Drop It is a colourful, dexterity based, board game from publisher Kosmos. Designed by Bernhard Lach and Uwe Rapp the game was originally released back in 2018. For around 20 minutes 2 – 4 players will drop shapes in the hope of scoring points, which certainly doesn’t happen with every drop. However, will players be cursing gravity or the game? Let’s find out!
In Drop It there are four shapes: circles, triangles, squares and diamonds. There are also four colours: red, blue, green and yellow. Each colour set has an identical number of shapes, for example each has 3 circles. Setup is slightly different depending on the player count, though effectively each sees the player gain at least one colour set of shapes. In a two player game each player simply takes two colours – with the “leftover” yellow set in a three player game split evenly amongst the players. So, in all games all shapes are in play.
Each turn players will choose any of their shapes left in front of them to drop into the vertical board. Players are free to drop the shape wherever they please. The shape may end up somewhere completely different to where they aimed, which is completely fine. However, depending on where the shape ends determines if points are scored, and how many.
There are 8 height based zones on the Drop It board, with a few bonus point scoring circles. A shape will score points equal to the highest zone it is in, plus a number of bonus points from covered bonus circles, if and only if it is a valid drop. To be valid the shape must not be touching something of the same colour or an identical shape. The walls and floor of the board also have colours that cannot touch them, via edge pieces.
As play goes on the shapes in the vertical board build up, with the amount scored for valid drops naturally increasing with the height. This allows a few bad moves at the offset of the game to matter much less than if points were consistently scored. The game continues with each player taking a turn until all shapes have been played. At this point the player with the most points wins!
There are a few small variants players can play with, so that not every game feels the same. Shaking things up a little are shape focused wall and floor pieces, which can replace the colour focused pieces in the vertical board. Players can also mix and match these, so that on one side players must worry about a colour and the other side what shape is touching it. While it isn’t a monumental change it does make players stop and think between turns when the switch up has occurred. To make the game that bit easier these pieces could be left in the box, though even with them Drop It is a light game.
The best variant, Jokers, comes with smiley face tokens. When playing with this variant players are able to discard one of their tokens to score an otherwise illegally dropped shape. Whilst aimed at making the game easier, it opens up an angle of opportunity for experienced players too. All of a sudden you can drop the same shape onto another to cover one of the bonus scoring zones and score a huge amount of points by just turning in a token. These tokens are worth points at the end of the game, so the choice of when to use them is an interesting one.
Your opponent can drop shapes to force you into using different shapes. Yet, the biggest reason behind your drops not scoring is often yourself. As each player has the entirety of a colour set. Therefore, each time you drop a shape the colour of it is making it a no go zone, unless it gets covered, for your next turn. This makes the game have a very family friendly vibe as there is little opportunity to be cutthroat. In the 3 player game there is a little more player interaction present, due to the yellow colour set being split. It is somewhat of a shame that there isn’t a cutthroat mode where the colours are mixed between players.
The colours used are all bright and when the vertical board is full of them it gives Drop It an eye catching table presence. The shapes are all made from wood, so will last the endless dropping far better than cardboard tokens would. That being said, the cardboard tokens in the game are unusually thick. The vertical board is a little stiff to open up, to let the tiles all fall out – though this is by far preferable over it being easily opened when nudged. The only aspect that could have easily been improved is the scoreboard. It’s a small tracker which players will often go round 2 – 3 times. While +25 and +50 tokens are provided, simply having a tracker go higher than 25 points would have made it easier.
Dropping shapes to not touch the same shape or colour sounds simple, but things are never as simple as they seem! At least that is my excuse for the amount of times I have cursed a square for landing on another square. There isn’t a huge amount of change from one game to the next, though the variants can make players think about their moves, especially the Jokers variant. The simplicity of Drop It allows the fun to flow with gamers of all ages and experience levels. For those times you want a game that doesn’t challenge players but will let them enjoy themselves, Drop It is a great game to have on your gaming shelf!
(Editor’s Note: Drop It was provided to us by Kosmos for the review. Check out the Kosmos website here for more information, including a print and play micro expansion.)