If you are in need of an adventure where you can use your hands, you might want to check out Dungeon Drop, a lightweight dungeon crawler that involves spatial elements and is different each time you play. Dungeon Drop is the first of its kind, published by Phase Shift Games who recently came out with the successor of Dungeon Drop, Drop Drive. But if you want to check out Dungeon Drop before you take a look at the sequel, keep reading.
What’s in the box?
- 4 Meeples
- 4 Player Aids
- 1 Score Tracker
- 4 Solo Tokens
- 4 Teamwork Tokens
- 87 Cubes
- 6 Custom Dice
- 15 Race Cards
- 10 Class Cards
- 10 Quest Cards
How’s it Play?
Players take on the role of hero, exploring and looting the rooms of an ever-changing dungeon. The hero who returns with the most treasure will win the Queen’s favor and be declared the winner. Each player starts the game with a random Race and Class card. These 2 cards form your character. Turn markers are handed out according to each hero’s initiative, the number on the top left corner of each race card. Players will take turns in initiative order starting with the lowest number. Players also start with a random Quest card, which they can look out without showing any other player. This Quest determines how your collected goods are scored.
To begin, all smaller cubes are separated from the larger ones. The first player drops smaller cubes plus the red dragon cube from 6-12 inches above the table onto the center of the play area. Cubes will spread out across the table and shouldn’t be touching each other at this point. The larger cubes and dice go back into the game box and will come out throughout the game as the dungeon gets explored.
The game is played over 3 rounds during which each hero will take one turn per round following some steps.
Explore: depending on the number of players playing in the game, you will draw a certain number of cubes from the box without looking at them. These are dropped into the dungeon.
Act: Players will have a time to activate either their Race or Class ability listed on their cards. Some of these abilities might involve flicking one or more cubes in the dungeon. You will do this by using a fingertip to hit or tap a cube in a desired direction.
Loot: You will form a room to loot by selecting 3 gray pillar cubes, and then form a pretend wall from cube to cube to form a room. Collect all the cubes within or touching those pretend walls, this is your loot. You cannot, however, form a room that would cause you to collect a pillar inside of it, nor can you form a room where you would lose your last health point.
End of Turn: Flip over your turn order marker to indicate you performed your turn.
The next player then does the same steps, adding new loot, making a new room, and taking those cubes inside the room for themselves.
End of Round: Players add up the total number of treasure cubes in their stash, excluding monsters, to determine their weight. The turn order is reassigned by this weight from lightest to heaviest. A new round is then performed and continues until 3 rounds have been completed.
After 3 rounds, it’s time to count up your loot. Players reveal their quest cards. For each key paired with a chest, you roll the chest to see how much it’s worth. You then count up your total score according to the scoring rules of each cube. Whoever has the most points wins the game.
Dungeon Drop is a very nice, short game that I really enjoy playing with my kids. The game has a more hands on feel that a lot of other games don’t have, so it’s nice to play something where the way you drop cubes onto the table impacts the game.
The rules are simple enough that making a room is easy to do, and trying to find the best treasure with all the possible options is fun to wade through. Also, the best possible treasure in each room can be different for each player, so players aren’t necessarily competing for the same cubes. You would normally think the more cubes you can loot, the better you will do. But in this game, you only have 3 rounds, and getting the treasures that score you the most points will most likely score you more points than simply the room with the most cubes.
The synergy between some cubes is also fun to figure out. For example, you need a key to open a treasure chest and the treasure can be high or low depending on the result of the roll, so getting key cubes is a toss up.
I know that Phase Shift Games has an expansion for this game that I would think I would enjoy. As it stands now, I’d like a few more different cubes or interaction between the cubes to gain points for more advanced gameplay. I haven’t played the expansion yet, but I hope it might fulfill my need to add something to make the game a little more complex and decisions a little harder.
Overall, this game will find time on my table, and my kids will be able to continually drop those cubes, fight monsters, and loot some treasure.
You can grab Dungeon Drop at your FLGS
Images Courtesy of Phase Shift Games
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