by Howie Howard
reviewed on PC
New Clothes for Classic Risk
Risk: Global Domination is developed by SMG Studios and it was recently released on Steam. The classic version of the game is free to play and it includes everything, minus some premium DLC. In the classic version the player is provided with 20 tokens and those tokens can be spent to play games against other human players. Unlimited play against the computer AI is available in the form of a tutorial and it's always free. The hitch here is that matches against human opponents cost 20 tokens and they only regenerate by 20 each day. So essentially you can play 1 game per day. However, you can save up to a maximum of 200 tokens just in case playing an all day Risk-A-Thon is desirable. If your preference is to have unlimited game play then it will cost $12.99 US.
Is a Classic really a Classic?
For those that might be unaware, the original Risk game is a board game of strategy and world conquest. The object of Risk is to conquer the entire world thus eliminating all of the competition. This is accomplished by placing 2 to 6 players on the map, giving them armies and then having them go at each others’ throats. A dice roll is used to determine whether the attacks are successful. Risk has been around for some 60 odd years so it is a tried and true gaming formula that is beloved by generations of board game players. The computer version of the game operates with the exact same rules as the original.
What does taking a Risk entail?
SMG Studio's production staff doesn’t disappoint when it comes to attractive visuals. The colors are brilliant and the different avatars succeed in providing a human player with a nice looking alter ego. Sounds are minimal and can be turned off if so desired.
One nice thing about playing on an electronic device is that the game handles dice throws and there really isn't much need to know game rules. The only thing that new Risk players need to know is that a stronger army will generally always defeat weaker armies. It's the overall strategy that's required to be successful that makes playing Risk very appealing.
Risky business is different now than it was in the past.
In the distant past, Risk players had the advantage of sitting across the table from the competition and therefore some socialisation could happen. Human contact is pretty much nonexistent online. There are means available to chat with the other players but since each move is only allowed to last 120 seconds chatting is pretty much a waste of time. You either finish your moves or the timer will expire. However, you can send an emoticon or make an exclamation after victory is achieved.
Playing against the computer AI is only good for a basic tutorial. If you want to learn strategy you will need to go online. Take your lumps in the beginning like I did and then try again. There are different modes of online play where you can host or join a game for 2 to 6 players and there's an option to have a closed game just between friends. All of the games are ranked according to player experience and you can pick five different gameplay levels from easy to hard. So novices won't be playing against experts. After an online game is finished the game saves the stats and you can eventually advance up the rankings from beginner to grandmaster.
So what's my over-all Risk here?
There is absolutely no risk at all after downloading the free-to-play demo with the 20 token per day regeneration rate. Doing that is a nice way to get introduced to Risk. A game of world domination can take hours to complete so only playing once a day isn't a problem. With that said, since I like to support game developers, I would encourage players to go for the premium upgrade. If you really want to get good at the game and advance up the rankings ladder, playing game after game is the only way to do it. I would highly recommend taking this Risk!
No need to roll dice, online gameplay
Classic in reality is a free-to-play demo. Not much if any chatting available.