reviews\ Apr 9, 2000 at 8:00 pm

Risk II - PC - Review

The soldiers line up, shooting, the outcome at the whim of a dice cast from above. At risk is the outcome of a nation.

With the adrenaline-pounding pulse of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture driving you forth, you enter into the realm of world domination.

Harken back to long nights gathered around a game board, the quest going on and on. Move and countermove, all decided on the whim of a flick of a wrist.

Having never ventured into the world of the original PC version of Risk, this program was entered into with a reverence of the board game. No disappointments here, this program lives up to the best of the board game in a challenging, vivid way.

Microprose and Hasbro Interactive have successfully translated a revered board game into a PC-problematic venture, smacking of chess moves and Derry-do. Do you have the forces marshaled to conquer South America? That’s worth big points and more reinforcements to your troop.

If unfamiliar with the game, Risk II offers the classic confrontation of powers for world domination. You gather forces in an adjacent area, then challenge those in bordering countries. The outcome of the battle is determined by the dice. In the first round of the computer version, you designate the areas you wish to control, then add numbers to the areas occupied by opposing foes - either computer or human. You simply attack - your forces against theirs. The higher dice roll determines the outcome of the battle.

What Risk II offers is a zoomed-in view of the contested area. Soldiers, representing the opposing forces, are assembled on a three-dimensional map, firing randomly. Upon the roll of the dice, someone (shot) falls to the ground and the territory is won, or lost.

Graphically, this game is well-rendered. The sound is wonderful and the game board is, well, the world. Where this program excels is in training the mind to determine the method of combat. The AI of the foes is impressive. They will gather forces in a singular nation, intent on a sweep of neighboring countries. The more countries controlled, or a continent, the more reinforcements are allocated in the next round.

Risk II gives the option of three different objectives - in the classic game mode and same time mode. You must achieve world domination - at a number of different levels from a 60 percent to 100 percent level. Classic Risk is a turn-by-turn entertainment, while the same-time mode is exactly that  - everything happening at one, intense instance. That requires fast thinking and a clear game plan before beginning.

Unfortunately, this game only supports LAN multiplayer gaming. Unfortunate because the true joy of Risk is in battling against human foes, and this program seems highly suited to the Internet style of gaming.

This is, by no means, the type of game that requires skillful reflexes. What it lacks in coordination, it makes up for in cerebral activity. The original Risk was a chess match, and this program carries that idea to the forefront. Using the Hot-Seat game, up to eight players, utilizing a common computer, can compete, or you can throw in any of the 16 generals that come with the program.

In any case, Risk II qualifies as wholesome family entertainment, guaranteed to occupy many hours and produce a lot of fun.

This game is rated for everyone.


Install: Medium. 160 megabytes is the typical install for this program, which makes the install function quiet effortless.

Gameplay: 7. You can obliterate the window pop-up between actions, and disregard the information they provide, but if you allow them to appear, it slows down the tempo of the game.

Graphics: 8. For a board game transferred to the PC, this looks wonderful.

Sound: 9. Wonderful

Difficulty: 8. This is a chess board realized on a PC.

Concept: 7. This is nothing new. Game players, in years before the PC, know this game inside and out.

Overall: 8.5. This game appeals to young and old alike, allowing a friendly and enjoyable game. 


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