When I was a kid most of my favorite board games utilized some sort of dexterity mechanic. In particular I was a big fan of games like Loopin’ Louie and Jumpin’ Monkeys. While the games aren’t particularly deep I enjoyed them as a kid since they were simple to play and yet they had enough excitement to keep them interesting. As an adult these type of games aren’t really made for me, but I have always been a kid at heart when it comes to these type of dexterity games. Today I am taking a look at Drone Home released by PlayMonster earlier this year. The basic premise of the game is that you have to shoot your aliens into the drone before it takes off. What intrigued me about Drone Home is that it is the type of game that I would have loved if it was released when I was a kid. The game is obviously gauged more towards children and families than adults, but it still looked interesting enough that it was worth checking out. Drone Home might be a really simple and easy game, but it is hard to deny that the game is surprisingly fun for children and adults who are children at heart.
We would like to thank PlayMonster for the review copy of Drone Home used for this review. Other than receiving the review copy we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation. Receiving the review copy had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.
How to Play Drone Home
- Before you play the game you need to use the USB cord and a wall charger to power the drone’s battery for around ten minutes.
- Insert batteries into the launch pad.
- Each player chooses a color and takes the launcher and aliens of that color. Everyone attaches their launcher to the launch pad.
- Each player will place one of their aliens in front of their launcher.
Playing the Game
When everyone is ready the players will start the countdown of “3…2…1…Drone Home”. At this point each player will use their launcher to try and shoot one of their aliens into the drone.
When an alien sits in the drone it will start a couple second countdown before the drone will leave the launch pad.
All of the other players have this time to try and launch their alien into the drone to either knock out the other player’s alien or get their alien inside the drone as well. When the drone takes off players will stop launching their aliens.
All aliens inside the drone are removed from the game as they have returned home. The drone is returned to the launch pad to start up the next round.
If you miss with one of your aliens you can pick them up from the table or the ground and launch them again.
End of Game
The first player to successfully return their three aliens to their home will win the game. If two players get rid of their third alien on the same turn the two players will compete in a tie-breaker round. The first tied player to get one of their aliens into the drone and have it take off wins the game.
My Thoughts on Drone Home
As the game was designed for children and families it didn’t really surprise me that Drone Home is quite simple to play. The basic premise of the game is to get all three of your aliens home before the other players can. In each round all of the players race to be the first to get their alien on the drone. To do this you press down on the button with enough pressure to launch the alien down the ramp on a straight enough path with the right amount of power that it reaches the center without going too far. This seems kind of simple and in some ways it is. Basically to succeed in the game you need to find the right amount of pressure to apply to the button. Apply too little and the alien won’t make it to the drone. Apply too much though and it won’t stop when it reaches the drone and it will fall out the other side.
When one player gets an alien in the drone it will start the launch process. The lights on the drone light up and the rotors start spinning. The players who don’t have an alien in the drone yet need to rush to try and get an alien in before it launches in a couple seconds. The other players have basically two options in this situation. First they can shoot their alien with enough power that they knock out the alien already in the drone and take its place. Otherwise they can try to get their alien to stay on the outer ridge and take off with the other alien. When time runs out the drone will take off carrying any aliens currently inside. Those aliens will be set out of play as they have returned home. The first player to get rid of all three of their aliens wins the game.
Just by reading how Drone Home is played many people probably already have a pretty good idea of whether they will like the game. The game simply won’t be for everyone. Drone Home is not particularly deep as you just try to launch aliens at the drone until it takes off. That is basically all there is to the game. If that premise doesn’t sound all that interesting or you don’t usually care for children’s/family dexterity games it probably won’t be for you.
Drone Home is a game mostly meant for children and families. The rules are really easy to understand as you just try to shoot your aliens and get them to stay on the drone. The game can be taught within a minute and outside of very young children I don’t see children having any issues understanding how to play the game. Based on difficulty I see no reason why a kid under eight (the recommended age) couldn’t play the game. I think the main reason for the age recommendation comes from the drone and the components themselves. The aliens are pretty small where young children could swallow them. Then there is the drone which can run into and break things if it isn’t monitored. Younger children might also try to put their hands into the spinning rotors. I don’t see this seriously hurting anyone as they are made of flexible plastic, but I am guessing the age recommendation is more of a safety precaution than anything else. If monitored by adults I think younger children could play the game. Due to its simplicity I can see the game working well for the whole family.
