DropMix Review: Drop the cards to drop the bass

Harmonix is a brand that’s well-known for its big music games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Though those games were big successes in their own right, music-based games in general seemed to have somewhat fizzled out. Harmonix saw this as an opportunity to bring something fresh and new to the table (literally), and to achieve this, have enlisted the help of Hasbro. With card and board games so popular nowadays, collaborating with Hasbro was a more than obvious choice.

The love child that these two conceived together is called DropMix, and it will be one the best games you will ever play. There is literally nothing out there like it, and the easiest way to explain it, is if you took Yu-Gi-Oh and combined it with DJ Hero. It’s a music-based card game that is not only great for parties, but can also play solo and satisfy your inner DJ dreams.

The Outer

I’m a stickler when it comes to packaging, as I believe that a company should put as much effort on how they store their product just as much as the product itself. At the very least, it should be something visually pleasing. With that said, DropMix comes in some of the most gorgeous packaging ever. It’s a beautiful spectrum of color that has the artwork from all of the individual music cards you’ll get in the game (I’ll get into that soon).

What’s in the box?

Inside you’ll find a rectangular Bluetooth-enabled game board with five spaces for card play, as well as 60 Bluetooth Smart NFC music cards. The board also has a special slot at the end to place your phone or tablet, which I think is pretty nifty. The only other thing you’ll need to do is download the DropMix app (free) on your iOS or Android device, connect to the board, and you’re ready to go.

The Cards

The cards are really the stars of the game, as they’re the music you draw from to do battle or compose your mix masterpieces. There are four different music genre card decks with 15 cards in each: Hip Hop, Pop, EDM and Rock. Each card has not only a unique artist, but unique artwork influenced by that song or artist too. Also listed on the card are the specific color, instrument type from that particular song and card level (seen above).

There are a few Wild cards mixed in that can be played on any color and contain many different parts to a song. If you ever start feeling like you’ve gone through the same songs too many times (which I doubt will happen), there will be Discovery packs available for purchase that contain either 5 or 20 new songs. You’ll have enough music to keep you busy for quite some time.

Gameplay

Currently there’s three different modes to choose from, Clash, Party and Freestyle. Clash is either a 1v1 or 2v2 game where you must be the first to reach 21 points. To accomplish this, players take turns placing cards on the board. The catch is that you can’t place a lower-level card on top of a higher-level card, so there is a bit of strategy that comes into play. Not to mention that the board has an “Equalizer” button that you can use in place of your turn.

What this does, is spins a wheel on screen denoting the three different card levels and an “X.” Depending on where it lands, you get to remove all of your opponents cards that are of that level. If it lands on the X, you get to remove all of their cards.One of the many cool features is that the board will let you know which cards have to be removed.

Party mode is from 1 – 5 players, and everyone is working together to earn a high score. The app will throw out random requests like “play a red card or play a level 2 card,” something to that nature, and someone must play a card as fast as they can. The faster you fulfill the request, the higher the score you get. This will run for 5 rounds, and if your score is high enough, you might get an Encore set to play.

The final mode is called Freestyle, and it literally is what you think. There’s no points or opponents, just you, the cards and the music. You can play solo or with other people, as all you’re doing is creating your own individual mix with the cards. If you happen to create something you really like (this is across all modes), there’s a little button on the top right of the screen that you can hits. This will not only save your mix, but also let you know the order of the mix upon playback.

The Technology

I have to give the biggest kudos to the Harmonix team on this one, as I feel they really made a game-changer. When you place cards on the board and on top of other cards, it automatically detects the new song and adjusts the BPM, tone and everything in order to incorporate the new sound. If there was ever a crash course in the basic concepts of DJ’ing, you can certainly learn it here.

Final Thoughts

With so many party games available out there now, it would seem that DropMix is entering as an underdog. It’s quite the contrary, as this game is probably some of the most fun I’ve had playing not only in a”party” setting, but solo as well. As great as games like Cards Against Humanity and others like it are, I think DropMix tops them for sure just in terms of fun factor.  The only downside I’d say, is to make sure that you have someone with an external speaker around every time you play. The sound coming out of a tablet or phone just isn’t good enough to do the music you’re creating justice.

Grade: 4 1/2 Atoms

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Narvin Seegoolam
Narvin Seegoolam 678 posts

Narvin's middle name is FPS....ok maybe not, but he's like BOOM!! HEADSHOT!! I'm hungry...