I’m gonna’ take your territory cards and chop off your head! Review

RISK Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • 1 - 8

Publisher

  • Hasbro Interactive

Developer

  • N/A

Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now

Platform

  • PC

rating

I’m gonna’ take your territory cards and chop off your head!

All right so it’s Risk. You remember the game, that staple of rainy day entertainment.

Everyone divided up the board into their own territories, placed their armies,

and then spent the next 36 hours battling until someone controlled everything,

at which point all of the game players agreed that they would never play Risk

again.

This experience is a lot like Risk, the computer game. You sit down with the

intent to play for maybe 45 minutes, and suddenly all sense of time is lost

and it is four hours later. How can any computer program based on a board game

end up being so addictive?

Easy, you take the original idea, include it, and then also create a new spin

on the classic that blows everyone away. They call it “ultimate risk”. What

it allows the player to do is build forts, create generals, and launch battles

using real military movements, not rolls of the dice. What this means is that

the success of your attack depends on the tactic that your opponent chooses

vs. the one that you choose. For instance, defending from an entrenched position

works wonders against a frontal assault by a superior force, but would be completely

vulnerable to a flank attack from left or right.

The forts are cool, too. They allow you to protect key territories that you

do not want to lose, like say the one in which your capital has been placed.

What this means is that an opponent cannot just sweep in using one spectacular

roll of the dice and clean out an entire legion that is placed at your capital.

It would take him a couple turns to wipe out a fortress, time enough for you

to place reinforcements.

The game

board is fairly dynamic too, giving the player an option to battle for 19th

century Europe and Asia, 18thcentury North America, and the world. For those

nostalgic for the old game, the designers threw in the classic game board as

well. If you play the “ultimate" game previously described, the board comes

alive. I call this the rotating skull turn, as denoted by the bit-mapped skull

in the top left corner of the screen. During this point, random events such

as storms, epidemics, and mutinies occur. This keeps the game from becoming

static, with players hiding behind impenetrable defenses. There is always something

happening, always a rebellion, always an opportunity to take advantage of a

opposing player’s misfortune.

This game is quite impressive graphically. The board is recreated beautifully,

with detailed coastlines, small forests, and mountains. During the battle sequences,

there are animations of men fighting and dying, forts being shelled, and armies

surrendering or gloating in victory. When you destroy an opponent, the cut-scene

shows a hapless prisoner being led to a guillotine in the town square.

Sound also adds to this game, with battle noises, the crackling of burning

flags as you take over a territory, and the sickening slice of a blade through

someone’s neck.

Unfortunately the interface leaves a bit to be desired. it is confusing at

firs and forces you to cycle through too many options just to get through a

turn. Anyone who remembers playing the old Mac version knows what a simple clean

interface can do for Risk. The GUI (graphical user interface) on this newest

version actually adds time to the length of games.

The multiplayer screen is good, as the game gives you the option to play over

modem, network, or simply on one computer with several people in the room. Everything

in the game has a simple point-and-click interface, including all of the menu

screens preceding the game. My only complaint was that the multiplayer function

does not allow the player to use all of the flags for specific countries that

are available on the map.

Finally, if all of that were not enough, the game’s designers included a number

of actual scenarios for each type of board used in the game. Special missions

in Europe and the World center around the Napoleonic Wars, while Asia looks

at the period of the first colonialization of the region in the 1790’s, and

you get to play the Americans or the British in 1800’s North America. This game

is very nice, simply in terms of playability, challenge, features, graphics,

and its considerable lack of problems. Why couldn’t every game be like this

one?

REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

Rating8