Website: Facebook ATTACK!
The latest addition to the online Risk game is Attack! application in Facebook. The recent growth of Facebook and the easy ability of adding the application to someone’s profile mean that this game can become popular fairly quickly using viral distribution. However, it is mainly used by those who aren’t already into online Risk and come across the game in a friend’s profile.
The game is based on flash. Once you enter the game, you see a lobby like the screenshot below. It shows a number of games to play. There are many ongoing games, though they all seem have the same settings. Because the Risk game is in Facebook, you can easily invite your friends over so you can beat them in the game!
Unfortunately, you don’t get variations on rules or maps as you do in other online Risk games such as Conquer Club and Grand Strategy. You can click on “Find me a game” and get to enter a Risk game quickly.
The Risk game is played in real time with time limitation for different parts of your move. This is in contrast with online Risk games where you can have 24 hours to make your move. There aren’t many options to control the time you have or create games based on custom settings, so you just have to be fast enough. The game map looks nice, everything is concise and relatively easy to follow.
A novel feature is that at the beginning of the game you get to vote to either place your armies randomly or you choose yourself. Based on the players’ votes you carry on populating the map with armies.
Like every other software, there are features that you expect to be there which are missing. In addition, the user interface needs a bit of getting used and is sometimes very limiting. The help for the game is very poor, so you are on your own to find out how to use it. There are also some restrictions. For example, if you attack a territory and conquer it, you only get an option to leave a minimum of 3 armies in the conquered territory. Of course, in classic Risk you have the option to leave a minimum of one. The map configuration is also different from the classic map. For some reason, Scandinavia is not connected to Great Britain. Again, the classic Risk map has this connection and those who are used to it are in for a surprise.
The game generally flows well, but since it is real time it can be susceptible to server errors and delays. A server delay may lead to losing a chance to make an attack or reinforcement. There is also no fortification move in the game at all.
However, these are small features that may not have a huge impact on your game. The biggest problem with this game is that if a player leaves the game before the game is finished, a new player can take his or her sit. This new player doesn’t know anything about the history of the game and usually picks up any player he likes and starts attacking. Not to mention that your carefully crafted alliances are no longer valid and will not be honored by the new player. This is the number one issue with the game play, so if a player drops out in your game, you may feel extremely vulnerable and lose the incentive to carry on with the game.
All in all, the concept of having a Risk module in your Facebook profile is attractive, and as predicted the application is popular. If the developers solve the various issues and add custom features, it can start competing with other online Risk games out there. However, as it currently stands, it is only good for a few isolated games and not suitable for those who want to play Risk day after day.