playfield gets.  This promotes an almost Carnival Game style challenge where you try and slightly throw the tile in a direction you want something to land.

It’s a subtle thing, and just dropping the tiles in will still be a fun experience.  But essentially working out how to do trick shots with your turn will be just as satisfying as pulling off the same shot on a pool table.

Drop It Game Started
It took a while, but a score was finally had! Pieces kept bouncing into each other, either onto the border or into the same shapes dropped. Such is Drop It!

The only downside I can see is Drop It is one of those games where I can see arguments about what is touching vs being merely close can break out.  It may not sound like much, but I have seen grudges held for less in some games, and deciding if a piece is worth double points or none can give someone else the game.

If you have ultra-competitive players in your group, you might want to keep this in mind.  Luckily almost all of the players I play with are more laid back, but there is the possibility.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

Last Week’s Gaming – November 12th 2018

Drop It 20181112

It is Forbidden to Roll the Tags, so Drop It

A new week, and one full week back from holidays down.  The reality has come back in full force, and I already miss a few things from my holidays.

But on the bright side, schedules remain and games are being played!  A lot of new games this week, so let’s jump into it.

Drop It

How to describe Drop It.

Think of competitive Tetris or Connect 4, and add carnival game style dexterity challenges.

When you look at Drop It, you already mostly know how to play – it’s one of those great instinctual games.  There is a lot of ‘What How’ and ‘Ha Ha’ from the players, as you drop a piece and bases collapse or shapes bounce (or both!).

I know I am not talking too much about it, but Alpal has had it for a little while and I saw it playing at PAX Aus, so I figured it was time for the review.  So guess what tomorrows review is going to be?

Drop It 20181112
You look at it, and you think you know the game. And you do - but it throws you. Drop It is simply a fun game.

Tags

Most people I know enjoy a word game despite themselves.  Throw out a challenge like think of how many fruits begin with C, and a list will start to form in someone’s mind.

And yes, Cucumber is a fruit.

Tags takes this little quirk and make a fun challenge.  There is a grid of marbles with five categories and four letters (well, mostly letters).  You then have 15 seconds to match the conditions on the grid to keep that coloured marble – e.g. Things that people are blackmailed for that start with J, or Something Romantic that includes ‘in’.

This is the second game this week that makes a great low player count party game, and a trend I hope continues in new releases.

Tags 20181112
It's hard to describe Tags except as a lower player count party game - and it's worth every second you play it.

Roll Player

So Roll Player was all the buzz in gaming circles a little while ago, and Alpal got a copy at a ‘reasonable’ price (it’s been over AUD$100 for a while!).

Alpal took me through a game, and I am hooked, with my own copy making it’s way to me soon.

The gameplay itself looks minimal (as in ‘so where’s the game?’) but once you start playing, the depth of choice is immediately apparent.

Solo you try to score a perfect score of 40 (with 38+ being the highest achievement title), while multiplayer you go for highest score wins.

More will be discussed on Roll Player over the coming weeks – be sure of that!

Roll Player 20181112
Surprisingly fun and tense at the same time, Roll Player takes Dice/Worker Placement to higher levels while remaining quick and fun

Forbidden Sky

So I have played this a couple of times over the last week, and I have mixed feelings so far.

Now I really wanted to play and enjoy Forbidden Sky – it’s on my most anticipated games list for 2018.  And I did enjoy it to a degree.  The first game at max player count had a couple of small issues with rules (my reading ability not the rules themselves), and we seemed to thump the game.

Try again after some more extensive reading and clarifications in a two player game, and it was better.  Much better.  I will be playing this a few more times and a full review will be coming soon – after the original Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert reviews!

Forbidden Sky 20181112
A game I have been waiting - Forbidden Sky has arrived. And it has flipped the 'Leacock Standards' in a surprise move.

Tetris Effect

I jumped on this as soon as I got home last Friday.

Tetris Effect is gorgeous to behold, and playing in VR is a completely immersive experience that allows you to focus to new levels.

Which is also it’s downfall.  I don’t normally suffer motion sickness in VR, but the gorgeous world did throw me for a loop and I couldn’t play this for more than about 40-50 minutes without conceding to physical complaints.

It’s fun, and I do recommend playing – but maybe in a dark room with headphones instead of VR?  I haven’t tried this yet, but a full review will be coming in a couple of weeks.

Tetris Effect Feature
Screenshots Coming!

Diablo 3

It was a quick round of Diablo this weekend on the couch, climbing to Level 4 after clearing the first area.

