Circles, triangles, squares and diamonds: Drop It is about letting go, with the pieces you drop landing somewhere in the vertical game board, ideally where they'll score the most points, but the tiles bounce around and don't always land where you expect them to!
In more detail, each turn the active player drops one of their pieces into the slot of the game board. The player scores points for the highest level that the piece touches and for any special locations that it touches, but if the piece touches anything of the same shape or color, then you score nothing! What's more, certain pieces are forbidden at certain spots on the edge of the playing area.
The Drop It rulebook includes variant rules for simpler play or more variety from game to game.
Designer: Bernhard Lach, Uwe Rapp
Price: $30.00 Amazon.com
Drop It is sort of a distant, analog cousin of Tetris. In this game, players take turns dropping tangram pieces into a narrow chamber, trying to land them just right so they score lots of points. There is a great deal of chance in the game, but it elicits a ton of laughs from players. With a super-fast playtime and an outstanding production, Drop It is a very fun experience for gamers of all ages.
I’m a sucker for games with “the toy factor,” so you’ll understand why I was so interested in Drop It, basically a giant game/toy hybrid. Drop It is a zany dexterity challenge, played out on a cool, upright, plastic… thing (I hesitate to call it a “board”).
This “thing” is a structure made of two sheets of plastic, separated by a narrow gap. Players take turns carefully dropping wooden tangram-style pieces into the gap, trying to avoid breaking any rules.
On the bottom and sides of the chamber (that’s what we’ll call it), players insert tiles bearing shape or color restrictions.
These tiles outline zones around the edges in which the indicated pieces will score nothing if they land. To put it another way, if a piece is touching the side or base where it is not supposed to, the current player scores a big, fat 0 points for the turn. Here is how this might look:
In addition to these edge restrictions, pieces cannot land touching other pieces of the same color or shape. If they do, they also score nothing.
So now that I’ve covered everything that players DON’T want to do, what is the actual point of the game? In Drop It, players are trying to score the most points by landing their pieces in the chamber juuuust right. The sides of the chamber list point values from 1-8—essentially different height levels. If a piece lands legally (i.e. not violating any of the above rules), it scores the number of points indicated on the highest level it touches. As an example:
Additionally, the chamber features a number of inscribed circles, in 3 sizes. If a piece lands touching one of them, it scores 1-3 additional points, according to the circle’s size (example below).
Players take turns adding and scoring pieces until they have none left. At that time, the player with the most points wins!
Games don’t get much simpler than this. Drop It is chaotic, silly, and just plain fun. It’s as enjoyable to PLAY the game as it is to play WITH the game. I mean, come on, I could sit and do this all day:
This game reminds me of an older, ultra-obscure game called Batik, but where that game was boring and forgettable, Drop It is awesome and hilarious. The physics of this game have a mind of their own; pieces bounce and slide all over, so players never know what is going to happen. They can play with geometry and try trick shots, but their piece may very well wind up on the other side of the chamber altogether!
It goes without saying that Drop It is thin on strategy, but players will be hooting and hollering the whole time. Gameplay is lightning-fast, and even during other players’ turns, everyone’s eyes will be locked on the current player’s piece as it falls. The experience is much more engaging than it may seem.
The rules to Drop It can be explained in 10 seconds, and players will want to play again immediately after the first game. The production quality is excellent, with some sweet, three-dimensional eye-candy; if someone was playing this at a local con, you’d better believe they would attract a crowd of onlookers.
Drop It is a fantastic dexterity challenge. Kids and adults alike will have a blast with it. If you are looking for a lighthearted, laughter-ridden game, this is definitely one to check out. It’s awesome, and I highly recommended it.
A review copy was provided by KOSMOS.
+ Very engaging, with lightning-fast gameplay
+ Easy to teach and understand
+ Causes lots of laughter
- Light on strategy
- Physics can be very unpredictable, which may be frustrating to some players