Risk Factions – Video Game

Risk Factions

Review by Sonny Go
(Independent Game Reviewer)


Risk Factions – Now we are all familiar with playing Risk online using a computer, but if you ever do see a video game console version of a board game, it’s usually in a way that doesn’t account for bridging the gap between the mechanical differences between the two media, and how it accounts for multiplayer gameplay. Translating a video game into a tabletop game is something that tends to happen from time to time, with various tabletop versions of popular video games coming out seemingly in droves, but this is the other way around.

From role-playing games to strategy games and so on, there seems to be a collection of crossovers that flood the tabletop games market quite a bit. However, when it comes to the other way around, there doesn’t seem to be enough out there to really be substantial. But with Risk: Factions, much of that has been ironed out and more, making Risk reach an even bigger audience.




Risk Factions is a translation of the classic Risk board game into video game console format, namely the Xbox Live Arcade service which was discontinued in 2014, and the PlayStation 3’s Network. It was also a reinterpretation to make it friendlier to a wider demographic. Unlike the classic Risk video game, the presentation isn’t as dry and there’s actually much to dig into other than the usual elements in classic Risk. There have been a few other Risk video games out there, but this one some attention for being different from the rest.

Being able to play Risk online with other players is what gives Risk Factions a big advantage over the classic Risk video game. You get to hone your strategic sense against other human players who are playing from other parts of the world with little to no worry about lag. You need not wait for friends to come over in order to play a game of Risk anymore, although this does have its vast differences from the classic Risk board game and it is not as versatile as playing Risk online at a proper gaming website like MajorCommand.com.

Gameplay and Rules


There are different single players modes like skirmish battles against computer opponents and a campaign for players to progress through, although the latter isn’t long enough to be really substantial. On the other hand, it may be enough for players to get into the stuff that makes this particular Risk game unique from the others, from its unique setting and cartoon art style to the different factions that comprise its backstory and gameplay.

Instead of the same units for all players like with most other Risk games, Risk Factions stays true to its name and gives players different factions that both look and play differently, giving this game a surprising bit of depth. You also get other nice things in the overall presentation that a video game can have over a board game like nice background music and voices for the different characters in the game, which adds to the experience here.

Each game has three main objectives that must be achieved in order to get a lot closer to victory because only having to take control of everything can be rather bland and every other Risk game already has that. There are various other Risk games out there with their own objective-based gameplay as well, so this is nothing new.

The Factions


There are four factions to choose from—Humans, Cats, Robots, Zombies, and Yeti. There’s a leader for each whose personality and unique abilities dictate the theme and capabilities of their respective factions.

The Humans have General William P. “Fatty” McGutterpants, a military type that likes to shout orders and stick his chin up at every chance he gets. The Cats have Generalissimo Meow, a communist leader with a penchant for revolutions and a hatred for General Fatty’s dog.

The Robots have Commandant SixFour, an artificial intelligence that’s like a science fiction nightmare due to its inability to tell ally from enemy. The Zombies have Colonel Clause “Stiffy” Von Stauffenberg, who is a result of Commandant SixFour’s weapon experiments gone wrong and looks like someone General Fatty would love to bomb out of the water.

The Yeti have the noble savage that is His Excellency Gary, who is like a monster version of the Dalai Lama that seeks to be neutral by fighting everyone else until they all give up and make peace, which may not be the best plan out there.

All these factions have their distinct strengths and weaknesses, and figuring out what strategies and play styles work for them makes up most of the fun in Risk Factions. If you have friends to play it with you, the better it becomes as you try to outdo each other with your chosen factions.



This isn’t one of those decisions that become a source of regret for both the designer and the players as Risk Factions is indeed a good addition to the Risk library. It plays well enough and helps introduce a whole new audience to the tabletop gaming wonder that is Risk. It doesn’t have the variety of playing an online Risk game, but overall, this is a decent addition to any gaming console collection.

Risk: Star Wars 2015 Edition

Risk: Star Wars 2015 Edition

Review by Nikola Brankovic
(Independent Game Reviewer)

RISK Star Wars 2015 - Box-K150

Star Wars Risk 2015 – I sure hope you’re in the mood for something fun, because we’ve discovered Hasbro has released a board game to complement their release of the latest Star Wars movie. In the hype for the movie itself I missed the board game, but a friend pointed it out to me, so it’s time to have a look at it and see if it’s any good.

