To say that I am in no way musically inclined and yet still managed to pull off some wicked beats with Hasbro’s Dropmix system is testament to its great and highly accessible design. While I went in to our preview expecting to be shamed for my lack of musical talent, I went out with a sense that maybe, just maybe there was hope for my future career as a disc jockey.
The newly released music and gaming system works through the Dropmix mobile app (available for free on Android and iOS), and includes 60 coloured NFC art cards. Each card features a sample from a popular music track, from the tunes of RUN-DMC to the Chainsmokers, Fall Out Boy and more.
The base features an array of colours, each corresponding to a coloured card – yellow for vocals, blue for drums etc. Freestyle mode allows you to play around with the capabilities of the Dropmix – by layering a card on each of the corresponding spaces, players can mix and match their favourite songs to form a funky beat.
While the base system comes with an array of 60 cards from across the rock, R&B, hip-hop and indie spectrum, also available for purchase are themed playlist packs. Each playlist pack, which so far covers new rock, hip-hop, electronic and pop songs, comes with 15 addition cards to boost your repertoire of beats. There’s also Discover Packs available, which contain 5 random cards for those who like a bit of mystery in their life. In total, the first season contains around 300 cards to collect.
While some card combinations work better than others, it’s impressive how adaptable the system truly is. If one track isn’t working, just swap it out for another, and the system will automatically retune the vibes of your song. Once you find a mad beat, you can use the app to save it for later.
While I worried that app compatibility might be an issue for my steadily failing iPhone 5, it proved not to be an issue – the minimum requirement is iOS 6.0. On Android, you’ll require a device running Android 5+. The system operates solely through the use of the app, so it’s important to consider this before purchase.
In addition to the delightful Freestyle mode, Dropmix also features a Party Mode and Clash Mode. Party Mode is fantastic, and requires a great deal of strategy. Players are instructed to place down particular cards via timed, on screen prompts, however, cards must stack on those of equal or lesser value. Any mistakes are penalised and affect the final score at the end of the round. Playing with friends makes for an absolutely hectic time, and quick thinking is key.
Clash Mode, on the other hand, I would equate to a rather tense game of Monopoly, with the potential to ruin just as many friendships. Essentially, it’s a card-based strategy game, where players face each other to be the first to 21 points. On each player’s turn, they have the option to place a card on the board, which can earn them points depending on colour combinations and placements, or they can spin the Dropmix wheel, which has the potential to clear their opponent’s cards from the board.
The game that I was witness to was heated to say the least, and featured several shifts in power before the winner emerged. Overall, it was great fun to watch, but I’m not sure how long friends will last under the strain of defeat.
While I went in with minimal expectations and no small amount of trepidation, I found myself absolutely loving the Dropmix. It provides a versatile DJ platform for parties, great secondary gaming modes, and plenty of opportunities for expansion. If you don’t find a song you like in the base pack, there are plenty of other options with season one playlists and booster packs, and plenty more tracks on the way.
Score: 8.0 out of 10
Highlights: Fun and easy to use, great range of tracks
Lowlights: Price tag
Price: $199.95 RRP
Thank you to our lovely friends at Double Jump Comms for the chance to review the system and drop some phat beatsies!