Coming to us from AEG and Débâcle Jeux is Number Drop, a retro video game inspired dice game of rolling and writing to create a sort of analog Tetris as you do your best to rack up the most points before filling your grid.
Components And Appearance
Number Drop is a pretty basic game, components wise. There’s the grid paper, one set of dice to be shared amongst the players in turn, and then a block board to denote what shapes might be dropped onto the grid to waste your opponents’ spaces. And…that is it.
As far as these components go, Number Drop is well constructed. The dice and tiles are large and easy to read, the grid paper is sturdy and what’s pre-written on it is, likewise, easy to read, and all in all things function well.
Aesthetically, Number Drop is fairly minimalistic, using mostly white and grey, but what colors it does utilize come straight out of vaporwave. Bold blues, pinks, and violets are the only colors you’ll find here beyond the aforementioned white and grey, and they give a definite pop to overall look of Number Drop.
As one might imagine from the limited number of components, setup for Number Drop is fairly simple and straightforward. Everyone gets a piece of grid paper, and then five randomly selected block tiles representing various shapes are placed in the Block Board. The first player writes a One anywhere on the bottom row of their grid, the second a Two, the third a Three, and so on and so forth depending on how many players you have.
The first player then rolls all five six sided dice. Four of the five are numbered, with one side having a star instead of a number. The remaining die has five shapes that will be familiar to anybody who’s played Tetris before, and another star.
If any of the dice landed on a star, and a player has circled a Drop Letter on their score card, then anyone who hasn’t circled the highest remaining letter on their card will have to destroy some spaces with the shape depicted on the corresponding block tile. For example, if Space A has a five square T-shape, and you’ve circled A on your card but your opponent has circled B, they will have to eliminate a T-shape worth of five squares from their grid.
However, that star also works as a wild, allowing you to slot in whatever number you want or decide what shape to arrange those numbers in. The goal is to arrange numbers in ways so that identical or consecutive numbers are lined up next to each other on the grid, allowing you to rack up more points. As three rows of the grid are above the ‘Game Over’ line however, and thus lose you points, Number Drop requires you to put strategy and care into your actions. Especially since crossing the ‘Game Over’ line results in, well, a game over.
From there things are quite straightforward. Highest points win. There’s a number of ways to rack up combos and increase your points, as this is a strategy game of numbers, but that’s the gist of Number Drop.
There’s also a solo mode, if you want to set personal high scores and see how far and how much you can get, but it’s more streamlined and laid out pretty clearly in the rule pamphlet, so we’ll leave that be. Still, it’s nice to have the option!
All in all, Number Drop is a straightforward and fun experience, albeit a very specific one. If you’re not super into games that are just dice, or that largely rely just on tallying up point totals, you’re not going to find any extra twists here. It’s designed to be an analog version of Tetris, and that is exactly what it is. And it’s quite good at being that!
I don’t know that Number Drop is going to go into my consistent rotation, but it’s definite a fun game in its own genre, and if you’re someone who prefers dice to cards, and the simplicity of numbers to more abstract strategy, this will be right up your alley!
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You can get Number Drop from your FLGS for $20
Images courtesy of AEG and Débâcle Jeux
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