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RISK for iPad Review

Review; Dec. 28, 2010; Channels: Video Games; By Robert F. Ludwick
The classic strategy standard makes and appearance on the iPad

RISK is one of the longest-serving strategy games still in existence today. From its humble beginnings as a board game, it has progressed to making appearances on virtually every major computing platform. The Apple iPad is no exception, clocking in with Hasbro's latest iteration, brought to you by Electronic Arts.

RISK: The Official Game for iPad Screenshots
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The basic premise of RISK is simple: the world is divided into territories, and the players are either manually or randomly assigned to these territories at the beginning of the game. Each player takes a turn to place new recruits, attack neighboring territories, and to perform a fortification move between adjacent territories. Add in the RISK cards you can trade in for a boost of additional recruits (earned by winning battles), and you're basically playing with the full game.

There are three modes of play: single player, pass 'n' play, and local play. Single player is obvious -- you pit yourself against a specified number of computer opponents (up to 5) and select their difficulty level as a whole. Pass 'n' play allows you to select two or more human players and any number of additional computer players, up to a total of 6 players. Local play allows local play over a network against other RISK for iPad users.

The options allowed in RISK are pretty standard fare for a RISK game. You can have card set trade ins for a set number of recruits based on the cards combination; alternately you can have the number of new recruits rise progressively as card sets get turned in during the course of the game. There is an option to prompt human players when there is a set ready to turn in. Another option preselects the maximum number of troops to move on all newly-conquered territories. Finally, speaking of territories, you can set initial territory selection to an automated random process or a manual, turn-based selection process.

RISK for iPad also tracks player progress using a medals and awards system. This is akin to the achievement mechanisms found for Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and Blizzard's service. Some of the achievements are single-game accomplishments, such as winning a game in 4 turns or less. Others are accumulation awards, such as winning 10 games. And yet another tracks in-game accumulations of troops recruited or eliminated and players eliminated from games.

RISK for iPad allows you to utilize the iPod music library, which is a nice touch if you want to wage war to something like Britney Spears instead of military-themed music. (Hey, we're not passing judgment here on your musical tastes.) The sound effects and built-in music are otherwise good.

The interface works pretty well for your standard RISK gameplay. Once you learn where all of the buttons are, the game flows well and is very responsive. The graphical presentation is nice and clean too.

Unfortunately, RISK for the iPad really is just your standard-fare RISK game. There are no bells and whistles here; no alternate maps aside from the global map; no off-the-wall scenarios to complete; and no funky new modes to try. If you're looking for your run-of-the-mill RISK game on your iPad, you're in luck. Otherwise, you may want to go with a less genuine strategy stalwart.


Review Score

Not Rated by ESRB

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