Downfall was one of those games that I always wanted, but no matter how much I hinted or wrote it on my Christmas list Santa somehow failed to bring me my own copy. Luckily a cousin of mine did get one for Christmas one year, so I did get to play it, but I liked it so much that just made me want my own one all the more.
What I liked most about Downfall were the dials on the main playing board. Â These reminded me of the dials on safes that you always saw people twiddling, ear up to the door, when trying to rob millionaires on films (the safe was always hidden behind a picture for some reason).
The idea in Downfall was to get all your coloured counters from the top of the playing board to the bottom by twisting the dials, which had little holes in them that could pick up the counters. Â In the meantime your opponent was trying to do the exact same thing on their side of the playing board.
Players took it in turns to twist one of the dials, although you weren’t allowed to twist the dial your opponent had just twisted. Â As you twisted the holes in the dials past counters in other dials the counters would drop into the lower dial if two holes were alligned.
What made Downfall such a good game was that it was such an incredibly simple idea, but you could sit there agonising over which dial to turn in case you inadvertantly helped out your opponent by dropping some of their counters down the board.
The original version of Downfall was made by MB Games, but is no longer in production. Â Hasbro now own the MB Games name and have a new version on the market though, called New Downfall (original eh?) which has slightly more modern styling to the playing board but is otherwise pretty much the same game. Â There is also a smaller travel sized version available.