Drop Squad: The Escape! Review

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Come On Down! Drop Squad Is Plinko With A Fun Twist.

Drop Squad: The Escape!

Drop Squad: The Escape! At A Glance

Publisher: Bush League Games
Designer: TJ Fechser
Artist: –

Note: Product provided by publisher. 

# of Players: 2 – 4 Players
Play Time: 15 – 30 minutes
Ages: 5+

Genre: Family Strategy Card Game

Release Date: 2019

PROS
  • Fun, Innovative, Strategic Gameplay
  • Easy to Learn / Play / Teach
  • Quick Game Setup
  • Fast Play Times
  • High Replay Value
  • Perfect for Family Game Night/Parties
  • Premium Quality Board/Components
  • Fantastic, Family-Friendly Artwork/Theme
CONS
  • Pricey
  • Plastic Pegs may break with rough play
  • Ball occasionally gets stuck
  • Cards wear easily
BOTTOM LINE
  • Tired of boring ‘classic’ board games? Drop Squad is like Plinko with a refreshing modern day twist. Combining a card game, marble game, board game, and tabletop game with strategic elements and surprisingly good depth, it’s a fantastic game for family game night worth adding to your collection.

Come on down – you’re the next contestant on the Drop Squad! Your mission – should you choose to accept – is to help the Drop Squad escape the lab they’re trapped in. Designed for ages 5 and up for 2-4 players, Drop Squad: The Escape! from Bush League Games is an innovative family strategy card game that plays like Plinko from The Price Is Right with a fun twist. Players play their cards to strategically setup ramps that guide their marbles into their own goal. The catch? Your opponents can block your path and disrupt your strategy when you least expect it. Lead as many marbles through the maze of pegs and ramps into your own goal to score points. The player scoring the most points at the end of the game wins!

Interestingly, TJ Fechser, the game’s designer, drew inspiration for the game while driving down the highway, imagining the road as the board of a tabletop game and other slower moving cars as obstacles. The idea of being trapped on the highway naturally led to the idea of mice escaping a lab, hounded by evil scientists with an emphasis on the thrilling escape sequence full of exhilarating speed, blind turns, and spins.

Package Contents: What's In The Box?

  • 1 Game Board
  • 30 Marble Balls (6 of each Character)
  • 50 Playing Cards
  • 32 Ramp Pieces (15 Red / 10 Yellow / 7 Blue)
  • 5 Goals (1 per Character)
  • 20 Score Pegs
  • 2 Game Board Kick Stands
  • 1 Rule Book
  • 1 Sticker Sheet

Gameplay Mechanics / Depth of Gameplay

Imagine a game combining a card game, marble game, board game, yard game, and tabletop game.  In fact, Drop Squad combines all of these into one intriguing, fast-paced game experience for 2 to 4 players. It’s a game of strategy and luck. Fortunately, there’s minimal downtime, as the pacing is quite brisk from player to player. In a nutshell, it’s like Plinko with a twist.

It’s very easy to learn, play, and teach with a clear and concise instruction ‘Rule Book’. Don’t worry – you won’t be sifting through pages and pages of documentation here – everything is cleanly presented in simple to understand English over 2 pages with an easy to read large font. The only glaring omission appears to be a reference to ‘Overtime’ – with no rules specified. But it’s not a deal breaker by any means.

Imagine a game combining a card game, marble game, board game, yard game, and tabletop game.  In fact, Drop Squad combines all of these into one intriguing, fast-paced game experience for 2 to 4 players. It’s like Plinko with a twist.

After a quick setup of the game board, you choose one of five cute characters: Cheeks, Stretch, Brutus, Trixie, or Roo. Then gather your corresponding color marble balls and goal and place the goal anywhere at the bottom of the game board.

Six different card types determine what ramp piece you place on the game board or what action you’ll take. For example, a ‘One’ card lets you play a red ramp piece; a ‘Two’ card lets you play a yellow ramp piece; a ‘Three’ card lets you play a blue ramp piece. Don’t worry – it’s all conveniently color-coded so there’s no need to memorize anything.  As you step up from a ‘One’ to a ‘Two’ to a ‘Three’ card, the ramp lengths increase.

A ‘Wild’ card lets you choose to play either a ‘One’, ‘Two’, ‘Three’ ramp piece or make a Pivot move.

An ‘Extra Ball’ card lets you draw another card and get an additional ball, which both must be played on the same turn.

Lastly, the ‘Pivot’ card is a real game-changer, as it allows a player to rotate ANY piece on the game board – including your opponent’s ramp pieces – while maintaining one fixed position and not violating any of the game rules.

The Wild and Pivot Cards add much needed depth to the gameplay and can significantly impact your opponent’s strategy with blocks and pivots. For each situation, you’ll have to carefully evaluate what is your best possible move to potentially turn the odds in your favor.

The Wild and Pivot Cards add much needed depth to the gameplay and can significantly impact your opponent’s strategy with blocks and pivots.

Strategy comes into play when choosing which of these cards to play, deciding where to place your ramp, choosing a Wild Card action, or deciding which ramp to pivot. You’ll be making a lot of decisions throughout the game. Sometimes you simply want to help guide the ball into your goal with a ramp piece. But in other situations, you may instead choose to block a ball from going into your opponent’s goal. These are just a handful of decisions you’ll face during the game.

