Dropple? I thought I already played that game with my phone… By repeatedly dropping it. ;D
No? Okay. Better jokes next time. PROMISE
But for real though, if you’re a fan of minimalist arcade experiences, have I got somewhat of a treat for YOU! Dropple is a game about navigating balls, chickens, and other animals down a set of stairs that don’t exist – because you MAKE them exist, with your finger. The ball or animal will bounce from the top of the stairs, slowly at first, giving you the time you need to lock each new, shifting step in place. They’ll keep bouncing faster and faster until there’s no step for them to land on, at which point it’s game over.
The game features several alternate modes – some of them adding to the gameplay in a fun way, others offering a slight aesthetic change. There are modes that let you go upstairs instead of down, have new steps spin instead of moving back and forth before you lock them in place, etc. There are also a host of options for customization, from new animals to new skins for your ball, and they can all be unlocked for free with enough play – and ad-watching to supplement, if you choose. The in-game currency can also be bought if you’re into that sort of thing.
Dropple‘s visuals and gameplay are all totally consistent and well-designed for what the game offers, but it suffers a shortage of content that feels meaningful. The extra modes and customization options are nice, but at the end of the day you’re still bouncing a ball up/down some stairs. Which could actually be pretty thrilling if the player could utilize some kind of power-up, or was progressing through new worlds that offered new mechanics, etc. As it is you’ll be chasing high scores in modes that are ultimately pretty similar, which has its appeal, but quick-fix arcade titles are common on the appstore and, though I appreciate the premise of the game, it could definitely have done more to build on its concept and distinguish itself.
Ultimately the game is a pleasant and well-designed experience, and at the low price of free it’s difficult to criticize it for lacking content and mechanical ambition. But I will say that, as far as the standards of its genre and price point are concerned, Dropple drops the ball a little when it comes to offering the player lasting value or replayablity.