While not much was played, all of the groundwork was set and now Rabbit and I can play multiplayer through the week, so this will probably keep creeping in a bit in the future.

Well, until this weekend, when Pokemon Let’s Go may overtake all of Rabbit’s Switch time 🙂

Diablo 3 Banner
Another game where I didn't snap a shot, but Rabbit and I are now setup to multiplay 🙂

What have you been playing?  Let me know on the Facebook Page or @ me some pics on Twitter!

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

Last Week’s Gaming September 24th 2018

Drop It Gameplay

The expedition made the gadgeteers drop it

A fairly light week of board games this week, but two brand new ones thanks to Alpal so always worth it!

Expedition: The Role Playing Card Game

Another couple of adventures, another couple of fun games.  I think I have everything ready to start actually capturing a game – fingers crossed for Friday!

Even though the enemies and cards are the same, at the moment I am not seeing the chance of too much wear with this system.  Being able to make and publish your own adventures makes this a great quick roleplay system.

My full thoughts are definitely coming on Expedition, and I can’t wait to share all of my thoughts on this game with you.

Expedition Card Game Components
It looks daunting, but the Expedition system is incredibly quick to play and very replayable

Gadgeteers

So Gadgeteers is an interesting one for me.  It falls into a category of almost perfect information games, which I generally either enjoy or don’t.

As we played Gadgeteers, it initially fell into my ‘don’t’ category, but I can see where it is fun for most people and recommend people give it a play.

Each player (up to four) takes the role of an inventor, and at its core, Gadgeteers is a blind bidding auction game.  You bid for pieces to build inventions and score points, and the person with the most points wins.

It’s quick, it’s fun, and building inventions can give you special powers – always fun 🙂 For me, I think playing it again with people like Harls I would turn all the tokens face down to add a memory challenge.  But this is for people that need the extra challenge only – really this is a great game that you should play given the chance.

Gadgeteers Components
I forgot to take the photo! But Gadgeteers is one of those quick low component games that is great for carrying with you

Drop It!

So this one caught me by surprise.  Drop It is a surprisingly deep game testing dexterity, pattern recognition and geometry.

My first impression when I saw the box was a tweak on Connect 4.  I was so wrong.  The goal of Drop It is simple – score more points than everyone else.  This is done by dropping in different shaped pieces into the tower, and the highest point is scored.  If it is in a small circle in the tower – bonus points.

BUT.  If it is touching a piece of the same shape or colour, no points.  If it is touching a side with the same shape (or colour if you play the variant) – no points.

This is a great challenging game for up to 4 people, with pieces moving and strategies being torn asunder at every turn.  But it can just as easily be played with younger players and having just as good a time.

Drop It Gameplay
Be careful what touches if you want to score. Such a simple premise, but a heap of fun!

Octopath Traveler

Yep, I am going to be playing this for a long time.

I am still in the Chapter 2 grind, getting all but one character into the mid-20’s for their levels.  Serious thought has been given to picking a central party and pushing on with my main character’s quest, but that just doesn’t feel right.

So instead, when I have a spare half hour or more that I want half a distraction, I am dedicating my time to reexploring everywhere I have already been.  This will let me build up my last character (slowly, but still) and find some more secrets!

Octopath Traveler 20180924
I just need to get Primrose up to speed, then I can start the Chapter 2 run

Valkyria Chronicles 4 (Demo)

So on the 25th Australian time, Valkyria Chronicles 4 will be released.

I am really, REALLY looking forward to this.  It’s hard to explain why I enjoy Valkyria Chronicles, other than the glorious art style.  Everything looks like it is being painted in watercolours, even during gameplay.

The original is a classic on the PS3, and the second was OK on the PSP.  The third game honestly started losing me, but 4 has bought me back.  This doesn’t matter too much though, as each game is stand alone – like Final Fantasy.

Valkyria Chronicles 4 is releasing on PS4, XBOX, PC and my choice – Switch.  This is a great portable game, and the slight visual concessions do not detract from the experience.

Plus on the Switch you get the first 2 chapters for free in a demo available on the eStore, and you can transfer your save AND get a bonus item.  Try it out – you will love it or hate it, but I think most people will love it 😀

Valkyria Chronicles 4 Screengrab
Beautiful turn based strategy game that is perfect on mobile - Valkyria Chronicles 4 comes out tomorrow
Valkyria Chronicles 4 End of Demo
Try it out yourself for free with the Switch Demo, and get a bonus if you bring over your save file!

What about you?  What have you been playing? Let me know on the Facebook page!

Until next time,

JohnHQLD