Downfall is a game of many names, friends. As well as being offered in many countries since it was first published in 1970. While I will certainly admit that I have no recollection of this particular game. The play mechanics have me absolutely captivated. Apparently it was picked up by Hasbro and is being produced today under the name New Downfall.
The design might be a little different but the gameplay certainly remains the same.
While as you can plainly see from the box art, Downfall was a Milton Bradley game. I have however found a version by Whitman that definitely has the groovy vibe of the 1960s. Having said that this game was indeed released in 1970.
Now obviously Downfall is known by different names in other countries. Such as Nouveau Dix de Chute, Dix de Chute, Slotter, Cascadix, and Combi 5-2-5 to name a few. For myself though I am partial to the Dutch version of Onderuit! as well as it’s grim commercial!
That is some Hangman level of creepiness there, all it needed was Vincent Price, in place of the child. Now the point of Downfall is to take your ten numbered discs and get them to the bottom…in order. This is accomplished by turning one of the five dials on the “board”. Although each Player naturally cannot see the other side of the board, which means they have no clue if their opponent’s turn will hinder or aid them.
Downfall really seems to offer an amazing amount of strategy to the Players. I might have to keep my eyes peeled on eBay to add this game to my collection. Also of interest was how Milton Bradley made sure to show it was fun for the whole Family. With at least two different covers!
If I am being totally honest though, I truly love the Japanese version of Downfall by Whitman
Now then, how about the German Commercial forDownfall aka Slotter? Definitely looks like there is a hesit going on!
It’s my belief. My personal belief mind you – that board games were quite a bit more popular back in the 60s and 70s. In addition I think that they had a more imaginative approach to the designs of the game. Just a couple of weeks ago I shared that incredible 1979 Alien board game as a case in point.
Having said that I think the 80s had some amazing board games too of course. Many of them were movie tie-in’s like The Goonies. But you also had offerings that relied on other media – like 1988’s Shrieks and Creaks that used an audio cassette.
And it’s a fact there are some INCREDIBLE games being made today. Just off the top of my head I can’t recommend Inis, 7 Wonders, or Betrayal at House on the Hill enough.
Those games however are not exactly designed for children – or furthermore quick to finish. Which is why I try to seek out the older board games. Generally for the use of the arcade but some of them are for my personal collection. Of course looking for worthy games is half the fun and thankfully we have YouTube to help make things a little easier.
Which is of course how I found this 1968 game from Milton Bradley. Pop Yer Top tasked Players on their turn to take control of the Koo-Koo bird.
Following the steps printed on the board – through two safe zones to reach the winner’s spot. Make sure to check out the degrees Koo-Koo goes to in those safe zones to ensure he doesn’t pop his top.
Image courtesy of BoardGameGeek.
There are no dice used in the Pop Yer Top. Instead a Player pushes their luck with each press of the wacky bird on the game board.
The Players have no clue of course at which point Koo-Koo will pop his top.
If that happens the Player must go all the way back to the starting area. I’ve been able to find a few copies of Pop Yer Top for purchase on ebay. They range from a mere $12 to $33. Not a bad price for such a fun game if you ask me.
I really want to thank the always impressive BoardGameGeek for the image used at the top of the post as well as the board itself.
Granted if I do pick up a copy of Pop Yer Top I will have to look into Koo-Koo’s eyes for quite some time. His all-knowing eyes!
A couple of days ago I posted the commercial for the Dark Tower board game and Retroist commenter, Marco, was kind enough to share his memories of the game from where he hails in the Netherlands. There the name of the game was Atlantis and my little bit of research has shown that there wasn’t any further differences to the game besides box art and the name.
I found out another reason this board game didn’t do well…Milton Bradley was sued shortly after releasing Dark Tower.
The all-knowing Wikipedia gives us this: “Dark Tower was the subject of trade secret litigation in 1985. Two independent game developers named Robert Burton and Allen Coleman submitted a game to Milton Bradley entitled “Triumph” that involved an electronic tower as the centerpiece. Milton Bradley rejected the game, but proceeded to release “Dark Tower” some time later. The inventors sued for misappropriation of trade secrets and won a jury verdict for over $700,000. The trial judge, however, vacated the jury’s judgement. Despite finding that Milton Bradley had likely “plagiarized the plaintiffs’ idea without so much as a by-your-leave” the judge proceeded to issue a directed verdict for the defendant because Burton and Graham had signed a contract waiving any contractual relationship (which arguably included any duty of confidentiality). The First Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, finding evidence that Milton Bradley entered an implied agreement to keep the game confidential and reinstated the damage award.”
A big tip of the hat to J. SE over at BoardGameGeek.Com for the photo of the Atlantis box art as well as a HUGE thanks to Marco for giving me the heads up on Atlantis in the first place!
I would totally love to add this I Spy game to my board game collection, it was made by Ideal though I’ve had the deuce of a time trying to figure out what year this was released. Some sites say it came out in 1965 while another site claims it was released in 1966. Either way it looks pretty interesting. A big thanks to BoardGameGeek.Com for these wonderful images!