Downforce Board Game

Downforce Board Game

Downforce board game, designed by Wolfgang Kramer, Rob Daviau, and Justin D. Jacobson, is a card-driven bidding, betting, and racing game for 2-6 players.

Players: 2-6

Game Time: 30-45min

Complexity: Medium

Age: 8+

Release Year: 2017

In this game, gamers will bid to have the 6 cars in the race. After that, they will speed those cars around the track by playing cards in their hand. But, those cards may also move your opponents’ cars. So the key to victory is figuring out just the right time to play a card.

Along the way, players will try to think about which cars will win the race and make secret bets on them. If your guess is correct, you can gain money from your bets.

In this card game, it is not all about winning the race; betting on cars correctly and buying low in the auction can also be a strategy. You may lose the race and win the game.

The game continues until no more cards can be played or all cars have finished the race. At the end of the game, the player who has the most money wins.

Game Components

1 Double-Sided Game Board 

6 Race Car Pawns

42 Regular Speed Cards

6 Speed-8 Speed Cards

6 Power Cards

6 Driver Plaques

1 Pad of Score Sheets

Downforce Board Game

1- Start by choosing a side of the board to use; your chosen side will be placed face-up on the center of the tabletop. Each side has a unique track, so make sure you know what you are going to be playing on.

2-After that, give every gamer a score sheet and a pen.

3-There are many various Speed Cards; take the six Speed 8 Speed Cards and shuffle them to make a facedown pile, and then put it close to the board.

4-Take the 6 Power Cards, shuffle them to create a facedown pile, then place it next to the board

5-Take the 42 regular Speed Cards and shuffle them. Then distribute them face down evenly between players. For a four and five-player game, there will be a leftover two cards; return them to the box.

6-Place the Driver plaques near the board for now; you’ll need them later.

7-Randomly place all the six cars onto the starting spots on the board, marked with arrows.

Downforce Board Game, How To Play?

The gameplay consists of three parts: the Auction, the Race, and the Betting.


At the beginning of the game, no one of the players owns any cars. But they have to bid on both the car they will control and the power card that comes with it. First, the players will look at the cards in their hands; then, the cars will be auctioned off one by one.

In order to do this, flip over the top card of the 8 Speed deck and the top card of the Power card deck. This is the color and the power of the first car for bid. To bid, choose a card from your hand and place it face down on the tabletop. Once all the players are done, all the cards are flipped over.

How much you bid for that car is indicated by the number on the card matching the car color. The highest bid wins, and the player will pay that much; he will note the amount on his score sheet.

If two cards or more have the same value, the one that has more cars on it will win. If they also have the same number of cars, the card that has no wild symbol will win.

Once you win a bid, take your matching Speed-8 card to your hand, place the power card face up in front of you, and also take the matching driver plaque and put it in front of you.

All the players (including the bid winner) will return back their bid cards; they can use those cards again for another auction.

After that, the bidding continues for a new car and power card. Each of the players should own at least one car. If the number of players without cars is equal to the number of

cars remaining, those who own cars can not bid.

If there is a player without a car and only one car is left, this player reveals the card in his hand with the lowest value of that color and bids that much.

Once all cars are auctioned off, If any racer owns more than one power card, he will select only one, and the remaining power cards are returned to the box. This power card applies to all of his cars.

2-The Race

The gamer who controls the car on the 1 space will take the first turn. Then the one on his left will take the next turn. During a player’s turn, every gamer plays a speed card and resolves it. The game will continue until no more cards can be played or all the cars have finished the race.

When a speed card is played, any car whose color appears on this card will move. The movement starts from the top car and goes to the bottom (unless the player has the Tricky power)

Even if the cars belong to other gamers, all the cars on the card will be moved by the player who played this card (unless the car is controlled by someone with the Cunning power). Once you resolve the card, it is placed face-up in the discard pile.

