I like games that use the Unity engine, and I like musical games that are also random soundtrack generators, but I usually don't like physics puzzlers. So I suppose that Drop, a musical physics puzzler in Unity from Quick Fingers, gets two out of three! Actually, Drop is a great example of how an often mediocre genre can be original and fun with just the right presentation. Drop doesn't have an elaborate backstory or hamfisted theme, but instead relies on cool, clean visuals and some clever sound design for a game that's often quite fun to play.
Sandbox mode gives you a free screen to draw on and play with, while the actual gameplay is found in Puzzle mode. The goal of Drop's Puzzle mode is to fill all the end pipes with bouncy white projectiles. These projectiles appear from one or more other pipes throughout the level, and you can maneuver projectiles around obstacles and to their goal by drawing lines across the screen, off of which they will readily ricochet. Draw a line by clicking and dragging with the left mouse button, and delete it by clicking on it with the right button. Certain colors indicate that obstacles will behave in certain ways; white acts pretty much like a line you draw, red destroys projectiles, blue is super-elastic, etc. You can only draw a certain number of lines each level, so the challenge is in shuttling the projectiles around obstacles as efficiently as you can.
While many Unity games make use of its 3D capabilities, Drop doesn't have a 3D appearance, and instead uses Unity to manage the game's physics. The look that results is simple, colorful, and "computer-y" in a Tron sort of way that looks great. The sound design is perhaps Drop's most unique feature: Every time a projectile bounces off a non-red surface, it plays a random pitch that fits a given key. In Sandbox mode, you can create elaborate physical soundtrack machines in this way, and for levels with many lines and obstacles, the result is a bloopy, carnival soundtrack that makes even the most tricky levels fun to listen to. Levels in Drop range from fairly easy to pretty challenging, and the hardest levels require a great deal of finesse and attention. Thankfully due to a recent update to the game, you can now move and edit endpoints thus making fine tuning of your designs a breeze.
Overall, Drop contains smart level design, fun effects, and spiffy presentation. Drop is a fine physics-puzzle game that shows a little clever attention to detail can liven up an otherwise ordinary game.
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Understanding angular momentum is key to predicting where projectiles will go. The closer a line and the path of the ball are to being parallel, the less the projectile's path is diverted. The closer they are to being perpendicular, the more the ball's path is diverted; for example, a ball falling vertically that hits a horizontal line will bounce back up.
Adjusting an endpoint of a line will tend to push the projectile further in the direction you move the endpoint.
You can draw lines through objects.
You don't always need to use all the lines available to you.
Projectiles will maintain their trajectory even as they go wildly off-screen.
Please note that other solutions may be possible for a particular level.
These are the essentially the same level; A2 just has fewer lines available. This one is pretty straightforward.
This one is also pretty straightforward. It's practice for reading angles.
Maneuvering around this obstacle is pretty easy. Letting the projectile fall as much as it can gives it enough speed to make it to the exit.
Again, let the projectile fall as much as possible. It will bounce off the roof if you do it right.
Angle the projectile so it bounces off the obstacle and into the exit.
Two projectiles at once, but pretty easy. Make sure you don't block the path of the projectile on the right.
Tricky, because you have to use one line to angle two projectiles into the exit pipe, which leaks. In this solution, the one coming from the left bounces straight up before hitting the line again.
This one takes some precision. If the projectile bounces off the safe obstacle once and gets some height, it should be at a good angle to then bounce off the triangle block and to the exit.
First try to get the projectiles into the gap. Everything should be easy otherwise.
To my surprise, I managed to angle the projectiles so they didn't hit the red block, but you can block it off with another line should the need arise.
Follow the path of the projectiles until they hit a red triangle, then block it off. Try to clear the pachinko-like field of shapes with two lines, as you'll need the last one to get it to the exit.
Blue is bouncy! A line near the exit should guide the rocketing projectiles to where they must go.
This one is pretty finicky. You'll need a fairly horizontal trajectory approaching the bouncy blue triangle to get the necessary angle as the projectile bounces off.
