Rating: ★★★☆☆

Pros:

  • Easy to pick up and play
  • Local WiFi multiplayer mode
  • Reward system

Cons:

  • Redundant game play
  • Not as epic as the board game
  • Online play limited to WiFi

What’s life without a little risk. If you don’t take risks, chances are you won’t get any where. The same applies to the game “Risk”, a board game from the 80s. Now thanks to the minds at EA, you can play the same game on the iPad in HD resolution and full color.

I remember Risk as a game that took days if not weeks to play. Seinfeld, the TV show, reemphasized this in one episode when Kramer and Newman literally carried the game board any where they travelled for fear that the other would cheat during the all out battle. This, however, is not your childhood Risk. It can be played in a matter of minutes, which for some will prove satisfying, while others will be left yearning for more.

For the sake of those unfamiliar with the game, and its constructs, there is an in game tutorial that will provide pop ups providing instructions on how to proceed with battling your nemesis as well as redistributing troops. However, the tutorial will only guide you so far and won’t assist in strategy of the game; more the operation.

You can play over WiFi against up to 4 friends, or battle it out against the computer, or a mix of the two. Alternatively, you can play a “pass mode” which requires you to physically hand the iPad to your friend. There are up to three difficulty settings. The harder the setting the less soldiers issued and the more aggressive the computer.

When the game begins, you are presented with a preset amount of soldiers that you can distribute throughout the world. Alternatively you can have the computer populate the earth with your forces, which is a nice option if you’re looking for an expedited game.

The goal of Risk is to conquer the world by attacking and eliminating your enemy. It’s a turned based game that includes three different operations.

  1. Distribute new soldiers
  2. Fortify troops
  3. Attack opposing forces

As you eliminate enemy soldiers in each country you’ll earn points and cards which when paired together and traded in, can result in significantly increased troop reserves. This is the key to winning the game as vast number of troops is necessary to winning or conquering the world.

Much like the original game, which uses a set of dice, the iPad version includes a virtual version during attack. The die are used to determine who wins each battle. If you roll a 6 and your opponent rolls a 5 you win that battle. Each die represents a solider, so as you’ve probably already assumed losing results in the elimination of a solider. However, if you both roll the same number, by default, and I don’t know why, your opponent will win and one of your troops will be eliminated.

While each battle can have an inordinate amount of soldiers, three dice, or soldiers is the maximum that can face off at any single time, though less dice will appear in the event that your reserves in that location drops below three. If you face off against a lesser force, with say only 2 soldiers, your odds of winning will be increased, that is assuming you choose to roll all three dice at the same time. If you so choose, you can skip the dice rolling experience all together and opt for the computer to determine the outcome, which expedites the process significantly. Once all enemy soldiers are eliminated in a country, which can range widely in numbers depending how entrenched your enemy is, you’ll will own it, which is represented by your team’s color.

As you conquer countries and continents you’ll be awarded cards. These cards can be traded in, assuming you’ve got three that can be matched together – I still don’t know how this works and nor is it explained – to receive new troops. During my play I received a wide variety of cards that featured tanks, soliders or planes on the face. You can opt to have the computer match the cards and optimize your experience, or you can manually manage the process. After a certain number of cards are collected you’ll be forced to trade them in. The cards are paramount to winning the game as it provides you with troop reserves and reflects your ability to efficiently conquer countries and continents. On the converse if you don’t effectively attack your enemy you won’t be rewarded the same cards and the chances of losing the game will be vastly increased.

Unlike the game of your child hood, this version includes sound effects and some graphics. During troop fortification and battling you’ll experience gun fire and the sound of troops marching to their location. While these add another level of depth to the game, it can become a bit redundant since the variation in sound effects and graphical elements is rather limited. But keep in mind this is a product of the game itself, which lacks very little variation in actual game play.

In terms of replay value, the game is almost endless. Though, for some the game play, since short lived, will prove significantly redundant. But hey, that’s the nature of the beast, right?  Unfortunately for me I didn’t play enough of the game to achieve any of the above rewards, which for those of you that like having your ego stroked could be the single biggest influencing factor to get you to return to the game again and again.

Risk, as a board game, was known for its strategy based play. This isn’t your childhood game and nor should it be confused for it. It’s been adapted for the “need it now, get it now, always on” society, and far as I’m concerned fits that bill perfectly.

You can buy Risk HD for the iPad from the iTunes store for $6.99.










Christen Costa

 
Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."