How to play Drop Zone

Dropzone
DropZone @ Cleopatra games
DropZone
Drop Zone is a game you’ll have to play careful and thoughtful in order to get the max. out of it. Don’t rush while playing, know what you do, and practice before you think you are good at it. Luck also plays a role, but don’t count on luck when have something much better..your skills. The game is not complicated but it does require your concentration.

The game has 8 normal rounds and a bonus round. The bonus round is linked to the normal rounds, your actions in the normal rounds will have impact on the bonus round.

Scoring
The earlier in the game you match numbers, the more points you get. Each row you complete on a board advances your level with 1. A new board starts with level 1 again.

Each matching number awards you with:
250 points x Your current level
  plus
125 points x Number of rounds remaining x Your current level.

The first match, in the first rounds thus gives 250 x 1 + 125 x 8 x1 = 1250.
Please note that the game has 8 rounds. Although after the first round there are only 7 remaining, the number of rounds remaining is defined as: Including the current round.

   Bonus round picks
You start the game with level 1. The number of picks you have during the bonus round is the highest level you reached during the game minus 1.

Time limits
At the initial display of the bonus round you have 15 seconds before the game moves to the next round. That is the only phase in the game drop zone rushes you. Make a move at least once in a minute and you’ll be fine. If you fail to do so, the game will move to the next rond.

Let’s play a game of Dropzone, see what is happening and what we have to do.

I start the game by paying it. (Right click, chooce “pay” and then click the amount I want to play).

Immediat after start the game displays the positions of the bonuses as I will get them at the end of the game in the bonus round. Every time when I – during the game – move a number from left to right, the bonusses on that column will also move one step from left to right, the same for moving from right to left.

If I keep track of these moves, I’ll know where the bonusses are during the bonus round !! 16 positions is a bit hard to remember, but there is no need. Remembering the 4 highest bonusses is enough. I’ll choose the highest possible bonus anyways, when I got the choice.

Instead of memorizing, I’ll write them in a notecard. The top bonus is on column 1, the 2nd and 3rd bonus are both on column 2 and the 4th is on column 1 again.

After writhing that down, I can wait till the game starts or click on the spiner (the bottom row of the playboard) to start playing the game.

The content of my notecard:
1
2
2
1
In the first round I see (marked with red arrows) that my level is 1 and I am in the first round.

I also see I can make a number match (marked with the blue arrows). Another thing is that I can also play the number 8 on the top row, after I made the number match with 6. I will show later on. Let’s first play the 6, by clicking it on the playboard.

After playing 6, do not click the spiner to go to the next round. We are not done this round, not yet.

The content of my notecard:
The notecard remains unchanged.
1
2
2
1
Marked with red arrows After I remove the 6, I see the number above it falling down. There is a reason the game is called dropzone, numbers drop down. An empty spot remains at the top row. I scored 1250 points removing this number. As we mentioned before, the formula determining the score is such that the earlier in the game we match a tile, the more points it will give.

Marked with blue arrows The number 8 on the top row cannot be matched, as it is not in the same column als the number 8 on the spiner. However, we can move numbers. The rule is that we can move numbers in the direction of the arrow (that direction is randomly given each round, to the left or to the right), as long as there is an empty spot to move to and there no numbers above that number.

Marked with the white arrow So I can move the number 7 at the left most column one step to the left (placing it at the right most column)

That move to the left at the top row, I also write down in my notecard. Moves to the left have a negative value, moves to the right a positive value. So, I got a -1 in the top row.

The content of my notecard:
1 -1
2
2
1
If I keep on moving items to the left on the top row, I will eventually come in the situation that the 8 is at the desired column.


This is how the row looks after moving the 3 tiles all one step to the left.


And this is how it looks after moving them all again one step to the left.

Now, we only have to move the number 8 one more time in order to put it on the desired 3rd column. Doing so will make it dissapear and adds another 1250 points.

This where in total 7 moves to the left. I’ll write them in my notecard, and click the spiner to move to the next round.

