Platform/Requirements: Windows, Mac OS X and Linux
Review: This is a Risk game that you can play against human players online, or against AI. It is a dedicated software written in Java. The turn times are typically short, sometimes in the order of 30 seconds! This introduces a higher pace and can be stressful at times, though equally thrilling.
The game can consist of a mixture of AI and human players. AI entities can be upgraded from a pool of available AI options. You can also program AI entities yourself through the supplied Software Development Kit.
There is a large and active Risk community who seem to be quite addicted to this game. Online Risk is very effective in exercising your tactical muscles. Short turn times make you focus on fast execution of your moves. You may not have enough time to think statistically on a turn by turn basis. However, over time you will get more experienced and will know what you should do in different situations, just like chess.
Nevertheless, there is always a strong need for strategy throughout the game and it is critical to get that right. The game also provides a chat box. Since the turns are quite short, the chat box is usually used as a real-time communication device. Players can negotiate, chat, declare war or simply swear as the game progresses. This encourages players to solve matters with words and not just game play. It is also used by some to intimidate other players. All in all, it makes playing Risk more realistic and enjoyable. Certain players don't like alliances and deal-making. However, those who do can easily benefit from this feature.
Although the chat box is very useful, the feel of it is still not the same as playing the board game with friends or family. Verbal diplomacy is far more effective and easier to carry out. Maybe one day, we can have this feature as well and will find enough players who like to use it.
Meanwhile, just play and conquer in silence ... This game is very enjoyable and addictive. Overall, this is perhaps one of the best independent unofficial Risk games out there. A free demo is available from the site and I highly encourage you to try it.
P.S. Dustin Sacks kindly gave me access to the software for review purposes and I have been very impressed with the results. Ease of use, and the large number of active players encouraged me to carry out some of my research on this game. I presented the results in my Risk Strategies book. As the saying is, keep up the good work.