Playtime: 20 Minutes
Dungeon crawling games usually don’t come with the family-friendly tag. The games are usually full of stats, fancy actions to keep track of, and other complex mechanics that aren’t beginner or kid-friendly. Every now and again a light dungeon crawler comes out, but those often lack any depth. Dungeon Drop is the latest game to attempt to make an accessible dungeon crawler game. Its approach is a bit different, giving the game some dexterity and set collection mechanisms,
Almost all of the complexities of dungeon crawling are absent in Dungeon Drop. During set-up, players are each dealt a random race and class. These each offer the player a unique ability. They will also be given a quest that is unknown to their opponents. The game’s box is then used to drop a bunch of cube of various colors and sizes onto the table. The way the cubes lie makes up the dungeon. Each color represents a different type of loot or monster. Grey cubes are used to form rooms in the dungeon. The dropping mechanic is what sets Dungeon Drop apart from other games. Aside from the races, classes, and looting, this doesn’t feel much like a dungeon crawling game.
Every turn, the player will take a few cubes from the box and drop them into the dungeon. Then the turn player can use a class or race ability. After that, players will find three gray cubes to form a triangular-shaped room. Once the room they want to loot is identified, everything inside the room is theirs to take. The loot will contribute to their points when the game concludes. If there are any monsters in the room, the monster will deal a set amount of damage to the player’s health. A player can’t take loot from a room if it would deplete their health to zero.
Everyone gets a turn, then a round ends. Dungeon Drop lasts three rounds, then the game ends, and players will calculate their scores. All of the loot and even a few monsters come with a score value. The players will also reveal their quest cards, which gives players points based on specific loot requirements. Whoever has the most points in the end wins.
The game takes a second or two to grasp, especially because there are so many cubes and colors. There are 12 different colors, and most cubes come with a small and large variant. It can be overwhelming trying to keep up with all of the point values, but there are reference cards to keep each player in the know. After a game or two, Dungeon Drop is a delight to play. It feels unique, giving players a micro dungeon crawling experience. The theme isn’t heavily relied on for player enjoyment either. Just about anyone can enjoy Dungeon Drop if they are into the mechanics.
The dropping of cubes every turn makes Dungeon Drop appealing for younger players. It’s an engaging game with very little downtime. Identifying rooms can be challenging for younger players though. Still, it’s a good game for helping younger people develop various mental skills. The hardcore crowd might have some issues with Dungeon Drop due to how much luck is in it. The most skill you will find in this game is the proper use of skills. A few characters and classes have dexterity based skills that involved flicking cubes at other cubes. This is a fun addition to the game, though it would be nice to see more dexterity mechanisms in place for Dungeon Drop.
The cubes themselves don’t necessarily add to the dungeon theme. The game relies on the player’s imagination, which certainly isn’t a bad thing. The simplicity of the game keeps the price tag low. The dungeons are less likely to overload players with information with this presentation as well. The art for the classes and races on the character cards are super cute. The chibi art will be appealing to children and fans of cute stuff.
Dungeon Drop is a fun and whimsical dungeon crawler that doesn’t feel like one. It’s accessible, enjoyable, and quick to play. It’s an excellent appetizer or filler for a family gaming night.
Dungeon Drop is a fun and whimsical dungeon crawler that doesn't feel like one. It's accessible, enjoyable, and quick to play. It's an excellent appetizer or filler for a family gaming night.