Lovers of chubby geometric animals (and we know there are quite a lot of you out there) have a quirky little journey to take in new arcade game Drop Not. Player reflexes will determine the fate of cubic, cherubic creatures who must traverse dangerous brick paths high in the clouds and avoid falling to their adorable little deaths.
Gameplay is very simple: a little cube, appearing like an animal of your choosing, rolls automatically along a path and you must tap to change its direction to prevent falling off the edge of that path. Blocks will drop out from underneath you, bonus multipliers will appear along the way, and all the while your little animal is just clunking along trying not to plummet off the side. Paths zig and zag and change right in front of you, testing your reflexes (as well as the responsiveness of the game). This tap-to-turn game will appeal to casual players, plus the optional portrait orientation is great for commuters.
The look of Drop Not is quite charming. The collectible characters are endearing and the dynamic isometric environment is engaging and, at times, exciting. New characters can be unlocked by watching videos or using keys, but the value in these characters seems to be aesthetic only. It would be great to see different bonuses, skills, speeds, particle trails, or other thematized modifications when changing a character.
Some of the pacing of the game was difficult for me to enjoy because the roll of each little cube creature is achingly slow at times. While its slow speed makes sense early on in the game as you are learning the timing to change directions, over time it becomes tedious. Additionally, when you die, you’ll have to go back and to slog through portions of the levels which you’ve already done and that can get pretty frustrating for anyone who might be impatient.
Gratefully, there are milestones to pass through — but be warned that passing them doesn’t actually unlock them. To restart at a milestone after your inevitable death, you’ll need to use increasing numbers of keys which you can earn through game progress, by watching videos, or by purchasing them. Something about the pacing— the combination of very slow advancing interspersed with quick taps— made the game difficult for me to get hooked on. I wanted to want to keep playing, but I knew I didn’t want to wait through that slow roll. Unlike other games with lots of cheap deaths, I didn’t feel the push to keep at it and overcome my previous high score.
Additionally the ratio of skill-based unlocks versus video-watching unlocks is unfortunately skewed toward the latter. I earned lots of keys and new characters by watching videos, but very few by actually playing the game. While it’s nice to get freebies, that doesn’t actually make the game more fun to play. And if the game isn’t pulling me back in, then no amount of advertising is going to make a difference to me (or the bottom line).
Ultimately, Drop Not is a low-impact, lightweight little reflex game with some cute graphics. Twitchy tapping and changing environments will keep you on your toes and a decent milestone system will keep you moving forward if you’re willing to watch some videos. While there might not be enough substance for anyone looking to expand their mind, folks who like a cute, casual, tappy game will likely enjoy this free download.