First of all, there are two editions of Risk Star Wars on the market. Well, actually three if you consider the Star Wars Original Trilogy Edition which we reviewed a couple months ago. But right now we’re strictly speaking about the Star Wars 2015 edition in this article, and there are two variants. There is the regular pack, and the Black Edition. The difference between the two is the box art, as well as some of the miniatures – capital ships, death star and Millennium Falcon, are cardboard cutouts in the regular version, while they are detailed miniatures in Black Edition. The game rules are a bit more detailed and refined in Black Edition as well, avoiding some potential confusion (although you can find the rules online).

RISK Star Wars 2015 - Full Set-K150

Let’s start with the box art. The main box boasts Kylo Ren in the corner, but that’s a marketing ploy that obscures the fact that the game is actually set in Return of the Jedi, you’re re-creating the Battle of Endor and the dogfight that finalizes with the destruction of Death Star. The game map itself is divided into neat sub-sections that represent each part of the fight for the Death Star. Its X-Wing shape represents the parts of the battle, with wings being their separate fights and center part being the space fight around the Death Star.

The game is designed for two players, although it can be played in two teams. The Rebellion and the Empire clash off around the Death Star, with Empire trying to wipe out the attacking fleet and the rebels trying to bring down the Death Star shields before blowing it up. The winning condition seems simple enough.

Center – Death Star

RISK Star Wars 2015 - Center Death Star

Center part of the map is probably why the game carries “Risk” name at all, as the mechanics and the overall style of the game, have very little to do with your classic Risk. The space around Death Star is divided into sectors that you can navigate through, moving your squadrons out of the fire’s way and attacking the opponent ships. Dogfight is very simple, you use the number of dice equal to the number of the number of ships on the field you are attacking from and compare against the difficulty to destroy the defending ships – Rebels have more ships but they’re easier to destroy, while the Empire has fewer ships per squadron but are harder to defeat. The rebels must hold a space next to the Death Star when the shields go down and then roll a 6 on the attack to blow it up, while the Star itself can fire back once its shields are down and wipe out everything in the field it fires on.

Left Wing – Battle of Endor

RISK Star Wars 2015 - Left Wing

How do the shields go down? Well, that’s what the left side of the map is for. It represents the Battle of Endor, with rebels slowly climbing the progress tracker and Empire trying to slow down their progress by throwing stormtroopers in their way. The progress becomes more difficult higher the progress tracker is, but the fight is generally in favor of the Rebels (unless they roll their dice really poorly).

Right Wing – Skywalker vs Vader


RISK Star Wars 2015 - Right Wing

The right side of the map is fully optional, with objectives that can bring advantage to one side or another. It represents the fight between the Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, with them exchanging lightsaber swings and powers until one of them keels over, with an additional option of redeeming the Vader instead of flat-out killing him that brings even greater benefits.

The players take turns drawing cards which represent “orders”, each card letting you select from one of the several listed orders. For each turn, you select three of the card and select orders from them to be executed. Winning optional objectives allows for bigger card pool to select from or more orders to be executed.



risk star wars 2015 pieces

The games last for about 40 minutes to an hour, which may sound like a short time but remember, this is a 2 player game only. There’s plenty of decision making and strategizing to go around to keep you occupied for the most of the time, there were no complaints of the game growing boring. That being said, I wouldn’t call this a Risk game, and I’m really stumped as to why would they brand it as such when it could have been a pretty fun game to play on its own. It’s far from a Risk re-skin I expected when I first laid my eyes on the box, but with the different shape of the map, different goals and overall turn mechanic, only the center of the map makes this a risk game, and that’s only nominally. It’s a good game, for sure, but not a good Risk game, so if you feel like going out of your comfort zone and you’re a fan of Star Wars franchise, this is a good game to try. Otherwise, playing Risk online at Major Command is always a solid choice!



Some people ask about prices, so I’ve added a link to Amazon.
Remember to look for used versions. Some as low a $16.

