Downforce: Danger Circuit Expansion (2019)

Downforce: Danger Circuit Expansion (2019)

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Downforce: Danger Circuit is a fantastic expansion for the racing game, Downforce. Up to six players use crafty hand management to try and get their car ahead in the race. Or, if all else fails, they can bet on a rival to win instead, and try to boost that car onto the podium! Published by Restoration Games, these tracks were co-designed by Rob Daviau (Pandemic Legacy). You’ll nee…
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Category Tags , , , , SKU TCS-DWNFR_DANGER Availability 3+ in stock
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Downforce: Danger Circuit is a fantastic expansion for the racing game, Downforce. Up to six players use crafty hand management to try and get their car ahead in the race. Or, if all else fails, they can bet on a rival to win instead, and try to boost that car onto the podium! Published by Restoration Games, these tracks were co-designed by Rob Daviau (Pandemic Legacy).

You’ll need the base game of Downforce to play Danger Circuit, but you get some wonderful content here. A double-sided board features two new exciting and dangerous race tracks. Also inside are six new racing powers up for grabs during the initial auction phase of the game. What kind of racer do you want to be? Tough, Bold, Defensive, Reckless, Experienced, or Ambitious? You can mix these in with those in the base game for a whole new way to play!

Both tracks provide their own perils. Crosstown Speedway is across an urban setting, with two loop-the-loop crossover sections. Cars have to drive all the way around these loops – no cheeky Mario Kart shortcuts, here.! If cars stop at the cross-section, they could well block other drivers either way ahead or far behind. There’s also two other split-sections of the track, with bottlenecks where they meet back up. Is it worth the risk, driving in the single-file lane to save a couple of spaces?

On the other side of the board, Switchback Pass is in a canyon environment. Some sections of the track have cracked by dangerous boulders that have fallen onto the road. Cars cannot enter these sections of the track if there is another route around them. If that safe passage is blocked, then cars can drive through the danger, but not end their turn within that section. Downforce: Danger Circuit adds a whole lot more fuel to the base game!

Player Count: 2-6 Players
Time: 20-40 minutes
Age: 8+

Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Both new circuits are interesting and very different
  • Great artwork
  • 6 new power cards

Might Not Like

  • Both tracks still suffer a little with 1st player advantage
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Description

Downforce: Danger Circuit is a fantastic expansion for the racing game, Downforce. Up to six players use crafty hand management to try and get their car ahead in the race. Or, if all else fails, they can bet on a rival to win instead, and try to boost that car onto the podium! Published by Restoration Games, these tracks were co-designed by Rob Daviau (Pandemic Legacy).

You’ll need the base game of Downforce to play Danger Circuit, but you get some wonderful content here. A double-sided board features two new exciting and dangerous race tracks. Also inside are six new racing powers up for grabs during the initial auction phase of the game. What kind of racer do you want to be? Tough, Bold, Defensive, Reckless, Experienced, or Ambitious? You can mix these in with those in the base game for a whole new way to play!

Both tracks provide their own perils. Crosstown Speedway is across an urban setting, with two loop-the-loop crossover sections. Cars have to drive all the way around these loops – no cheeky Mario Kart shortcuts, here.! If cars stop at the cross-section, they could well block other drivers either way ahead or far behind. There’s also two other split-sections of the track, with bottlenecks where they meet back up. Is it worth the risk, driving in the single-file lane to save a couple of spaces?

On the other side of the board, Switchback Pass is in a canyon environment. Some sections of the track have cracked by dangerous boulders that have fallen onto the road. Cars cannot enter these sections of the track if there is another route around them. If that safe passage is blocked, then cars can drive through the danger, but not end their turn within that section. Downforce: Danger Circuit adds a whole lot more fuel to the base game!

Player Count: 2-6 Players
Time: 20-40 minutes
Age: 8+

downforce danger circuit

Downforce is my favourite racing game and is in my top five games of all time. I love the auctioning, betting and racing and have always had great success teaching it to new players. The original game included two circuits which were fun but fairly similar and the game was always crying out for new ways of racing. The first expansion, Danger Circuit, promises more excitement as it adds two new circuits and six more power cards, but does it crash into the first corner or come out racing into the lead? Continue reading on to find out.

Danger Danger, High Voltage

In this expansion you get a double sided board with two new circuits, Crosstown Speedway and Switchback Pass, as well as six new power cards. Both circuits offer something new to the Downforce experience and do actually feel very different to the original circuits.

Crosstown Speedway offers a very wide track with many overtaking points as well as two loops that can cause havoc as there are multiple blocking points. Blocking has always been one of my favourite mechanisms in Downforce and this track really leans into it. When you enter a loop you must follow the path and do a full circle before exiting the loop. However the exit is very close to the entrance and cars can block each other very easily. Further down the track are two ‘shortcuts’ which are only a single lane wide. Another great tactic is to send cars down these shortcuts behind your car knowing they will have to push your car first and you can save some of your big cards for the final push towards the finish line.

Switchback Pass offers a much tighter racing experience with a new mechanism added to the track. At certain points you will notice the track has fallen rocks on it. You can never end your movement in any of these rock spaces. These dangerous spaces may only be used to pass the cars in front of you as long as you have at least enough movement to clear all of the dangerous spaces.

I really enjoy both of these tracks and I especially like the artwork used. Crosstown Speedway looks futuristic with its neon colours and high rise buildings, whereas Switchback Pass looks like you are racing along the grand canyon with desolate rocks and deserts in all directions. Both tracks require you to use different tactics to take full advantage however one small problem remains which is the first player advantage.

Just like the original circuits being first in the race can mean you control at least the first third of the race by positioning your cars to block your opponents. Of course this requires you to have the right cards in your hand but I have definitely noticed that the player in pole position will win more than they lose. You can argue that this is thematic as in actual racing pole position is highly sought after for the same reason. It is just a shame that there is such a clear advantage to being in pole position on both of these tracks.

danger circuit

I Have The Power (cards)

The six power cards add some nice variety to the original set and can make the difference between winning and losing. They are all very simple to use and the rule sheet explains them very well. I particularly like ‘Ambitious’ which moves your car/s two extra spaces when you cross a betting line. Another favourite of mine is ‘Experienced’ which moves your car/s forward into the space ahead if a car was previously occupying it moves forward. With the right positioning you can keep making your car/s take full advantage of other peoples movements.

All of the new powers provided in this expansion are well thought out and offer different ways of playing. Some work better with the wider tracks whilst others specialise in the tight tracks.

Top Step Of The Podium

This is a brilliant expansion and one that should definitely be in the collection of any fans of Downforce. Both circuits offer something new without reinventing the wheel and the power cards add more variety and tactics. I do wish the first player advantage had been reduced but as everyone is free to bid on the car in first place there shouldn’t be too much moaning.

Whenever I play Downforce I insist on a full season of racing which means racing each track and keeping a tally of everyone’s winnings. I always look forward to racing on either of these tracks as they add some genuine excitement and tension.

Now get out of my way I want that first place.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Both new circuits are interesting and very different
  • Great artwork
  • 6 new power cards

Might not like

  • Both tracks still suffer a little with 1st player advantage