Dropmix -- Music manipulation with cards and an iPad

So apparently just before Christmas the folks at Harmonix (who invented Guitar Hero, DJ Hero, etc) released a game called Dropmix. It’s not a console game. It’s not a board game. It’s a device–like an electronic game board–that connects to a tablet or phone running the Dropmix app that then detects special cards you play to it. Each card is a song, and when you add a song card to the board, it mixes it with the other songs that are in play to make an original remix.

The game retailed for $100, with booster packs of additional song cards if you want them.

It’s now $50 at Amazon and I think some other retailers, following the Christmas gift-giving season when a novelty like this would garner attention and sales.

I heard a good review of it on a podcast (The Besties) but I can’t quite seem to figure out exactly how the game plays or what it feels like to play it. Obviously it’s a good price now, and this might be a really fun family game. Has anyone had a chance to give it a whirl?


I’ve been watching it since it was released; at least a couple times prior to Christmas it was on sale at major retailers at $60. That it was discounted so much and so early makes me a little nervous that Harmonix has another excellent musical game dud on their hands, but I hope I’m wrong and it’s successful for them.

Now that it’s after Christmas and it dropped to $50, I ordered it today. Should arrive Wednesday, so we’ll see how it goes.

Not 50 anymore. The card packs seem insanely expensive (roughly 2 bucks per card)

I bought this for my brother’s family for Christmas after seeing it in one of those gift lists and thinking it sounded like an awesome music game for non-gamers. That was the first I’d even heard of it. The marketing and press coverage seems to have been non-existent. I went looking for reviews and could hardly find any. Even Giant Bomb, which is normally all over Harmonix stuff, didn’t mention it that I heard.

I picked it up for my wife for Christmas and we love it. If you’re into music, it’s a ton of fun. Even my 70 yr old mom was intrigued enough to buy herself a copy. The game promises to work through 12/2019 (as it says in the app somewhere), so I worry a bit about what will happen after that. Will the app still work? Whenever the app stops working, the game becomes garbage. I do hope they keep it running a while because it’s good fun. We’ll probably pick up the extra card packs because of the good sessions we’ve had.

Amazon sold through their stock yesterday but it’s still available for $50 at Best Buy this morning.

So what’s the game / gameplay like? It’s it simply a freeform musical experience, or are you trying to achieve a goal?

There are a few play modes. In Freestyle, you just put various cards down and make interesting mixes. There’s a lot to explore and it’s more fun than it sounds.

There is a cooperative mode where the iPad makes “audience requests” and you and the people you’re playing with try to meet the requests as quickly as possible by placing down appropriate cards, to maximize a score. There are rounds in that mode and after each round, you draw cards to fill your hand to 7 or whatever. Each card can be played on 1 or more colors and also has 1 or more instruments associated with it. Each card also has a power level. Once you’ve played a card of a certain level in a slot, you can’t play anything lower than than there, so you have to be careful to put the right type of card down when a request comes in without overdoing it on the power or you make meeting subsequent requests more difficult. If you put down the wrong card or it’s underpowered, you get a “party foul” and lose points. I think that’s called Party Mode.

Finally, there’s a competitive mode where you try to balance instruments, colors, and power levels (along with special cards) to beat your opponent(s) to a score of 21. (I think you can set the target score…) Various things you do can give you points, take points away from opponents, wipe the board clean, etc. You can hit the DropMix button to take a gamble that forces your opponents to clear their cards, etc.

If you’re into music, it’s a ton of fun. If you’re not really into music, you’d probably enjoy playing, but I’m not sure I’d recommend the investment. My wife is super into music but doesn’t play games at all and she loves Dropmix. I’m hoping it’s a bit of a gateway game for her. :)

Poke around the Dropmix website and you probably can find some videos of the gameplay.

Thanks @Clay. That gives me a better idea of what to expect. I’ll have a look at the site after work.

My local Target had a demo display up, although it was extremely limited and hard to get a feel of how it actually plays. It was just the machine with one card for each slot that you could take off or put down as it sort of explained how it worked. My purchase was based almost entirely on a trust for Harmonix, I wouldn’t have been confident from that demo.

Thanks, all! I ended up passing on the game for now because it felt like I needed to buy some bluetooth speakers to really make it fun to play, and that increased the investment cost. After reading impressions here and watching some more videos online, though, it still looks intriguing!

I have one of the newer 10" iPad Pros and play it with that. The sound is fine that way, and plenty loud enough. Depending on the sound quality you get from the device on which you’d install the app, your experience would vary.

I’ve been looking at this at my local Target for the past month… It’s sitting there quietly at the end of the console gaming section. I’m totally in to music and I think I’d love it. Sadly my boys and wife may be a harder sell. If it comes down even further in price I might look to pick it up.

That “hook” that Harmonix is going for with having to buy more packs seems really lame. I’m sure there are “rarity” levels to the cards as well. That piece turns me off quite a bit.

I don’t think there are rarity levels. If you look at their website, they tell you exactly which cards are in each pack.

I see your point, but I also don’t really expect them to give away licensed music for free. You also have to consider the fact that each card has an NFC chip in it.

If you want to go full in and buy all the cards, it’s going to be an investment (and a risky one, considering it all hinges on the app remaining active/updated/functional). Sales of the cards, in my opinion, aren’t much different from sales of songs in Rock Band or Guitar Hero.

Yeah, my understanding when I was researching it was that a given pack has a specific track list.

Does the app talk to a server? Do I need a network connection to play it?

That’s definitely a point in favor. Sadly, unless you have a crew of music lovers, it might be one I’m going to have to pass on :( saddens me.

I think I know someone who works there in town, perhaps I’ll ask him more about it too. (future support)

If you buy a new pack, you register it through the app which then downloads the tracks. Whether it needs a connection each time you play, I don’t know. Next time we play, I’ll try it in airplane mode.

Saying it will work through 2019, which is just next year, sounds concerning.

Actually there are two types of packs. The set list packs do define exactly what is in there. However, there are also blind packs for each series as well. You need both the set list packs and the blind packs in order to get a full complement of every card. However, you don’t need a full complement to play the game, but that is usually where the other parts of the track are for each song.