One of the benefits gamers get to see with the App Store are games from independent developers. Drop7 has no absolute tie to the capabilities of the iDevices, and could work on any other portable system such as a Nintendo DS. But thanks to the special opportunity for small developers to spread their ideas to an audience of millions, we get to enjoy a unique game in the crowded puzzle genre.
As with most other great puzzlers, learning the game is simple but mastering it is difficult. In Drop7, you have a grid to drop pieces into, just as you would in Connect 4. Each piece you drop has a number on it from one to seven. The only special piece in the game are solid gray blocks, which are actually hidden numbers. To make your dropped pieces disappear, the number you drop has to create that many blocks in a row or column. So, for example, if there is a column with one block in it and you drop a 2, the 2 would then disappear. The game is centered around trying to eliminate your dropped blocks beside solid ones, so that they will break the solid ones and uncover the number beneath.
Hard to master, it is: Drop7 isn’t too hard to get the hang of once you begin playing. There are only a few gameplay nuances to learn. But as you play more, you begin to realize there are better moves than the ones you are making. Drops you make can be planned well in advance to yield the best results. Learning comes in time and feels rewarding once you master techniques.
Unique: It’s interesting to play for the reason that many times blocks will disappear that you didn’t even predict happening. Chains can be set off, which take serious skill to plan ahead of time. All in all, its an addicting game that brings a unique experience to the table.
Just a bit too long: The main gameplay mode, Normal, can last upwards of twenty to thirty minutes if you’re clearing blocks consistently. I found this a too long as it had to be split up between play sessions. Drop7 would benefit from a more challenging normal mode so that playthroughs would be shorter. The Hardcore mode is a lot quicker and a good length, but the gameplay is different because you don’t drop gray blocks.
Drop7 has been a go-to game on my iPod for killing time. It’s fun, challenging, and the global leaderboards will have me continuing to improve my skills well after writing this review. Drop7 is an easy recommendation to anyone who enjoys puzzlers.
Drop7 was developed by Area/Code and is available for $2.99. I played through version 1.3 on all three game modes several times and in different sessions on an iPod Touch 2G. A free Lite version is available.