Downforce: The Best Racing Game of the Eighties and Nineties is Back

Downforce setup

Re-makes are not really my thing. The Ben-Hur movie of 2016? Woof. Crystal Pepsi? Trying too hard. Every Disney animated movie ever now coming back as live action? NO. So when I heard that there was now an entire tabletop game company, Restoration Games, devoted to remaking* classic games, I was … skeptical. Then I heard about Downforce.  And my inner 10-year-old demanded a play though.

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Clear for Takeoff : A Race Down the Runway

One of my recently adopted criteria for a good family game is total length – from setup, through play time, to teardown. In this, Clear for Takeoff excels. Designed by Hagen Temeryazev, an airline pilot, illustrated by Etienne Hebinger, and published by Blue Orange Games, Clear for Takeoff is a card game that has you racing to get all three of your planes down the runway and into the air before anyone else. Hampered by an over-dependence on luck, and at times descending into maddening waits for just the right card draw, the game is still a fine amusement for a wide age range when you’ve got only a few minutes for play and even fewer for reading a rulebook.

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Battle Sheep: One Sheep, Two Sheep, Red Sheep, Blue Sheep

Battle Sheep - Flock to Greener Pastures

I love playing games with my kids that have either a simple setup, a simple cleanup, or simple rules. Battle Sheep, designed by Francesco Rotta and published by Blue Orange Games, has all three. With just a handful of quality components and a very limited set of choices to make each turn, games are breezy fun with your little lambs, but there’s surprising strategic depth when playing with older ones.

Let’s take a look at the game, and I promise to not use too many baa-d puns.

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