Browsing through the game aisles in your local store of choice, I wouldn’t blame you for skipping right past the box for Drop It. This game about dropping colored shapes looks like some kind of Connect 4 knock off. So, when Thames and Kosmos asked us to review it, I wasn’t super excited. I mean? How good could this game be? Turns out, it’s quite good actually (spoiler alert). Read on to find out why!
Drop It is an abstract strategy game for 2-4 players that takes about 15 minutes to play. Drop It plays well with 2 or 4 players.
Playing Drop It is fairly easy. On your turn, you simply choose one of your shapes and drop it into the game chute. As long as your shape doesn’t violate any landing rules, you’ll score points for it based on how high it is in the chute. The landing rules are that your shape is not allowed to touch any other shapes of the same color or shape; or rest against the bottom/side area of the same shape/color. There are also a few circles on the drop chute where if your shape is touching one of those, you’ll also score up to three bonus points.
Players alternate dropping pieces until all the pieces have been played. At that point, the game ends and the player with the most points wins.
Despite the simple sounding rules, Drop It is actually a surprising amount of fun. Players will not only want to drop the shape that will give them the best chance to score points, but also to try and block your opponent. Since you can see what shapes they have left, the end game can become highly strategic. For example, if you notice that your opponent has mostly triangles left, a well-placed triangle drop of your own can potentially leave them with no good places to drop a piece on their turn.
And that’s part of the Strategy of Drop it. You not only want to keep an eye on your opponent’s pieces available, but you have to keenly manage your own. It’s important to keep a variety of shapes (and colors with 2 players) available to you at any point in the game. If you are heavy on one shape at the end of the game, you will be severely limiting your options.
Drop It also seems like the perfect dexterity game for players that don’t like dexterity games. While the ability to drop a shape precisely can help, it’s really a minor part of the overall experience. Drop It is more about seizing opportunity and strategically using your pieces than having a deft hand.
Yet despite all this talk about strategy and piece management, Drop It really isn’t a thinky game. Its rules make it highly accessible and can be played with just about anyone. The tall shape chute also gives this game a great table presence. Expect to draw people in as you play the game (although assembling the chute can be a pain at times), and since learning the game takes only minutes, its’ a great game for rotating around who’s playing as people can just jump right in for a game.
The biggest issue I found with Drop It is that the game can be virtually unplayable if you are colorblind. The red and green pieces look almost identical to each other which, if your game relies one color matching, can be a huge problem. While it wouldn’t have been as nice looking, switching out the red or green for something more contrasting would have gone a long way to making this title more accessible.
Drop It wasn’t a game I was expecting to like, but it has made its way to my gaming table quite often since it arrived. The box had tricked me into thinking this was some crappy mass market title, yet it was anything but that. As a casual game that can be enjoyed with either my gamer friends or my family, Drop It is excellent.
Everyone who has played it has wanted to play at least one more game (always the mark of a good game). The rules are simple to pick up and the game play is both highly entertaining and has excellent replay value (thanks to the variant rules in the box). My only qualm with the game was the lack of forethought to gamers with colorblindness. Other than that, Drop It is excellent and should be on the radar of any fans of abstract strategy games.
Final Score: 4 Stars – A clever and fun abstract stagey game that should appeal to just about everyone, even those that hate dexterity games.
• The drop chute can be tough to slide into the stand
• Accessibility issues for those with colorblindness