Due to its simplicity Drone Home is not a particularly deep game. Outside of figuring out how hard and when to press the button there is no strategy to the game. The game was clearly made for children and families. Despite this I was pleasantly surprised by the game. The gameplay is simple, but it is fun. The game might be made for children, but adults who like these type of dexterity games will likely enjoy Drone Home as well. Flicking the aliens is fun especially when you have to rush to try to sneak one on the drone before it takes off. There is some skill to the game as you need to apply the right amount of force to get the aliens to reach and stay in the drone. I know the game relies on skill as some players that I played with were considerably better than others. If the game’s premise interests you at all you likely will enjoy the game even if you don’t play it with any children.
While I had fun with the game I have to say that the game is quite easy in my opinion. We ended up playing a couple games and one player might have missed getting an alien on the drone one or two times in all of those games. I think this is due to a couple factors. First the ramps aren’t that long so once you know how hard to press the button you can repeat it easily. Next the drone can regularly fit more than one alien at a time. One alien will sit in the middle, but it isn’t that difficult to get an alien to sit along one of the edges. More often than not at least two players will get an alien on the drone before it takes off. Sometimes three and possibly even four aliens could fit on the drone. While the rules never specifically address this, we ended up creating a house rule where you could only get one of your aliens on the drone each round.
Possibly the biggest culprit though is the fact that the aliens have a magnet on the bottom which helps snap them to the drone. I don’t know if these were mostly used to tell the drone when an alien is inside. The magnets make it too easy to get aliens to stick to the drone though taking away a lot of the skill from the game. As long as you get the alien to the drone and don’t put way too much power on it, it will likely stay on the drone. If possible I wish the game would have used magnets that were a little less powerful making it harder to get the aliens to stay in the drone. The game is still fun, but it isn’t particularly challenging.
Due to Drone Home being so easy I wouldn’t say games take very long. In order to win the game you only need to get three aliens home. Unless players really struggle games will likely only take a couple minutes to finish. For this reason I wish the game included a few more aliens to make the game last a little longer. To extend the game you could just agree to how many aliens that you have to send home and play until someone reaches that total. The game is fun enough that you will likely want to play a couple games back to back. With how quick the game is you can easily finish several games back to back within ten to fifteen minutes. As the games are so short though it does mean that you will tire of the game after a while. After about 15-30 minutes you will likely want to put the game away for another day. The game is fun enough that you will want to come back to it later, but it is not the type of game that you will want to play for long stretches of time.
Before receiving Drone Home from PlayMonster I have to admit that I was a little skeptical about the components. I can’t say that I expected much from a drone that was included in a game meant for children. You can’t control the drone in any way as it doesn’t include a remote, but I was otherwise impressed with it. The drone generally rises at least a couple feet in the air each time and it actually hovers better than I was expecting. Due to this I would recommend playing the game away from things that are easily breakable as the drone could fly into them before you catch it. The thing that I was most skeptical about was how long the drone would last before it broke. The drone can sometimes crash pretty hard into the table or floor. Once the drone completely wiped out where I was positive that it probably broke, but it survived without any significant damage. I am a little worried that it will break after enough crashes though. For this reason I would probably recommend trying to catch the drone from the bottom after it starts to descend. This is actually really easy to do and should reduce the amount of damage that the drone sustains. The other components are solid as well.
Should You Buy Drone Home?
When most people see Drone Home they probably see a dexterity game that is mostly meant for children that utilizes the drone as a gimmick. There is no denying that the game was designed for children and families as the gameplay is really simple and can be learned in a minute. Despite this the game is more fun that you would expect. I can’t exactly put my finger on why, but it is satisfying being able to shoot the aliens and see them take off in the drone. Anyone who likes these type of dexterity games will likely enjoy Drone Home as well. I kind of wish the game was a little more challenging though as it is too easy to get an alien to stay in the drone before it takes off. This leads to a game that only takes a couple minutes to finish.
My recommendation for Drone Home comes down to how interesting you think the game sounds. If the game doesn’t sound all that interesting to you it probably won’t be for you. If you have kids that like these type of games I think they will really enjoy Drone Home. Even if you don’t have kids I think you could enjoy Drone Home if you like these type of games.
Buy Drone Home online: Amazon