This is one of those levels where projectiles will go offscreen before returning. If you don't see it return after a few seconds, it's going off the right side of the screen, and you need to broaden the angle of ascent.
Despite the pivoting blocks, this one is pretty easy. Just aim between them and adjust from there.
Again, despite appearances, this isn't too hard. You'll have to account for a few different trajectories, as projectiles will fall at different speeds between the gaps. Longer lines will help.
You'll have to aim for under the spinning red block and toward the blue block. As it bounces up, aim the projectiles away from the left side of the screen and towards the exit.
Aim under the big red block. Use big lines to direct both projectiles on their separate paths.
Aim over the right red block and under the left. A properly placed line will then shoot the projectile on a slow, high arc before hitting the exit.
Some projectiles will probably hit the red blocks as they move, but it shouldn't be a problem.
This one is easy. Just aim the projectiles down to the exit as they diverge from the pivoting yellow triangle.
This takes some precision. Aim projectiles so they hit the pivoting yellow bar and bounce to one of two exits as it pivots.
I used the second line to guide projectiles to the bottom exit.
This looks a lot like D#1, but with the yellow bar pivoting on the right, the same solution won't work.
Luckily the left exit doesn't leak. Fill it up first.
Then add an extra line near the yellow triangle and focus on the right exit.
You need to bounce the projectiles right, then left, to hit the blue block and bounce to the exit.
This looks like it should be easy, but the projectiles cross paths as they fall and bounce back up. You have to make sure you don't block their paths as they fall.
Draw your first line so the projectiles fall directly on the yellow block. They need to then bounce into the right exit without further help.
Another line near the left exit needs to bounce the projectile in a high arc before it falls in place.
You need a really steep angle of descent onto the left side of the blue block to make this work.
This is another one where the projectile flies off the top of the screen.
This one is pretty easy, though you need all the lines to inch your projectiles home.
You can ignore all the projectiles in the bottom half of this screenshot.
This looks easy, but the exit leaks faster than the projectiles fall. There must be a way to get them to fall faster.
Once you have accrued enough projectiles in your "bucket," delete the bottom line.
A single line must deflect the white projectiles toward the exit and the red projectiles away. It's not very hard.
All you need to worry about is deflecting the red projectiles.
The solution is similar to F1, but there's a twist, since you need to feed projectiles into two exit pipes.
When the gap between the red blocks is below your bucket, and you have enough projectiles, right-click where the two bottom lines cross to delete them at the same time.
Block the yellow bars from the red projectiles when they are upright. You have to do this pretty quickly and in succession. It's best to start the level over if you mess this up.
Use the remaining two lines as another bucket.
When it fills up, and the rotating red bars are out of your way, right-click where they cross to delete them.
Aim for the yellow triangle, so that projectiles bounce off it an into the exits, depending on how it's rotated. This takes precision.
You can ignore the red projectiles. The first line needs to be precisely placed so that when projectiles hit the yellow triangle, they should either bounce into the bottom exit or towards the blue triangle, depending on how the yellow triangle spins.
The second line should direct projectiles toward the blue triangle, which will bounce them to the left exit.
Like F#1, a single line must deflect red projectiles and aim white ones towards their exits. The white projectiles will fly in a high arc and hit the exits from above.
Make sure you don't deflect the red projectiles into the exits, as that will empty the exit pipes.
This takes some precision. Think about keeping the white projectiles in the center of the screen, and don't worry too much about the red projectiles.
You'd think there would be no way to direct your projectiles through the middle of the screen, but there is an occasional gap between the left star and middle bar you can aim towards.
Next, aim toward the yellow block, so that projectiles either enter the right exit, or fly up and to the left without hitting the red bar.
A couple more carefully placed lines will minimize when projectiles hit the left red star, and direct them towards the left exit.
Even the most careful setup won't protect many projectiles from annihilation, but time is on your side. If projectiles make it to both exits often enough, you only have to wait a minute or so before they are full.
Posted by: Mike | July 26, 2011 7:12 PM