Risk Junior: Narnia

Risk Junior: Narnia by Hasbro

Review by Albert Bassili
(Independent Game Reviewer)


Risk Junior: Narnia, is an interesting entry into the Risk franchise, focusing more on introducing the game Risk to children more than anything else. Released in 2006 by Hasbro, this entry gives parents and family members to introduce Risk to them in an easy a simple manner, without devolving into the complex strategy of classic Risk. Overall it’s an interesting concept, and there is the added benefit of knowing your kids won’t be exposed to the unpredictable behavior of adults who sometimes take their online Risk games too seriously.

Unfortunately, Risk Junior: Narnia, didn’t see a big release in the US, but it was big in the UK and Europe, so if you’re ever on holiday over there, keep your eyes open!

The Introduction



Now, you might not be expecting this, but Risk Junior: Narnia actually has more complex rules than classic Risk, ostensibly to remove the deep strategy and make it easier to play. For example, attacks are decided by drawing turns, and how many armies you have doesn’t matter, every player rolls either two or three dice. Winning is also based on rolling a 5 and 6, rather than having a higher number.

The game also adds a bit of a good vs evil interplay, with the forces of evil (The White Witch) which are controlled by one player, fighting against the forces of good (Aslan) which is controlled by many. Ultimately, this makes the game a 1 vs team affair, without any chance for alliances or free-for-alls, instead, you know who your enemy is and that’s that. To add to this, the map is rather small, probably one of the smallest, with several bottle necks that make the game a bit more fluid and dynamic.

Of course, this all might sound a bit strange and out there for a Risk game, but it’s an interesting concept for introducing the series to kids. Without the complex strategy, and the standardization of attacks and the map, it’s much easier for a child to grasp. Don’t worry, though, it’s still fun for adults!

Playing Narnia Risk



While there are two different sides, the troops are pretty much the same, with the main difference being that The White Witch’s forces can turn troops into stone, and Aslan’s forces can cure them. Turns are started by drawing an event card, each that has a variety of effects that aren’t too powerful, yet can alter the game slightly to the advantage of one side.

Within those event cards are three special ones: “Always Winter & Never Christmas”, “Father Christmas” and “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe”. If one of these is drawn, the game is paused and points are awarded based on territories and camps up to that point in the game, after which the game continues as normal. “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” is even more special than the other two, as after the points are calculated the game actually ends and whichever side has the most points wins.


Once an event card is drawn, the player must then draw a territory card which tells them where they must attack. If the territory is friendly, then the player can choose to attack any adjacent territory, otherwise, the battle ensues. The battles themselves are pretty straight forward and are proceeded by a troop placement phase.

After the territory to be attacked has been selected, and troops have been placed, the actual fighting begins. The defender rolls 2 dice and the attacker rolls 3 unless they’ve used a bridge to reach the territory, its hard work crossing a river after all! As mentioned earlier, the roll relies on either a 5 or a 6, with a 5 removing a weak minion, and a 6 removing either a strong or a weak minion.


Of course, all the numbers between 1 and 4 aren’t irrelevant, because that’s where the characters of Narnia Risk come into play. Each of these characters has a special ability that kicks in if a specific number is rolled. For example, The White Witch can freeze minions on a roll of 2, and Lucy can revive them on a 4, 5 or a 6. Doubles kick characters back to the pool, so watch out for those!

Winning Risk Junior: Narnia is either a matter of domination or being the leader in points. Given the fact that there’s a high chance to draw “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe”, it usually means that the game is going to end on seeing who has the most points. It’s a bit of a letdown in comparison to classic Risk, but hey, if you’re strong and smart enough, maybe you can get a domination win yet.

Narnia Risk – The Conclusion



The biggest problem with Risk Junior: Narnia, is that it’s quite a ways away from what seasoned Risk players might be used to. The hamstringing that the rules apply to the gameplay might be a bit frustrating for some, and yet, it will make it easier for younger gamers to play. Of course, the complexity of the rules is a bit strange, but having an experience Risk player around will help to get kids into it and understanding the ruleset.

