It’s the second game in the series of Risk-like turn-based grand strategies, Strategy & Tactics, released by HeroCraft. Medieval Wars gives the players reigns of a medieval European country in three campaigns, four scenarios, and several skirmish maps with a hot-seat multiplayer mode. It’s available from here: Medieval Wars: Strategy & Tactics on Google Play.
Remember playing the board game Risk back in the day? If so, I bet one of those memories is how long it took to play the game. In fact, it took almost as long if not longer as a good game of Monopoly. Well, the makers of Drisk came up with a game really similar to Risk but won’t take 6 months to play a full game.
Starting out with Drisk, there will be the choice to play a local game or an online game. When playing a local game, the number pf players can be selected as well as if they are actual people or computer players. When playing online, the sign in is done through a Scoreloop account. This is mandatory to play online.
To get the hang of the game, it’s a good idea to watch the tutorial. It goes pretty quick but it gives you a basic idea of how the controls work. If any questions arise, take a look at the help button on the main menu screen to hopefully answer them.
Drisk has about 30 maps to choose from some are more broad than others. A fun one is playing just the USA. The overall idea is to conquer all of the states. Some of the other maps are the entire world. The idea is the same through every map and regardless of the number of players… conquer the entire map.
Initially the plan is to reinforce the areas currently held, be it a state or country. The number of areas currently held will determine how many reinforcement troops are available. Once the reinforcements are settled, it’s time to attack the surrounding territories. There needs to be at least one more troop in a territory held than the one about to be attacked.
Once the attacks complete, there’s the chance to move around troops to fortify other areas that might be weaker and possibly be conquered on a player’s next turn. Once the areas are fortified, it’s time to end the turn by swiping over to done.
The controls are tapping and dragging. There really isn’t that much to them. One thing that’s easy to forget is the cards available.
Playing a game with three computer players and myself took about 20 minutes.
War games seem to be so different in style and gameplay to the rest of the video games today that it seems as they’re a completely stand-alone thing now. Most of the gamers don’t acknowledge their existence, stirred away with symbolic graphics and unfriendly learning curve, while people who actually play wargames are always imagined as being officers in their forties, not participating in any other form of entertainment. Whether it’s true or not, war games can learn a thing or two from the more usual strategies, and can try to offer an infinitely interesting and complex gameplay to the less hardcore gamers. Civilization did just that two decades ago, and seems to be doing just great. Anyway, 1941: Axis & Allies is a classic Risk-like turn-based strategy about World War II, so it’s definitely not for most of mobile gamers. Although it doesn’t mean that it’s not interesting.
Starting conditions in 1941: Axis & Allies are always the same. There are five sides of the conflict, already in their historical places, ready for war, and the only things that can be changed is what sides of the conflict are controlled by the player. After choosing, which ones are controlled by the player, and which ones are by AI, the game begins. Mission is simple: control all three allied headquarters, or both axis headquarters at the end of the turn. Completing these missions, however, is far from simple.
Each of the sides gets five phases of its turn, before giving it to another player. The first phase is â€œpurchaseâ€, where several units can be chosen to be constructed, depending on whether the player has required facilities, and resources. Next phase is â€œstrikeâ€. Player needs to pick a unit, and drag it to the neighboring enemy territories, preparing to the following â€œcombatâ€ phase, where the action happens.
In combat phase, the player needs to tap on the territories he tries to capture, engaging into battle mode. In combat mode, attacking and defending sides take turns, attacking each other and calculating their losses, depending on the dice rolls. After all the battles are completed, player engages in a â€œmaneuverâ€ phase, which is basically an additional â€œstrikeâ€ phase that allows relocation of some more units through friendly territories. Final phase is â€œreinforceâ€ phase, where the units that were bought during the purchase phase, are allocated into a territory of choice. After that, the turn is given to the next side.
1941: Axis & Allies is a relatively simple war game, but it still suffers from the lack of user-friendliness. Thankfully, there’s a vast manual that can be accessed from the main menu by tapping on the top right side of the screen, and then clicking on the question mark. Even then, the game isn’t easy to grasp for the players that aren’t familiar with war games, so I wouldn’t choose it, if I wanted something relaxing. Still, it’s a very interesting title, and definitely a great present for the fans of classic turn-based strategies.
So, maybe I’m not as deeply intrenched into the world of tabletop strategy games as some, but I share a deep appreciation for those classic, tactile games. There are not many things that can replace the feeling of moving a physical token around the board or jealously guarding a handful of unit cards. Basically, in order for a mobile or computer game to eclipse this it has to bring something new to the “table” and give me a compelling reason to choose it over the established, because staring at a tiny screen cannot replace friends around the kitchen table.
