RISK 2210 A.D.
Reviewed by James Lynch
Updating a classic game is a challenge. If a new version is too similar to the original, there’s little reason to own both. (There are a nigh-infinite number of versions of Monopoly, but for all the new pictures, names, and pieces they play the same as the original.) If a new version is too different, it can lose the elements that made the original the classic. Hasbro reached an excellent balance with Risk 2210 A.D. , a game that combines innovative changes and the core rules of the original Risk.
Once again, players are vying for control of the world through military conquest. Players use military units – called Machines of Destruction (MODs) – to battle for control of countries and, for victory, continents. Combat is the same as the original Risk: Attackers and defenders roll a 6-sided die for each attacker and defender, with higher numbers winning and ties going to the defender. One look at the map, though, reveals this is a different world for conquest. The countries have changed – players now battle in the Exiled States of America, the Amazon Desert, or the massive country Hong Kong – plus there are undersea countries and areas on the Moon to control. Players have Space Stations, which let defenders roll 8-sided dice when attacked. The game is limited to five years – with each player taking a single turn during a year – so victory is not from total annihilation of opponents, but from having and holding the most territories when the fifth turn ends.
The biggest changes, though, are energy and commanders. Energy is used as currency – obtained through controlling territories and continents – and can be spent to try and go first. (The player who spends the most gets to go first, with ties rolled off.) Energy is more useful for Commanders. Risk 2210 A.D. has five commanders: Diplomat Commander, Land Commander, Naval Commander, Nuclear Commander, and Space Commander. Players start with the Land and Diplomat Commanders and can purchase others or replace Commanders lost in combat. Commanders roll an 8-sided die to attack in their terrain (except for the Diplomat) and defend with an 8-sider. More significantly, players can purchase Command Cards if they have the appropriate type of Commander in play. Command cards have varying effects, from giving additional troops to preventing opponents from attacking for a Year to destroying enemy units to giving bonus points at the end of the game. Also, players need the Lunar Commander to send forces to the Moon or the Naval Commander to enter the undersea territories. Getting the right cards can make the difference between victory and defeat.
Risk 2210 A.D. is an extremely well done updating of the classic Risk. The Commanders and Command Cards add significant strategy and luck to each game, giving numerous opportunities for success and failure. Limiting the game time means quicker games, instead of endless rounds of gain and loss. Enter the future to struggle and conquer with Risk 2210 A.D.
Overall Grade: A+