Of course, another main point is that the game is much shorter, which if you know how kids are, is actually a good thing. The smaller map and the way the game dictates where player’s attack means you won’t be spending a lot of empty time thinking, a time where kids might get restless or lose interest. So while it may be strange overall, it’s well adapted for kids.

Overall, if you have kids and you want to introduce them to Risk without overtaxing them with the traditional game, this is a great game to pick up, and a solid entry into the franchise. Though it might not quite prepare them for the world of Risk online, it will give you and them some solid family time. 🙂

Risk: Metal Gear Solid

Risk: Metal Gear Solid

Review by Sonny Go
(Independent Game Reviewer)


Through everything that the Metal Gear Solid series went through, from its pre-Solid days, its breakout in the PlayStation, all the sequels, and finally its drama-filled conclusion due to Konami’s schizophrenia. But before things did go completely south, something other than the last two Metal Gear Solid did come out of it. This is Risk: Metal Gear Solid, a crossover between the world-famous video game and the strategy board game.



This mashup is based on Metal Gear Solid IV, although you don’t get to play as Solid Snake. This game is more about the lore behind the video game, including all the international mudslinging that goes about. If you’re a Metal Gear Solid fan and want to dive deeper into that in-game world, this game can be a surprisingly good way to do just that.

The contents of the game itself are fairly numerous. The board itself is split into six zones with 42 territories between them which are to be occupied by 275 custom pieces split between five PMC armies, as well as neutral armies and cities. Along with them are 8 Boss cards, 40 Drebin’s Shop cards, 42 Territory cards, and 8 Rewards—all of which give more ways for players to gain an advantage in the game, which adds to the strategic gameplay.


The most prominent of the game pieces has got to be the Outer Haven battleship. Seven dice are used to determine combat actions. The whole game comes at a total of 3.4 pounds, all contained in a well-designed box that features Yoji Shinkawa’s signature brush artwork that should look good in any game shelf.

This Risk game makes use of the revamped ruleset that was first introduced in Risk: Black Ops. It seems that it’s just what fits the Metal Gear Solid look and feel needed for this game, although it did need some tweaking in order to really work for this crossover. But once they did get it just right, it worked quite well.

Each game can last up to two hours when played with objectives and four to five hours when played like classic Risk, similar to the intended design for Risk: Black Ops. It plays closely enough to most other Risk games while having enough of its own flavor for it to be unique.



The main objective is to gain control of every territory on the world map by commanding your chosen Outer Haven private military company. Each color represents a different Outer Haven PMC from a certain part of this world, although that’s their only real difference.

Aside from soldiers, there’s the Outer Haven battleship that can give anyone who musters it a massive advantage. It used to be Liquid Ocelot’s battleship, and it’s like its own continent in a way. You can risk it all to get the ship, but it’s not certain that you’ll be able to conquer everything else with it as well.

The ship’s movement is made random via dice roll, moving between six waypoints on the map. When a player takes over the ship, he/she can move it to whatever docking station of choice, thus letting that player unload reinforcements onto wherever he/she wants. This makes the Outer Haven battleship a great boon for anyone who controls it.


The Drebin’s Shop cards give players more offensive and defensive options to get them out of adverse situations. There are also the boss cards that give players boost in attack power and a unique ability. A boss costs 3,000 points to acquire and 1,000 points for upkeep per turn. Suffice to say, these are mercenary bosses who need to keep getting paid, thus adding another element of resource management to the game.

Reinforcements are gained by taking over enemy territory to obtain territory cards, which have either one or two stars. Stars can then be traded in for more reinforcements, which then lets you run wild as you gain more territory and put pressure on the enemy forces.



This is a crossover that does what it can to make both franchises look good in their own way. In the case of Metal Gear Solid, the world being the focus makes for a rather different feel even for MGS fans, but one that does the fandom well. Even though you won’t be able to play this version of Risk online, the board game itself, Risk: Metal Gear Solid has a fair bit of quality to it, as well as exciting gameplay, making it a good addition to most game shelves.



Some people asked about price, so I’ve added a link to Amazon…
There are a variety of choices, but always remember to check
for used one.

