SNAP Review – Dungeon Drop

Dungeon Drop

Dive into Dungeon Drop to gather the best loot.

Wait! Do I hear the walls moving?

Game

Dungeon Drop is an innovative, abstract dungeon crawl created by Scott R. Smith, published by Gamewright and Phase Shift Games.

1-4 players take turns dropping cubes that represent treasure, monsters, and rooms – then loot the dungeon!

Anitra and Asher tell you about it in just 6 minutes.

Art

We’ll talk about the cubes, the cards, and the game box.

Cubes – come in three different sizes, making it easy to separate the cubes to be dropped at set up (small) from the rest. The variety of colors is appealing. Asher’s favorite are the sparkly blue “magic shields” – or the biggest cube: the dragon! Anitra likes the treasure chest, which is a die you roll for 1-6 points – but only if you collect a key cube first to “unlock” it.

An assortment of wooden and plastic cubes from Dungeon Drop
Cube types, from left: gems, chest/keys, gold, magic shield, health potion, dragon, troll, orc.
Front: pillar cubes.

Cards – the card illustrations are full of characters with strong outlines and big personalities. Even the non-character pictures seem to be telling a story of who is entering this dungeon and why.

Pairs of cards:
High Elf / Ranger; Draglinkin / Cleric; Gnome / Bard
Possible race and class combinations.

The game box itself is a cube shape, which sets it apart on the shelf. It also serves double duty as sort of cup to pull cubes from during game.

Mechanics

To begin, each player randomly chooses a race, a class, and a quest card. Race & class provide special abilities. Quest determines end-of-game scoring and should be kept secret.

As we previously mentioned, drop all the “small” cubes (and the biggest cube, the dragon) to create the dungeon.

On each player’s turn, they first draw a number of medium cubes from the box and drop them in the dungeon. After deciding whether to use a race or class ability, they then place their meeple into a “room” in the dungeon.

How do you figure out a “room”? Choose any three of the gray pillar cubes. The triangle they form is a room – as long as it doesn’t contain any other pillars!

Three gray cubes with red lines overlaid to show a triangle in Dungeon Drop.
These three pillars form a room.

Once you’ve decided on a room, take every monster cube and treasure cube contained there – or touching the boundary.

Monsters lower your health, and you can’t intentionally choose a room that would drop your health to zero. That “dragon” cube is worth 8 points, but you can’t possibly pick it up unless you have the magic shield.

Grab as much loot as you can with clever room arrangements!

A scattering of cubes on a black background. Three triangles are overlaid on the image, in red, yellow, and blue.
The room outlined in red would get you a small gold, a blue gem, and a key (the orange cube). The blue outline yields a the blue gem, a white gem, a small gold, and an orc (-1 health). Don’t choose the room outlined in yellow! You’ll only get orcs that sap your health, no treasure to gain you points.

Expectations

We knew right away that Dungeon Drop would be a unique game. It has a novel approach to randomizing your setup: drop the cubes and see what happens.

Once we understood the rules, we expected that games would go very quickly. It’s only 3 rounds, and you don’t need to be terribly precise with exactly how you set up your rooms. This is a game of estimations and “that looks good enough”.

We were curious about the dungeon crawl motif. It works in this game, but is tough to imagine sometimes when everything is a cube.

Dungeon Drop quest cards: Vanguard's Vermin - small monsters score 1 each. If you only collected small monsters, score +4.
Fool's Folly - chests score +3 each.
Collector's Curiosity - for each gem color of which you have exactly 1 cube, score 6.
Quest cards determine how your gems (and other treasure) score at the end of the game.

Surprises

First of all, having so many cubes out all at once can feel overwhelming.

Secondly, it turns out that the cubes are really bouncy! Even with a playmat, they were going all over our table and onto the floor. We think it’s best to play in a container with shallow walls if possible (large tray, clean pizza box, etc.)

Bouncy!

The bounciness also led to a debate: should you drop all your cubes at once, or one at a time? In the end, it shouldn’t matter as long as you’re not moving your hand all around the play area.

A pleasant surprise was how easy it is to play Dungeon Drop with minimal reading skills, especially if you remove the special powers from the game. Race & class make the game more interesting and fun, but they are not strictly necessary.

“Heroic Teamwork” mode (highly recommended in the rules) gives players a chance to interact more – place your meeple to try to predict where the current player will form their room. Predict correctly to get a bonus point, but your predictions may also affect how your fellow players make their choices! (Maybe I can sway you to stay away from a room I want to take on my turn…)

Cubes scattered across a dark surface. Blue and red meeple side by side, yellow meeple in the distance. Card in foreground labeled Teamwork with a red marker on the first spot and a blue marker on the third spot.
Heroic Teamwork: blue and red are getting bonus points.

There’s a solo mode. Drop a few extra cubes (staircase and “relics”) with your setup. Then you gradually move from room to room (keeping 2 pillars the same, changing a 3rd). Try to get enough loot and avoid monsters, so that you can leave the dungeon with a “full bag” when you reach the room containing the staircase cube. It’s not our favorite solo game, but it carries on the feel of the multi-player game well.

Dungeon Drop is innovative, quick to play, and great for families. We rate it 3.5 cubes out of 5.

Find it at your local game store, direct from Gamewright, or on Amazon.

Dungeon Drop

The Family Gamers received a copy of Dungeon Drop from Gamewright for this review.

SNAP review music is Avalanche, provided courtesy of You Bred Raptors?

This post contains affiliate links, which do not change your price, but help support The Family Gamers.

Dungeon Drop
  • Cubes
3.5

Summary

Number of Players: 1-4

Age Range: 8+ (younger with help)

Playtime: 20 minutes

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