Downforce – Game of the Week
Restoration Games has a really great mission for their company. They take old, but not forgotten, board games and breath new life into them. While they could have simply republished these titles, I think they knew that many didn’t age as well as they could have. Instead, they not only give them a cosmetic face lift, but also tweak the design to keep up with modern board game standards.
Downforce is based on the original game Top Race, which was designed by legendary board game designer Wolfgang Kramer. Top Race has had a few versions over the years so, designers Rob Daviau and Justin Jacobson had their work cut out for them in figuring out which rules modules were the best to keep, all while still trying to modernize this game.
What we are left with is a fun and accessible race betting game that can be enjoyed by just about anyone. In Downforce, your aren’t race car drivers, but owners and betters looking to make money. Six cars are auctioned off, each with their own special ability, and then race around the track (controlled by player cards) with periods of betting during the race. When betting, you can not only bet on your own car, but also you’re opponent’s vehicles.
One of the great things about Downforce is the clever card play. Each player will take turns playing cards to move the cars. However most all cards will move not only the cars you want, but other player’s cars as well. This will lead to a lot of tactical decisions in the game as the tracks have quite a few choke points that can really affect movement. Yet even with this tactical nature, the game still remains easy enough to learn that just about anyone can enjoy it. And that’s why Downforce is our newest Game of the Week.