If a card has a white car on it, that white car is considered Wild. Whoever plays this card may choose a car of any color to move other than those already on the card (unless that player has the Unpredictable power). If the card has two Wilds on it, the gamer must select two different cars.

When you move Cars, you move them on the track to the next adjacent space, either straight or diagonally. Cars move forward; they may not move sideways or backward. If the front end of the new space is further ahead than the front end of the space they moved out of, this space is considered forward.

Cars may not move through other cars; however, they may move diagonally between two cars that are adjacent diagonally. If possible, the player must move each car the full number of spaces, But if he can not, he can move it as far as possible.

 If there is a legal move for a car, the gamer must move it. However, it may be strategically useful to move a car, so it is blocked by other cars and can’t move the full number of spaces.

3– The Betting

On each race track, there are three lines that indicate when betting occurs. The first time a car crosses the first bright yellow betting line, and after resolving all of the movement on the card, all the players will think about which of the six cars will finish the race in the first place and secretly mark their score sheet.

Players can bet on any cars, whether the cars they own or those belonging to the other gamers. When a car crosses the second and third betting lines for the first time, bets are also made in the same way. You may bet on any combination of cars across your three bets, from the same car all three times to all different cars. When the race ends, if you guess correctly, you receive payouts for your bets.

Finishing the Race

Once a car crosses the finish line, it is placed in the appropriate winner’s space near the race track. The player will stop playing and discard the rest of his cards if all of his cars have finished the race.

The cars that did not cross the finish line stall out; they do not collect any money. But the players who own those cars can earn money from any other cars they might have and for their bets.

Winning the Game

After the end of the race, each player will check his final score. The player with the highest score wins. In the case of a tie, the player whose car finished higher wins the tie.

Two-Player Game

For a two-player game, there are some changes:

1-Instead of placing the Speed-8 cards into each player’s hand, the players will put them face up in front of them.

2- After the auction, every gamer will shuffle their speed cards to create a draw pile and then take a hand of seven cards.

3-On each player’s turn, a player may play a card from his hand or use one of the unused (face-up) Speed-8 cards. he will draw a replacement card from his draw pile if he plays a card from his hand

4-in a two-player game, the cunning power is not particularly fun, as this means that one gamer will never get to move the other gamer’s cars. If you want to leave it out, simply have the gamer who gains that power select another one.

Beginner’s Game

If you want a simple game that younger players can play, there are some changes to follow:

1-Instead of the auction, randomly and evenly distribute the Speed-8 cards and their matching driver plaques to all players. Any leftover cards and their corresponding cars remain out of play.

2-At the start of the game, do not distribute all the cards but instead give every gamer three cards. Then create a draw pile with the remaining cards. Once a player plays a card, he draws a new card from the draw pile.

3-Don’t use team powers.

4-Don’t play with the betting rules.

5-The winner is the car of the gamer that finishes first.

Downforce Board Game

Our Opinion About Downforce Board Game

The Downforce board game is based on Top Race, the award-winning design by the legendary Wolfgang Kramer. It is a competitive game that combines auction, racing, and betting.

The game rules are easy to learn and understand; it includes several variants as well, which should encourage players to tinker and find the flavor of Downforce that they like best.

The game comes with special rules for beginners and younger players. It is a great game if you want to introduce your friend to board games. Also, you can play this board game with your kids and have a fun game night; it is a great family game that the whole family can enjoy.

The art of the game is really awesome. The board is big, its art is very pleasant and colorful as well, and the cars are clearly distinguishable on the board. The cards are easy to read, and also the graphic design on the cards looks super slick; the whole game looks really nice.

The combination of a double-sided map and different power cards can bring variety to each game. You can not know how the race will end, giving the same fun every time you play it. This game comes with high replayability.

The Downforce board game from the Restoration Games brand can accommodate up to 6 players; it is a great game to play at your next party or friend gathering. It is one of those games that can get players up around the table, whether cheering or despairing.