DropMix (Hasbro) Board Game Review

7

Collect your favorite types of music and play DJ with your friends in DropMix. DropMix uses RFID technology to play music while cards are placed on a board, creating a pattern-matching game with some technological panache. With multiple game modes and a variety of collectible musical genres, DropMix is a fun, distracting party game. At the same time, a reliance on smartphone and tablet technology -- and having to buy booster packs to expand the game -- holds it back. 

Game Details

Players: 1 to 4

Game Time: 30 Minutes

Age: 16+

Genre: Pattern Matching

How is DropMix Played?

DropMix is very simple. There's a board and there are cards. The cards each belong to a specific type of music, from hiphop to EDM. Each card has a color, level, and some additional features. Throughout the game, players will need to play the right color and level, while also strategically using the special features on the cards. Cards cannot be played on lower level cards, and there are only three levels.

In the party mode, players must play requested cards as quickly as possible. In a team mode, players work to place cards based on color and level, in competing teams. As cards are played, they change the mix. Lyric cards will add lyrics, rhythm cards will add drums, and so forth. Some bonus cards can radically change the sound of the song and some cards will also add additional points or give the player more cards to use. In challenge mode, players can also hit a button to change the mix, to force the other players to take their cards back and lose points accordingly.

And, of course, there's also the freestyle mode, in which you can simply explore the different cards and musical options available. 

How Does DropMix Look?

Visually, DropMix looks like it should be on an infomercial: "Tired of old, non-electronic board games? [fumbles slowly with gray meeples] It's time for Dropmix! [kids cheer] It's not a game, it's a musical gaming system!"

Not only does it have a fairly slick design, but it functions primarily as a dock for a smartphone. The game board only works in conjunction with an app. And the app is easy to use and clear, even on smaller screens, and the musical cards all use album images ripped straight from the music itself. 

What's in the Box?
1 rulebook * 1 game board * 60 DropMix cards

How Does DropMix Feel?

During the cooperative timed mode, DropMix can feel frustrating. It's easy for one or two players to dominate because it's mostly a game of reflexes. DropMix isn't really a game about winning, so that really isn't a problem. Unfortunately,  it's also easy for some to be unable to participate. Drawing late stage cards at the very beginning, for instance, could lead to not playing some cards at all for some time.

We preferred the competitive untimed mode, as it gave more time to consider strategy, participate, and focus on what was going on: ridiculous music. At its core, DropMix is less about making something that sounds harmonious, and more about making something that clashes together in delightfully unexpected ways. 

The first few rounds of DropMix is undoubtedly fun, but it is definitely a high energy party game without a lot of depth. Perhaps the largest problem with Dropmix -- apart from being completely app-based -- is that it requires you to buy expansions in the form of booster packs. You can't always guarantee what you get, and the expense is more than is probably worth it for a game that's primarily gimmick.

What's the Verdict?
  • PRO: DropMix uses some interesting technology to create a unique and fun party experience.
  • PRO: You can play multiple game modes and switch up your decks to increase replayability.
  • CON: DropMix offers booster packs as a major form of expansion, which can get expensive.
  • CON: You need to have a smartphone or tablet to play with the set.