Mobile gaming is all around us. Everyone seems to have a smart phone these days. What is the best use for a smart phone you ask? Well besides telling everyone what you had for lunch (#idontcare) you can play games on them. Most of these games are focused clearly on the casual audience. That makes sense though because it is a mobile game for you to play on your cell phone to play while waiting in line or on the bus or something. One such game is Galaxy Express.
After several weeks, I flipped through the pages and pages of games on my iPhone and decided, hey, what the hell. Why not see what Drop7 was all about. And after five minutes with it, I closed the game out, unimpressed and ready to move on to other titles in my recently expanded inventory of iOS games.
But unlike many of those other iOS games, it would later be revealed that Drop7 had planted a seed. One that would slowly grow and expand and demand more and more of my attention. And soon, I was all too happy to give it.
I revisited Drop7 days later, finding myself slightly more engaged this time around. I didn’t quite get it, but thoughts of the game had lingered in the back of my mind. I played until the inevitable end of a round, then closed it out again, slightly more taken with it than I had been before.
This pattern repeated itself, and each time, that seed that Drop7 had planted grew and grew and grew until it became my distraction of choice.Drop7
The blocks, and the strategy that they require, is what turned a seemingly bland and unimpressive game into a compelling addiction. Each block you will drop into the grid will either feature a number (1 through 7), or it will be gray and numberless. The numbers on the blocks indicate how many other blocks must be next to it – horizontally or vertically – in order for that block to dissolve. And if you dissolve a block next to those gray ones twice, it will crack away the block’s shell to reveal another hidden, numbered block under it.
The goal of the game is shoot for a high score, and this is obtained by dissolving the blocks, and rewarded thoroughly if you can chain those clearings into sequential dissolutions. For instance, you may have a 5 block at the bottom of the grid, and three 7 blocks on top of it. If you drop one more on that column, the 5 block at the bottom will dissolve, dropping the 7 blocks down a row. And if those 7s are accompanied by six other blocks total to its sides, they too will dissolve and score repeated chains worth more and more points.
It’s this aspect that makes Drop7 appear simple and inconspicuous at first, only to reveal itself to be devilishly clever and hard to put down. After your first few rounds, trying to score small little victories by removing the easiest and most obvious block-sets, the requisite strategies start to reveal themselves. You begin to think longer term, devising ways to chain the blocks into higher and higher scorings and how best to accommodate the row of locked gray blocks that will pop up from the bottom after a set number of moves. What first seems trite and boringly simple soon becomes engaging and involved, setting your mind into motion, leaving you plotting and devising move after move.