Downfall- The Game
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16.12.2017

Downfall- The Game

Downfall is a board game for two players, created by the Milton Bradley Company in 1970. This game includes a vertical board with slotted dials, five of them on each side. Each player begins the game with ten numbered, small disc like tokens on the top portion of the board, which acts as a screen between the two players. The goal of the game is to move the discs down the board into a tray at the end by turning the slotted dials. Each player has an alternate turn in rotating the dials and cannot turn a dial that their opponent has just turned. The first person to successfully slide all the discs down the board into the tray wins. Advanced rules of the game require the discs to be moved down the board in a numerical order.

The dials of the board link chutes running from the top of the board to its base. The colored discs are placed in a numerical sequence, 1 to 5, on the top chutes at the beginning of the game. With a twist of the dial, one disc is moved at a time. These dials do not have exactly same indentations on each side of the board, which means that players are not aware if they are helping the opponent player by moving their discs down. The board acts as a screen, so the players do not know the disc position of their opponent player. The player who moves all the five discs to the tray wins, but there are variations to this rule. You may also win if you cause your opponent’s discs to move to the end of the board out of sequence, that is if you force your opponent’s disc in the order of 1, 4, 3, 5, 2, or the like.

You cannot see your opponent’s progress, so you have to use strategy to ensure that your discs get to the bottom of the board first. For this you can use deception; you can trick your opponent into thinking your discs are at a certain position, so that s/he moves a dial that will actually advance your discs. You have to move the dials properly so that the numbered discs are not dropped out of order or stuck midway. Children of age 7 years and above can play this game, as it requires a certain amount of manual skill in turning and manipulating your token discs. Kids of all ages will find this game challenging and interesting, and there will always be an element of novelty to the game, as the rotation of dials can never be in the same combination twice. Playing out the game with different opponents also brings in new elements to the game.

The 70’s edition has recently given way to the latest version, renamed as New Downfall, marketed and manufactured by the company Hasbro. The new version retains the same flavor of the game including the original rules, but the packaging is more futuristic, with red and yellow board design. The game has not received world wide attention, but has a popular following in many countries.
May 6, 2008, 2:57 am


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