Day 569: WARR

Posted: 2012/05/31 in Indie Games

At first I almost dismissed “WARR” out of hand, thinking it was just a clone of Hasbro/Parker Bros’ “Risk”, but their Windows Phone version saved me. Messing around with it on my phone, I realised that “WARR” does have its own thing going on. And it’s one that absolutely no one’s been talking about at all, despite attractive presentation, good music, and lightning fast gameplay.

Firstly, though it’s not immediately obvious since they need to be unlocked, the game actually offers 3 maps to play on (one of which is the completely crazy “Grid” map that has no wrap-around, and also gives you nowhere to hide). Secondly, the action in the game is fast and frantic, far more so than any official version of Risk I’ve played. Thirdly, the cards work slightly differently, and there is a bonusing system that can give you extra armies on attack at times. Fourth, it offers not merely several difficulty levels but also different *types* of AI competitors. Fifth, while I know there are different variants of Risk in different countries (I remember my Risk manual growing up referencing both North American and UK rules, for example), unless I’m much mistaken I don’t remember a Risk variant where the reinforcements work quite like here. Finally, compared to Risk on XBLA, there are no cat or robot factions here; it’s martial music and global conquest the way I always imagined it playing Risk as a kid.

It’s a shame that the other maps aren’t available by default, which makes it impossible to try the new maps from the trial, but having tried them I really enjoyed them and consider them a real benefit and the main thing that elevates “WARR” above being a clone (even if the main map is, unfortunately, an exact copy of Risk’s board). Still, for only 80 Microsoft Points (or a little more than that on Windows Phone), it’s worth playing for strategy board game fans.

Here are videos of the two other maps: Ariana (which I absolutely love the layout of, putting rows of chokepoints along the top and bottom the map) and Grid (which is just pure insanity).

Here’s what the developer (“ABICO”) has to say about the game:

“WARR is a world domination strategy game of risk and conquest where players battle for global control. Key features of WARR include: – Multiple Maps – Multiple Difficulty Levels – Multiple types of Artificial Intelligence”

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