The content of my notecard:
1 -1 -7
2
2
1
As you see I got 2500 points already, due to the two matches in the previous round. This second round brings us already 3 possible matches: The 8 in the first column, the 9 in the third column and the 4 in the last column. There are more 9’s and 4’s on the board, it must be possible using the moving feature to match a few more.

When I get fully rid of the top row, I’ll get 250 points extra (remember the scoring rule) per match. That must be possible, as I am making 4 matches and there only 2 tiles on the top row.

Another thing to take into consideration: The spiner only shows numbers that are available on the play board. Thus, the less different numbers are available on the play board, the bigger the odds on a match in the next rounds. I’ll remove the last 8 for sure, but perhaps I can also get rid of all 9’s.

I start with making all 3 matches, clicking the 8 in the first column, the 9 in the 3rd column and the 4 in the last column.

The content of my notecard:
The notecard remains unchanged.
1 -1 -7
2
2
1
I got 1125 points for each match, being 1 x 250 + 7 x 125 x 1, bringing my total score to 5875.

I did unfortunatelly overlook the chance to score another 250 points. After removing 2 numbers I could have moved the 7 on the top row all the way left until it would drop down one row, that would have increased my level, and thus I would have scored 250 points extra for the last number match.

I didn’t see that on time, and now there is no way back. Too bad, but let’s move on.

I can still move those 2 7’s and the 9 on such way that I’ll match the 9. That will also take the last 9 of the board, which is a good thing too as no 9 will appear on the spiner anymore.

I’ll move the 7 on the top row, 2 steps to the left. It will drop one row, and thus also increase my level. I also write the 2 steps down in my notecard. It is a move to the left thus, I write it down with a minus.

The content of my notecard:
1 -1 -7 -2
2
2
1
As you see the 7 dropped one row down and the level is 2 now.

I can move the 7 one step to the left, afterwards the empty spot on the row is at the total right column, so I can move the 7 on the total left column one step to the left, afterwards I can move the 9. All this I have to repeat 3 times bringing the 9 at the column I want it.

Once the 9 has arrived at it is new column,it will dissapear, being matched.

I made 9 moves to the left, on the second row. So, in my notecard I write a -9 on the second row.

Matching this 9 will also finish the work this round. I made all matches I can make, there is nothing left to do. I click the spiner to move to the next round.

The content of my notecard:
1 -1 -7 -2
2 -9
2
1
The next round brings me amongst other things a red + symbol on the spiner. We had that in the first round too, but then it couldn’t do nothing as the column was full. Now the column is not full, thus the + symbol does its work: A new number is added on top of the column. The number 6 you see on the right column is new, we didn’t have that last round.

As you see on the spiner, I can match the numbers 2 and 4.

However, let’s not in a rush click those numbers, accept the points happily and move on. Let’s instead try to get the maximum out of each round. This round I can take not only a 2 and a 4, I can take a 2 and both 4’s.

I’ll show you how. Let’s start with taking the 2.

The content of my notecard:
The notecard remains unchanged.
1 -1 -7 -2
2 -9
2
1
Matching the 2 makes that the 7 that was above it drops one row down. And of course I get a score for it. My level is 2 and there are 6 rounds to go. So, I get 2×250 + 6x125x2 = 2000 points.

Now I will move the 6 and 7 that are on top so neither of them is on any of the columns containing a 4. That takes 3 moves to the right. I make sure to write them down in the notecard at the correct row.

The content of my notecard:
1 -1 -7 -2
2 -9 +3
2
1
Now you might already see what I am heading at. I remove the 4 in the 3rd column, the 2 drops down. Then I move the 4 in the 2nd column one column to the right and I also match it.

Both 4’s are matched now. Let’s not forget to also write down the one move to the right in my notecard.

I click the spiner, let’s see what the next round will bring.

