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When I was young I was a big fan of the Downfall game so when we were going on holiday one year my mum bought me the travel version of it to keep me amused on the flight and during general chill out moments on holiday.
Downfall Travel is a game for two people and it is really a mini version of the proper Downfall game. It came packaged in a quite flimsy cardboard box which had a picture of the game on the front. Inside the box was of course the game and also an instruction sheet written in English.
The idea of Downfall is to take it in turns with the other player to turn the cogs on your side of the board and manoeuvre your counters down the board so that they fall into the tray. The winner is the first person to get all of their counters to the bottom. When you turn a cog the corresponding cog on the other side of the board will also turn, so, depending on the position of your opponents counters you could either help or hinder them without even realising it.
There are 3 main parts to Downfall Travel. The plastic game board with its little cogs, 4 sets of small coloured counters and two pegs which are used for turning the cogs.
The Downfall board is a blue double sided board which is made from a strong plastic. On each side of the board there are 5 cogs which vary in size, each cog has a different number of slots in it for the counters to fall into and be moved around. At the top of the board are 2 chutes, one in each corner, this is where your counters are stored and also where they are placed at the start of each game. Covering the top of these chutes are two yellow pegs which clip into the board to make sure you don't loose the counters, these yellow pegs are also used for turning the cogs. At the bottom of the board are two fold down trays, one for each side, these are for catching the counters as the fall out of the bottom cog.
I enjoyed playing Downfall Travel not only on holiday but also at home when I couldn't be bothered to reach on top of the wardrobe for the full sized version. I found this was much easier to pick off the shelf and it was set up within seconds due to the fact that to store or put Downfall Travel away you need to replace all of the counters back in the chutes at the top of the board and then cover them with the yellow pegs, so when you want to play you simply have to unfold the trays and remove the pegs.
The pegs clip into place securely and although they can be wobbled around a little but I have never had them fall out of place and I have carried the game around in my bag many times without the cardboard box.
The board stands up well and is balanced by the trays on either side which click firmly into place. I have played with mine on a plane with no problems standing it on the fold up table in the backs of the plane seats. I have also played it in a car with the use of the fold down arm rest in the back of the car, although we could play the game like normal with regards to turning the cogs we did find that we had to hold the board steady as with the movement of the car it fell over, also because of this we used little yoghurt pots to put the counters in after they fell out so that we wouldn't loose them in the car.
I was in my early teens when I first got Downfall Travel, it was originally bought to keep me quiet and amuse me for a flight and a holiday. At the time I don't think my mum has high expectations for the game lasting much longer than the holiday as she had a theory that travel versions of games are 'cheapo' and poorly made, however, I do actually still own my Downfall Travel and it is still in one piece and moves and plays absolutely fine. I have lost a few counters over the years so we do have to count them out evenly now rather than play with the proper amount. I don't really play with this game anymore as firstly it kind of lost the appeal that it had when I was young and also at 29 years old I think I might get some strange looks trying to get my friends to play it with me on a plane!
There are no sharp edges on the game so not too many worries of an injury occurring. The counters are brightly coloured and very small so there is of course a choking hazard if they are put into mouths or swallowed while being mistaken for a sweetie by a small child. The age rating for Downfall Travel is 5+, I would say this is about right so long as you keep an eye on the counters and obviously use your own discretion about how likely your child is to try and eat a counter.
It isn't the most exciting game in the world but when you are on the move and want your children to be entertained but not over excited this is probably a good thing. I have found Downfall Travel to be a game of both strategy and luck which lead to frustration and competitiveness which in turn led to me finding the game quite addictive to try and beat my opponents!
I was only young when my mum bought me this game so I have no idea how much it would have cost her all those years ago, but I have seen Downfall Travel in both East Midlands Airport and Luton Airport for around £12 and I have also seen it in many motorway service stations for around £15. Personally I would say this is rather expensive, but at the same time it is a really good game for keeping kids amused and unlike what my mum thought, the game is made really well and will last a long time... as long as you don't loose the counters!
Thanks for reading! :)