Do You Want To Drop My Avatar?

Review of Avatar Drop on XBLIG: Try
Avatar Drop is a cute novelty game that can be fun, if only for a little while.

A problem in reviewing a game that costs $1 USD is you cannot judge the game against its price.  In the world of retail disc sales, releasing a game at $60 USD has to be justified.  It can provide entertainment, but does it provide entertainment to equal the price of the game?  When that price is a dollar however, its far to easy to say every game is worth its value.  Thus, I ignore price when reviewing a game, but every now and then a game like Avatar Drop challenges this stance.

The gameplay in Avatar Drop is explained in its name.  Avatars are dropped, and the players guide their falling Avatars down a tube trying to hit balloons and fall through rings.  The balloons don’t pop as much as shrink, and special green balloons will bounce the Avatar back up for a second crack and making it through a ring.  The smaller a ring the more points it is worth, and once an Avatar has fallen through a ring it disappears and doesn’t let other Avatars collect the same points.  The game ends when the first Avatar reaches the bottom, but the winner is on total points.

Avatar Drop is best played with local friends.  There is an option to add CPU players, but a solo game with only CPU players isn’t much fun.  The true fun comes from playing against other humans and trash talking your way down the tube.  Avatar Drop is also a great game if you have young children and are looking to put that Gold Family Plan to good use.

The problem with Avatar Drop is after about 15 minutes there is little reason to keep playing.  The small scope of the game makes sense when you realize the game started as part of Microsoft’s App Week.  App Week is a week where XNA framework developers at Microsoft take a break from working on the framework to create a game using the framework.  Avatar Drop was only started during App Week, the developer spent a few more weeks polishing up the game in his free time and this polish shows in the final game.

Still, origin story aside, its hard to recommend Avatar Drop.  It is fun, but only for a few moments.  This is where the price starts speaking up – at a $1 USD asking price, less than a cup of coffee in our Starbucks inflated world, any amount of entertainment justifies the price.

Avatar Drop is a Try.  You may think you could just play the trial version, but buying the game is required for multiple human players (if this wasn’t the case, then you could play the whole game for free).  If you have small children, or are looking for an interesting addition to the Friday night drinking games, I recommend checking out Avatar Drop.

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