Under The Microscope – Dead Drop by Jason Kotarski

dead drop1Dead Drop is a new microgame designed by Jason Kotarski and published by Crash Games. It consists of 13 cards with art by Adam McIver. It’s a spy themed card game. Cards are numbered 0 through 5. Additionally there are four player help cards. Add in the rules sheet and that’s it. Speaking of rules, they are well written and easy to grasp making Dead Drop an excellent pick up game.

First, you need to be able to do simple addition. Set-up starts by shuffling the cards. Deal one card face down in the middle of the play area. This is The Drop. You deal face up a number of cards equal to the number of players. This is called The Stash. Now deal the remaining cards equally to all players. That’s it.

Game play is very simple. On your turn you can do one of several actions. You can Share Info (trade a card), Swap The Stash (trade a card with The Stash), Sell Secrets (find out some info about another player’s cards), and Grab The Drop (guess the number on the central card). Players take turns doing one of the above actions. The goal of the game is to Grab The Drop. You do this by placing two of the cards in your hand next to The Drop. The sum of these cards should equal the number on the The Drop card. If you guessed correctly, you win the round. If not you are out of that round. The game ends when someone wins three rounds.dead drop2

That’s how the game plays. Now, what do I think about it? Well, Dead Drop is a pretty pure deduction game. You need to be able to gather information, compile it, comprehend it, and deduce what cards are out and what card is The Drop. I’m not a lover of deduction games. I’m not very good at them. That being said, I like Dead Drop. Why? you ask. Well, I think because it is small and quick. There are only thirteen cards to keep up with. My brain can handle that. Reason two that I like the game – it’s social. The actions of the game encourage, even force, players to interact. I like social interaction games. Dead Drop does this well. The trading and info gathering actions makes sure that players talk to each other. I would even go so far as to categorize Dead Drop as a party game. The third reason I like Dead Drop is the art. Adam McIver has done an excellent job. His spies are humorous and fun.

If you like deduction games Dead Drop will scratch your itch. It’s a fun, easy to learn, and will fit in your pocket. I would categorize it as a gamer’s party game because there is a high player interaction quotient. I enjoy it even though I stink at deduction games. You can find the Kickstarter right here.cg_logoThanks to Crash Games for providing a copy of Dead Drop for review.