In a 2-player match, each player draws 6 cards with 6 rounds of gameplay. Each turn consists of a Card Play Round and a Drop Round. Generally, the game has players playing a card from their hand, strategically placing a ramp piece on the game board or pivoting a piece, assessing the game board, and dropping their marble in a Plinko-like game board to land the ball into their own goal. You’ll need to account for the various ramps and pegs on the board.  When positioning your ramp on the game board, there are certain game rules that you must follow so as to not break the game. It’s always satisfying to hear the CLINK of the marbles as they land in your goal.  Occasionally, the ball may get stuck on the game board. If this occurs, simple redrop your ball. After each turn, players alternate who starts.

It’s always satisfying to hear the CLINK of the marbles as they land in your goal.

The game also supports multiplayer up to 4 players for family fun. The general rules of the game remain intact for multiplayer with a few notable changes. For a 3-player match, each player draws 4 cards with 4 rounds of play. And in a 4-player match, players draw 3 cards with 3 rounds. It’s done in an effort to keep the game fast-paced and balanced. Four player match-ups are especially fun because you have more goals, more ramps, and less dead balls, making everything a whole lot more intense and exciting. Transitioning from a 2-player game to a 3- or 4-player match, the game feels well-balanced, so it actually scales quite well.

Four player match-ups are especially fun because you have more goals, more ramps, and less dead balls, making everything a whole lot more intense and exciting.

With game times lasting roughly 15 to 30 minutes, the simplistic gameplay is perfect for family game night or parties. It’s very easy to learn and dive into. Once you learn the basics, gameplay flows quickly and smoothly and it’s really great fun for all ages. The decisions you make to control the path of the balls through the maze of pegs and ramps combined with the randomness of Plinko make for a genuinely fun experience that the whole family can enjoy. The ramps, Wild Cards, and the ability to ‘Pivot’ ramp pieces really provide a satisfying twist and that depth that keeps you coming back for more. Even younger players who don’t quite yet get the strategy part of the game can still enjoy it for its educational value. On the surface, it may just seem like Plinko with a twist – but kids are actually learning physics. It all seems very simple, but it’s incredibly well-designed – translating into an entertaining experience full of laughter, suspense, and excitement.

The simplistic gameplay is perfect for family game night or parties. The ramps, Wild Cards, and the ability to ‘Pivot’ ramp pieces really provide a satisfying twist and that depth that keeps you coming back for more. It all seems very simple, but it’s incredibly well-designed – translating into an entertaining experience full of laughter, suspense, and excitement.

Replay Value

Thanks to its simple yet addictive and strategic gameplay, Drop Squad delivers high replay value. In fact, no two games are alike. With near limitless ramp combinations, various strategies, Wild Cards, Pivots, and the randomness of Plinko, it all adds to the overall fun and replayability of the game. Of all the games in your collection, this is the one your family will break out more often than not. It’s really that fun!

Thanks to its simple yet addictive and strategic gameplay, Drop Squad delivers high replay value. In fact, no two games are alike. With near limitless ramp combinations, various strategies, Wild Cards, Pivots, and the general randomness of Plinko, it all adds to the overall fun and replayability of the game. Of all the games in your collection, this is the one your family will break out more often than not. It’s really that fun!

Component Quality

Overall, the component quality screams quality. Everything from the game board to the marbles, goals, and ramp pieces feels solid and durable. The game board artwork looks fantastic with a bright palette of colors that will appeal to younger audiences and families. This extends to the playing cards as well, which feature nicely designed, colorful characters with artwork that pops. The cards feel like regular playing cards with a laminate surface for protection. However, it’s worth noting that even with regular play, the cards wear pretty easily. Our only concern is that the game board pegs could break with rough play. However, they do seem quite durable. Steel pegs would be a more permanent solution but would likely raise the overall cost of the game. For most families, the plastic pegs should suffice.

Theme

The theme is perfect for the game with a family-friendly vibe. The characters look very Disney-esque, making them appropriate for children. From the box art, Rule Book, and stickers to the game board, play cards, and ramps, the theme is consistent – bright, colorful, and family-friendly. For the target audience (children 5+ and families) – overall, the theme is consistent, fun, and suitable.

The theme is perfect for the game with a family-friendly vibe. The characters look very Disney-esque, making them appropriate for children. Overall, the theme is consistent, fun, and suitable.

Final Verdict

Tired of classic board games? If you prefer something refreshing and fun for family games nights and parties, Drop Squad is certainly worth considering. Honestly, it’s like a breath of fresh air – and it’s easily one of the most fun games we’ve played in a while.

Tired of classic board games? If you prefer something refreshing and fun for family games nights and parties, Drop Squad is certainly worth considering. Honestly, it’s like a breath of fresh air – and it’s easily one of the most fun games we’ve played in a while. It’s an intriguing game with high replayability … but, most importantly, it’s FUN and a game the whole family can enjoy.

Our biggest complaint with the game is the steep price. Although it appears pricey on the surface, it’s an intriguing game with high replayability – meaning you’ll be playing this long after many other classic board games. It’s a premium product with high quality components but, most importantly, it’s FUN and a game the whole family can enjoy.

We love how they took Plinko and put their own spin on it, while adding a surprisingly good amount of depth and variety to the gameplay. It’s well-designed and even introduces kids to physics in a fun way. If you’re looking for a refreshing and entertaining game for the whole family, Drop Squad deserves a spot in your game collection.

What we love most is that no two games are alike. We love how they took Plinko and put their own spin on it, while adding a surprisingly good amount of depth and variety to the gameplay. It’s well-designed and even introduces kids to physics in a fun way. They’ll be learning while having fun and bonding with the family. Lastly, the game is well-packaged which facilitates easy storage of game pieces and makes it easier to transport to a friend’s house. If you’re looking for a refreshing and entertaining game for the whole family, Drop Squad deserves a spot in your game collection.

Drop Squad: The Escape!

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