So what does Wars and Battles do differently that would make it the next great thing in strategy war games? Two words: simplicity, and authenticity. A lot of games throw the player into the midst of a hypothetical war without a great magnitude of backstory, and make them duke it out with faceless minions. What makes this KickStarter hopeful different is that every battlefield and army are real world places and nations. The two examples given are Gettysburg and Normandy; i.e. some of the biggest military battles in history. Each unit is lovingly displayed with a full paragraph description about their history and contribution to the war effort. The game developers has actual historians working with the programmers in order to make this the most historically accurate game it can be. Oh, did I mention that they also have active officers and veterans analyzing strategies and maps? No? Well, they do; which is awesome.
Walking in the shoes of our ancestors; as well as a vastly simplified yet unique command system, makes for a very compelling game that can be played on nearly any device; alone or with friends. While Wars and Battles might not replace that Risk board when friends come calling, it has a great opportunity to win out in nearly every other situation. Unfortunately, because these battlefields are so detailed, a $10 donation will only allow for gameplay on one. This is lessened by the fact that each map has 10 different scenarios which supposedly delivers around 100 hours of gameplay. I would assume that these maps are able to be bought later on, and most likely at a price below $10. After thinking about it, this really is not as bad of a deal as it seems on the surface, and with a new map coming out ever two months, the long term rewards really are endless.
So, get to it internet. Check out Wars and Battles and help this game; which these great developers have been meticulously crafting, become as real as the wars it contains.
Once a dominant force of rainy days and lazy Sundays, board games have been around forever and have not changed much over the last 50 years or so. However, tablets are the perfect medium to play interactive board games . Gone are the days of lost pieces and cheating, replaced instead with visually striking, high tech games that can be played on separate tablets allowing for greater privacy. A great example of this is the iOS version of Scrabble that allows players to view their tiles with an iPhone or iPod touch while a single iPad sits in the middle as the game board.
For strategy conquest fans, the tablet is a welcomed portal to formerly impossible territories. One KickStarter project looks to take advantage of this opportunity by developing an aptly named tablet-only â€œboardâ€ game, Conquest. This is a Risk-style game that pits two or more players against each other in an effort to seize control of a small corner of the galaxy. Each player controls a small fleet and goes around conquering planets and obtaining resources. One great addition in Conquest is that moves are only shown after every player has selected their action. This makes the game more realistic and keeps all the action happening in real time. Another advantage to being on tablets is that the â€œboardâ€ isnâ€™t restricted in size or depth. Conquest takes place on multiple planets, each with territories as in Risk, but also in space, and combat can be initiated in either. Think of Conquest as a sort of Risk–Star Wars hybrid.
Games of this ilk are going to become more and more popular in the near future as tablets become cheaper and more prevalent. A whole new genera of high tech board games will break into the forefront, moving off the Toysâ€™Râ€™ Us shelves and onto online marketplaces. Thatâ€™s why Conquest is so exciting and ambitious; if funded it could represent a dramatic shift in the way we spend a rainy day with friends.
Risk has always been one of my favorite board games, but I can never find anyone who wants to play it with me. I can’t necessarily blame my friends for not wanting to get wrapped up in a game of Risk; after all, you need a large table to set the game up on, and a lot of time to play the game from start to finish. Drisk brings Risk to the Android platform in a surprisingly effective way. You don’t need a table and a large game board to enjoy Risk alone or with friends anymore, but do the flaws outweigh the great gameplay elements?
Drisk is a very direct port of Risk with some unique additional features. You can choose to play on a wide variety of maps, including the entire Earth, America, Europe, Asia, and even Middle Earth. You can choose to play with other people by passing your Android device around the room, or go solo against the built in AI. The AI is surprisingly challenging, and if you like, you can set it to Skynet mode, in which all AI players will be more inclined to attack human players – not a good idea if you’re playing alone against a lot of AI opponents.
If you’ve played Risk, you know the rules; deploy troops, attack other territories, redeploy your troops to reinforce your territories, end your turn, and hope your opponents don’t ruin all your hard work. You receive rewards in the form of additional troops for knocking other players out of the game, and for achieving various goals in game, though Drisk never does a good job of letting you know which tasks merit reward and which don’t. In other words, if you’re not already familiar with the rules of the various versions of Risk, you may not have a clear idea of what’s going on in Drisk. That doesn’t necessarily keep the game from being fun, it just means that there’s a somewhat steep learning curve for users unfamiliar with the original board game, and the alternate versions that have come out over the years.
Drisk allows you to customize the rules to your liking, and it offers a lot of great gameplay options to keep you coming back for more…if you don’t get frustrated by the controls first. The maps are all fairly large, and without a zoom function, tapping the right territory can be an exercise in frustration for all but the most patient of players. This might not be the case if you’re playing it on a tablet, but on a cell phone, you’re almost certain to have some problems witht he controls.
Despite the control issues, Drisk offers up a great Android adaptation of the classic board game Risk. If you love Risk, you’re going to want to grab Drisk. Despite its flaws, it’s a great game that will keep you coming back for more.