DownForce: Wild Ride Expansion Review

More Downforce? Yes please! In this new expansion, players are jumping ramps and dodging wildlife in two very different maps. This double-sided board introduces players to “Aloha Sands” and “Savanna Stretch”. Like most expansions, you’ll need the base version of Downforce to race these new maps.

At this point, if you don’t own this game, we probably need to sit down for a little chat.

Aloha Sands

Beautiful golden sands await as you rev your engines along the coast. This new map comes with eight ramps scattered throughout the course. While you’re only required to jump one of these ramps, it’s to your advantage to hit any or all of the ramps you encounter.

Aloha Sands is a narrow map and jumping a ramp is the quickest way to the front of the pack. Each ramp has a number value between 3 and 6. This is the number that is required to hit the ramp. Jumping a ramp means you have to meet a couple criteria:

  • The cars movement has to be equal to or over the ramp number
  • The car must have 1 space of movement remaining
  • And, the ramps landing space has to be empty

All 3 criteria have to be met to jump a ramp. Players can block a ramps landing space but cannot block a ramp since cars are able to turn onto a ramp during their movement.

My favorite move is to play a high enough speed card to hit two ramps in one movement. While it’s not an actual rule, it is encouraged that players scream “Hold on to your butts!” as they launch a car from any ramp on the board.

Savanna Stretch

The Savanna Stretch map is the first in the series that isn’t a looping track. The race starts in the top left of the board, curves a couple times like a snake and ends in the bottom right. This narrow track has animals that are blocking specific lanes and can cause some real headaches.

I was really surprised by how much I liked this map. An elephant, python and antelope block lanes as the lead car passes. When the animal is passed by the lead car, the token is moved down the track. I honestly didn’t believe this would matter, but each of our races on this map have been really competitive.

The lead car on this map will always be forces into the longest route because the animals are blocking the shortest path. This works as a great catch up mechanic!

Ready to Race?

If you’re a fan of Downforce like we are, the Wild Ride Expansion is an excellent addition. Both of these maps have been a hit for us. The maps both feel tighter than previous Downforce tracks. I felt like we’ve had less runaway leader situations which is something we’ve seen when playing with newer players.

With a total of 6 tracks available, Downforce has only gotten better since its 2017 release. Wild Ride is an excellent expansion and may be my favorite of the two expansions on the market today.

You can purchase the Wild Ride Expansion at your local game store or online through Amazon today.

Highs

  • Both track designs feel well thought out
  • Narrow tracks and new mechanics keep races more competitive
  • More Downforce

Lows

  • Would love to see tokens or minis to represent the animals