Risk: Lux Delux

Lux Delux Review

Review by Albert Bassili
(Independent Game Reviewer)


Risk: Lux Delux – While there are an almost endless amount of Risk variation board games out there, sometimes a Risk game player just wants more, and this is where Lux Delux comes in. Originally released in 2002 by developer SillySoft, this entry into Risk video game will surely quench some of your thirst when it comes to branching out from the traditional Risk maps and gameplay. Of course, it doesn’t compare to the variety of options that a game of RISK online at Major Command can offer! But let’s not promote ourselves too much. 🙂 (play risk online at major command game!)

Fortunately, this game has being updated, even over a decade after its release, and has even managed to come to Steam in 2015.

Risky Cartography



Now before we begin, there’s a little bit of a warning when to comes to Lux Delux, in that it’s a very minimalist straightforward Risk concept. If you really enjoy the animations of other Risk video games or watching the rolls whenever there are battles, then this game really isn’t for you. That being said, if it is an issue for you, and you can overcome it, you’re going to be rewarded with some really great variety.

So what is Risk: Lux Delux exactly? Well, it’s a Risk spin-off that focuses mostly on bringing you a ton of different maps to play on. Supporting over 800 maps from space maps with hexagonal tiles to different continents with square tiles, or even to fantasy maps with just simply weird tiles, there’s definitely something in there for everyone. Not only that but maps have their own individuality, with sprites representing the thematic concept of the map, like little WWI or even orcs and trolls.

The great part about all of this is that you can create your own maps for other people to play. Along with the creative freedom, you have with the graphics, Lux Delux’s development kit allows you to alter territories mechanically, such as having biohazard zones and what not. Once you’re done with the map, you just upload it, and you’re done! Map ready to be played by you, your friends, and the wide Lux Delux community.

Playing Risk: Lux Delux



Being a game that has online access, you get to have both the option of single player mode and multiplayer mode.

Single player is almost exactly what you expect, placed on the map and paired up against a number of AI opponents. Unlike other Risk video games, the AI here are fantastically smart, and even have their own personalities, built around historical figures. You might have one AI that prefers an incredibly aggressive approach, another that prefers defense, and yet another that just like’s consolidating its gains whenever it has them.

Just as a quick aside, and to testify to Lux Delux’s community input, even AI can be designed and uploaded by players. In fact, in 2015 there was an AI added that uses Monte Carlo Tree Search algorithms, meaning it gets smarter the longer you play it. So really, there’s a lot to be had from just changing around and trying out AI, even on just one individual map.

Coming back to multiplayer, like any other game, you have the chance of being teamed up with up to six other players and AI of your liking. There’s not much to say other than it’s exactly like the single player except you can play against real people. Fortunately, with the recent addition to Steam, the Lux Delux community is doing well, and you aren’t likely to run into too many empty lobbies.

Lux Delux Gameplay



So now that you know what Lux Delux is at its core, let’s go into actually playing it.

The game itself is really well optimized, so it doesn’t take almost any resources to run. The gameplay itself is fast-paced and action packed, with the focus mostly being on the strategy rather than the hoopla. Moving troops is just two clicks away, and once that’s done, the game automatically carries out all the rolls for you.

Given the lack of having to move things around and watching animations, there’s not much downtime to Lux Delux, and so you’re going to have to be on your toes constantly. Thankfully, the pace of the game is easy to pick up after a few plays against the AI, and strategizing on a constant basis starts coming naturally. Since there’s such a huge pool of maps to pick from, you can no longer depend on specific strategy, but instead, work on an overall battle plan that will see you to victory.




So what’s the final verdict?

Risk: Lux Delux is bare bones when it comes to flash and pizzazz but very heavy when it comes to variety. Even though there’re no animations in the game to speak of, it adds to the dynamic and quick pace that you would expect from a high-strategy game such as Risk. The map variety means that you always have something to come back to, and different things to try.

Not only that, but Lux Delux allows you to join in with developing new and interesting stuff to play. Whether you’re into graphics and want to make maps or a programmer who wants to make the AI, there’s something for everything. So really, it’s an inclusive game.

So if it sounds like something you might want to try, you can head over to SillySoft site and download a demo. Of course, don’t forget about playing Risk online with your friends here at Major Command! We’ll miss you!