Dropsy from Endless Games challenges players to find balance worthy of the Karate Kid’s crane kick. Dexterity games bring in physical aspects, such as balancing blocks in stacking games. Dropsy takes a twist on balance by making the players themselves into the “tabletop” as they try to hold onto cards without letting them drop.
The rules in Dropsy are easy to understand. Players draw cards from the deck one at a time, trying to match one of nine colors. If the card is one of their color, they play it in front of them.
But if the card is not their color, the player must follow the directions on the card. It will need to be balanced on their head or hand, tucked under the chin or arm, or even slipped between the fingers. Players must maintain their hold on these cards, adding more and more as the deck goes around. If even one card slips, the player will have to discard everything and start over in hopes of winning by collecting three cards of the same kind.
Some holds are more difficult than others, such as carrying the card on one’s head or hand. For the cards tucked under arms or between fingers, a sure grip could keep them held, but even leaning forward to draw a new card could end in disaster with a card going flying. Instinctively, players might try to catch the falling card. This could work out well, if it lands on a lap or is caught by a shoe, but the player will then have to collect the card and put it back in place, leading to a nerve-wracking, giggle-inducing series of twists not to lose any other cards.
Although the biggest skill in Dropsy is a player’s balance, and the luck of the draw is important, there is also a good deal of strategy. Players should keep track of which cards have been drawn already. If their color has not come up much at all, that means there is more potential to draw them later on. A clever player might go ahead and “drop” a card to wipe their slate clean. Without a pile of cards on one’s head or hands, players will have a better chance to hold onto their collection when their own color comes around.
Dropsy is a balancing party game for two or more players aged seven and up. Younger players may be able to join in as well with a bit of reading help or interpretation of how to hold the cards. Games are relatively speedy, lasting 15 or 20 minutes depending on how quickly players draw their cards and how often they might let them slip. Dropsy makes for great physical education, teaching players patience as well as muscle dexterity while they wait for the draw to come back around to their side. It also makes for plenty of laughs whenever the cards finally do take a tumble.