Downfall is a challenging but fun boardgame that you can enjoy together with your children. It’s a game where you will have to pit your wits against your opponent, learn to think ahead, and sometimes hope that a little bit of luck will put you in the lead!

Hasbro Gaming has a bunch of boardgames that are suited to pre-school learning, these are even approved by Mensa Kids and help to encourage social skills and developmental thinking. Mensa is a global IQ society while Mensa Kids is a resource that provides and verifies tools suited to childhood development. Downfall is one of these games (as well as Mousetrap and Operation), and is said to encourage skills in strategic planning, critical thinking and visual reasoning.

Downfall is a two player game that will see you trying to get all of your tokens down through the unit first. Each side of the unit has gears, and you will need to pick a gear, turn your key and try to move the tokens down through the unit. Once you’ve chosen your gear and had your turn, leave the key in as your opponent must choose another gear on his side. The trick is that you won’t be able to see what your opponent is doing, so choose your gear wisely otherwise you may help them by moving their units down faster. You’ll also need to think ahead, turning your gear to the next position carefully so your token may move down more quickly.

The first player to successfully move all their ten tokens down through the gears and into the chute wins. If you would like a shorter game or to make it a little easier for younger players, you can use five tokens each instead. You can also make it more advanced by loading each token set into the launcher in numerical order, you’ll then need to try and get one token set down in numerical order. I can’t wait for my husband to take Downfall to work to challenge his team to a match, boardgaming at it’s best to inspire a little bit of competition and a whole lot of fun!

Downfall is recommended for ages seven and up, but Amy who is just four grasped the concept quickly and with just a bit of assistance was doing her best to outmanoeuvre her mom within no time at all. We have really enjoyed Downfall so far, whether it was Mom pitted against Dad or Mom going head to head with Dad and Amy. It does require a bit of assembly, but once assembled it can be stored easily inside the box. The structure is sturdy, but I found keeping a hand on the unit’s base was a good idea to keep it stable while twisting the gears.


Downfall is available from toy stores and online retailers for a recommended retail price of R300.

Thanks to Hasbro for letting us challenge ourselves with the gears, twists and turns of Downfall.

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