SNAP Review – Dungeon Drop
Dive into Dungeon Drop to gather the best loot.
Wait! Do I hear the walls moving?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.)
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…)
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.
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.
Number of Players: 1-4
Age Range: 8+ (younger with help)
Playtime: 20 minutes