Public service announcement: If you own the rights to a popular board game, you’d better have an iOS version of it by now. Because if you don’t, chances are that someone else has already ripped off your idea and is making money from it on the App Store. This is exactly what happened with Risk, the classic board game of ruthless world domination. A couple months ago, a shameless clone called Dominion HD was released that usurped Risk’s hard-won domination.
It may have been a blatant rip-off, but Dominion HD (and the subsequent iPhone version, Dominion) was great. So how does Risk: The Official Game compare?
Here’s what you get in Risk: one world map, three difficulty modes, and the ability to play with up to five human or computer opponents. There’s no online multiplayer, but you can play locally either on a single device or with multiple devices over a wireless connection. Of course, the die rolling and bonus cards are handled automatically, and a very helpful tutorial walks new players through their first match.
Go get ‘em, tiger.
All of the moves are made by tapping countries and making menu selections. The whole process is very streamlined, intuitive, and easy to pick up. You can pinch to zoom on the map, or pause the game to access help, options, and a handy stat screen that shows who’s winning and where everyone stands. You can fast forward or skip any computer opponents’ turn, and there’s even a ‘total war’ button during your attack phase that lets you bypass all the die rolls until one country surrenders to the other. The visuals and audio also look and sound great– this game obviously has high production values.
However, Dominion does just about everything Risk does and then some. Dominion comes with multiple maps, so if you’d rather conquer Africa than the world, you can. Dominion also allows greater match customization than Risk, and sports online multiplayer. At the moment, it’s also cheaper.
If you’re looking for a digital version of Risk and nothing more, this game has you covered. However, if you think you might want to play on different maps, battle online, or have more options to customize your game, get Dominion. And if you have an iPad, get Dominion HD, because board games always benefit from more screen space. It’s too bad, really. Risk popularized the world domination board game genre, but in the videogame realm, Dominion has it conquered.