The content of my notecard:
1 -1 -7 -2
2 -9 +3
2 +1
1
Ok, pretty much the most worthless round possible. Not a single match can be made and we get 2 extra tiles.

Getting extra tiles doesn’t always have to be a punishment as there is no extra score for completing lines and/or for completing the entire board, while we do get nice scores making a match, when the level is pretty high.

Anyways, sometimes one is lucky, sometimes one is not. There is nothing to gain in this round. I click the spiner and go on to the next round.

The content of my notecard:
The notecard remains unchanged.
1 -1 -7 -2
2 -9 +3
2 +1
1
This round looks a whole lot better. I can match 6’s and 7’s.

With a bit of moving around, I’ll end up with only the bottom row left over. I won’t write it out step by step, as it hardly can be done wrong.

I of course write down all the moving I did in my notecard. When all is matched what can be matched, I’ll click the spiner and move to the next round.

The content of my notecard:
1 -1 -7 -2
2 -9 +3 +1
2 +1 +6
1
Now we get a much better round. I hope you now already see, after looking at the board that we can match all, except the 6.

Be aware that one number has to be matched while the level is still 3, all others can be matched with the level being 4. That is important, as it means 25% more points.

I don’t forget to write down my moves. All moves to the right, thus a +, this time. And I click the spiner to go to the next round.

The content of my notecard:
1 -1 -7 -2
2 -9 +3 +1
2 +1 +6 +1
1 +6
This round is far from complicated. One single click on the 6, it will give a nice 2000 points, and then on to the next round. The content of my notecard:
The notecard remains unchanged
1 -1 -7 -2
2 -9 +3 +1
2 +1 +6 +1
1 +6
Since I completed the entire board, a new board is generated, full with numbers. I can make several matches.

I think you got the drill by now. For making all the matches I can, I have to make one move to the left on the top row. So I write that down in my notecard.

This was the last round. I won’t click the spiner already, that would start the bonus round. I first have some math to do. No worries, it ain’t complicated math at all. Just counting.

The content of my notecard:
1 -1 -7 -2 -1
2 -9 +3 +1
2 +1 +6 +1
1 +6
When I started this game, it displayed the position of the bonusses in the bonus round. Each time I moved a tile on the row the bonusses moved the same way. I wrote down the starting position and every move I made.

Now I can simply add them up, to know for each row the column with the highest bonus.

I will get as many rows in the bonus round as I managed to complete in the game, so I will get all 4 rows this time.

After I added all up, I divide the outcomes by 4, as the game only has 4 columns. I need the remainder. E.g. 7 divided by 4 gives 1, with 3 remaining. Then 3 is the column where the highest bonus is.

Note that the correct column numbers are not 1,2,3,4 but 1,2,3,0 in this case.
For negative columns we count from right to left, the column numbers being (from left to right) -3,-2,-1,0

The content of my notecard:
1 -1 -7 -2 -1 = -10 (-2) = column 2
2 -9 +3 +1 = -3 (-3) = column 1
2 +1 +6 +1 = 10 (2) = column 2
1 +6 = 7 (3) = column 3
The bonus round starts. The first row, showing 4 columns, each saying “Pick me!”. We know which one we need, we just counted that out. I click the second column, immediatly afterwards the next row shows. I choose the 1st column, in the next row I chooce the 2nd column and in the last row the 3rd column.

If I counted right, I’ll get nothing else but the highest possible bonus.

Woops.
I made an error in the last row. I didn’t count right when I wrote down the 6, it had to be a 5.

This mistakes can happen, counting accurate during the entire game, every game again, is rather hard. I still got 3 out of 4 right, and that is a whole lot more than when I would just have relied on chance and picked just a random one out of the 4.

More important: We won this game. The final score is 62025, while we only needed 61999. The machine pays me L$20, I won!!

As you saw, the rules of the game are easy to understand, playing it well might require some practice. Grab a freeplay game (we have them at both Game Station and Cleopatra) or a cheap game and practice a bit. The risk is severe that you start liking this game. Succes!!

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