Risk is an open source Java implementation of the famous board game with the same name.

It offers 3 different game modes (domination, capital, and mission), customized downloadable maps, multiplayer play (over the internet or LAN), excellent computer AI, and generally high production qualities

If you’re a fan of Risk, as I am, you will really like this implementation of it. It combines some excellent game innovations with fantastic production qualities.

Here are more notes on this game:

  • Game modes: “Domination” (where the objective is to conquer all territories), “Capital” (where the object is to capture all of the capitals on the map), and “Mission” (where the computer gives you a specific objective, such as to hold 12 adjacent territories and arm them with 20 armies each, or to destroy a certain opponent).
  • Custom maps: these can either be (a) completely new maps, such as the “Roman Empire” map or the map of the UK (there’s even a map of the London underground subway); or (b) the traditional world map, but with new ’access routes’ between continents, or (c) the traditional Risk world map in a new skin. Look here for a gallery of downloadable maps.
  • The computer AI: there are 3 types of computer opponent (crap AI, easy AI, and hard AI). The hard AI is generally very good. The hard AI is excellent; if you are accustomed to rolling over computer Risk opponents try going against mostly hard AI’s (it will certainly be a challenge).
  • Multiplayer: over the internet is on the way, but as of this writing (Feb 10th 2008) it was not yet implementedNetwork play over LAN is also possible but I did not try it.
  • Different views: employs a number of different tabbed views that filter different types of information (continents view, territory ownership, border threat, card ownership, troop strengths, connected empire). These are quite interesting but largely academic, and you might find yourself looking at them only occaisionally.
  • Other controls: you can load/save games, and (can you believe it!) there even is an undo button.
  • The production qualities: are very nice and in general; the maps are really well done and overall
  • Installation: this game requires java 1.4 or higher, which you can download Here. If you have JAVA installed just click on the downloaded .jar file and it will install normally, create shortcuts in the start menu. It does not provide an uninstaller in either the add/remove control panel or the start menu, but you can find it in “C:’Program Files’Risk’Uninstaller”.
  • More info: on Risk and its history see here. For Risk rules and how-to-play see here.

The verdict: what I like about this game, aside from being very well done in general, is that with the new maps and with custom, defined missions it brings new life and new challenges to the game (especially for someone like myself who pretty much knows how to win on the standard Risk map in a domination game). Multiplayer over the internet should also provide an exciting new dimension for Risk fanatics!

Risk Screenshot - Roman Empire

Version Tested:

Compatibility: Windows compatible (includes NT4, 2000, XP); Linux or Unix compatible. Requires java 1.4 or higher (download it Here).

Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 5.5 megs).