hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: Dropchord

2:00 PM on 08.08.2013 // Chris Carter
  @DtoidChris

In the rush for style, substance was dropped

It's not hard to be mesmerized by Dropchord's art style. It's equal parts psychedelic and vibrant, and with the combination of an arrangement of electronic music, there's a lot of room for potential here -- especially when Double Fine is involved.

But with Dropchord, a focus on style is exactly what you're getting, with a distinct lack of gameplay variety to back it up.

Dropchord (Android, iPad [reviewed on an iPad Mini], iPhone [tested on an iPhone 5], Ouya, Mac, PC)
Developer: Double Fine
Publisher: Double Fine
Released: August 1, 2013
MSRP: $2.99 (Universal on iOS)

Upon booting up Dropchord for the first time, you're immediately greeted with the game's first mechanic -- guiding a beam of light with two fingers to collect little dots for points. You'll move the line around a giant circle by moving your fingers in turn, and anything in that line is zapped.

At first, you'll simply angle the beam to pick up dots before they dissipate, which is simple enough. Then before you know it, you'll need to avoid X marks, tap dots in a certain order, swipe to spin the circle, and so on. As the game ramps up, each new concept is introduced (usually after a new song), and eventually, they'll combine into one giant frantic experience until you exhaust your life meter with screw-ups, and lose the round.

In addition to the controls actually working, the pause system is actually quite remarkable, as it automatically puts the game on hiatus if two fingers aren't on the screen. The in-game graphical style is also stunning on a larger screen, and the sheer variety of colors keeps things interesting from a visual perspective.

But very early on, the game's over-emphasis on style really gets in the way. Once all of the concepts are announced in a brief period of time, you'll realize that you're just doing the same few things over and over, to the same few songs. You'll also slowly notice that Dropchord isn't really a rhythm game, because although the pick-ups generally move to the music, you don't really need to do anything to any sort of actual rhythm.

Dropchord isn't like Guitar Hero or Rock Band, where you can choose from a large selection of catchy songs and strive to earn a max rating or score. In fact, there's no real motivation to keep playing. It's more akin to an interactive zen garden, but the garden is really, really small -- especially considering the fact that the experience is the same thing every time. Full Mix mode attempts to, well, mix things up with an endless approach, but it too feels very samey. 

Another aspect of the game that I really didn't like was the menu system. I get that the team was going for a cool, stylistic and minimal menu, but it kind of falls flat. For one thing, it was really difficult to figure out there even was a menu, and navigating it with the in-game control scheme felt incredibly strange, and slow.

As a hardcore electronic music fan, the game's soundtrack was reminiscent of Justice, and certain eras of Daft Punk's body of work, but it failed to really grab me as a whole. In fact, the tunes themselves (spanning 10 tracks) feel less like iconic songs that I need to run out and purchase, and more like background music to a commercial, or a film.

Dropchord is a really neat idea, and I would have loved to have seen it expanded upon on a bigger stage. If you're in the mood for an interesting game based around electronic music though, you can do a whole lot worse than spending a few bucks on Double Fine's latest foray into the mobile market. Just don't expect a whole lot of depth, or a lasting impression.



THE VERDICT

6.5

Dropchord - Reviewed by Chris Carter
Amicable - A presentable but unmemorable time. Focusing on the bright spots helps, and I appreciate the effort, but I won't be playing this repeatedly.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Proof I listened to too much Weird Al growing up: I really do hear "Living in America" as "Living with a Hernia."
Nic Rowen avatarNic Rowen
I've been playing a shit ton of Heroes of the Storm recently. It's my first MOBA and I'm SHOCKED at how much fun I'm having. Anyone else into it? Would love to get some games in with Dtoiders.
Script avatarScript
I would wait for a chance to play the game by myself, but I just have to know. Is David Hayter in MGS V in any way? Please no spoilers.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
Guys, serious question... How can I make D-Horse to poop?
gajknight avatargajknight
Goddammit @ FullmetalJ, you have poisoned my mind with...whatever the hell this is.[youtube]https://youtu.be/wv0iUKb80C8[/youtube] It's so, so catchy. Go suck a baguette. And thanks :3. Yes I have listened to all of it.
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
That time when Mr. Destructoid went to Vegas [img]http://i.imgur.com/hYEQG7z.jpg[/img]
SirDavies avatarSirDavies
As someone who hasn't played the MGS series at all, should I play it by release date or story order?
Vuster avatarVuster
Been watching a good friend play the Metal Gear game on twitch soon. I will say I can understand the appeal 100% and Kojima knows how to make a great piece of work. I think will hold off on a new pc and get this if this keeps up!
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
So I can plug any headphones I want into my PS4 controller. If said headphones have a mic, will it work in chat?
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
Gee whilikers, guys. I might just explain where I've been and what I've been up to while I've been gone. That'd be a good topic for a c-blog getting me whipped back into shape, right? I'ma try to write more, so expect more of me in the future!
bloma avatarbloma
Just bought Fez for xbox 360. Playing it on my 58 inch plasma. What a beautiful game.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
So there's a chance more MKX characters are being revealed today. Now, I'm not saying you *should* cross your fingers and say a prayer for me to get my waifu Sindel just, y'know, it would be monstrous of you to make me cry with your lack of love & support
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
Just so you know, I've been a Huge subscriber for a few years but I thought I had until the end of September to cancel it. So I've opened an inquiry for the refund, which is on tinypass' end of things by the way.
techsupport avatartechsupport
I once posted that Total Recall was the best movie ever made. I would like to make note that Starship Troopers is a close second. Carry on.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I put too many peppers in my sausage and potatoes. My asshole is on fire. I want to cry when I wipe. But it was good.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
One glorious Japanese twitter user made a custom LBX of one of my favorite Kamen Riders: [img]http://i.imgur.com/yp1oraHm.jpg[/img] It's like getting peanut butter in chocolate but with small robots and spandex banana men!
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
I feel terrible for not reading most of you beautiful people's blogs. Let's just say my passion is writing, not reading :s
techsupport avatartechsupport
People can debate GOTY all they want, but the real question is: D-Horse or Roach?
Mr Knives avatarMr Knives
I'm dragging myself away from my PS4 long enough to say that MGS V is pretty darn awesome so far.
Myles Cox avatarMyles Cox
Down with that PAX Pox. Auhhhghghghhhh
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Dropchord


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -