What is it about Risk games that just brings you back? Ah, to return to the days of youth.
Just you, your acne-ridden bros, and your little brother whom Mom made you include in the sleepover game night. And by game night, we mean RISK game night, which was incredibly fun until you left the room to get more orange soda and your friends used clippers to mutilate your RISK infantry and wait for you to notice.
Well, we showed them! We conquered Australia and did nothing but build up an unmolested army in one territory, which no one defeated. Then again, no one needed to, since those territories weren’t worth much, and at the end of the last turn, we realized we’d spent the game doing nothing.
This is no way to play a RISK game.
The Australia strategy does not work, folks. Aim for Africa or North America. But what if America has been obliterated or overthrown? This is the case in some versions of RISK. And make no mistake, there are obscene numbers of RISK game variants, re-skins, overhauls, reimaginings, remakes, and sequels.
But are they worth playing?
Do we spill coffee on our white dress shirts half an hour before our first day at a new job, forcing us to visit a McDonald’s bathroom and completely soak ourselves in sink water and then leave our shirt on top of a hot car in the beating sun, waiting for it to dry as we nervously glance around the parking lot in case the car’s owner returns to find us shirtless and draping wet clothing on his car?
Hell yeah, readers. A RISK game is worth a play any day. Here are a bunch of RISK games. We guarantee at least one of them will suit your fancy.
This one is basically obligatory, ’cause sometimes you just can’t beat the classics. And sometimes, you just can’t beat your friends at the classics. If you played classic RISK back in the day, you probably had a friend group with that one dude who just took Asia every time, no problem.
Take vengeance on that jerk by playing classic RISK as an adult and mercilessly defeating your children.
Classic RISK was actually designed initially as a 90-minute game. If you know this series, you know there is no such thing as a RISK game that lasts fewer than five hours. This rendition, depending on the edition, may use small cubes or Napoleonic miniatures to represent player armies.
So that usually means cannons, horse riders, and infantry with muskets and maybe bayonets.
This is sort of the version you play if you want it to be accessible for your old uncle who still lives in the 80s, when he played lots of wargames with his college buddies. It’s also the version you play if you are that uncle, or you live in the 80s.
RISK 2210 A.D.
This is the one we played in high school, so prepare for our unbiased opinion that this is the best RISK game.
In 2210, you’re looking at standard world domination with some cool new additions. The whole map is redone to reflect a strange future world that has seen a lot of political changes. Various countries have been reshaped, renamed, or eliminated altogether. You can also conquer underwater cities and the moon!
You’ll use a series of special commanders to bolster your forces in various ways. Land Commander, Sea Commander, Lunar Commander, etc. The armies are represented by little mech warriors that get progressively bigger the more units the represent.
Oh, and the game begins with a random determination of which territories have been bombed into nuclear wastelands, which become uninhabitable and impassable. Other than that, you largely follow the standard RISK rules with defenders rolling two dice max and winning ties, etc.
It plays very differently though, with the new features. There are new things you can build, like the spaceport to get your forces to the moon. Seriously, grab that moon real estate before someone else does.
We petitioned the designer to officially rename the game to “Moon Risk,” but he took out a restraining order after we threw him a surprise petition/nice-to-meet-you-for-the-first-time party in his family’s home, wearing shoddy cardboard replicas of the RISK 2210 commander miniatures.
We were also nude from the waist down, so that didn’t help matters. That guy’s house is exceptional though, interior design to die for.
RISK Legacy (RISK with stickers! Sticky RISK?)
In a normal RISK game, you ravage the world in your conquest for domination. Then you put the board away and all the pieces slide into their holding containers.
In RISK Legacy, the world is forever changed. Every decision you make in Legacy will come back to haunt you like those old home movies we made where we were staging an apple-sauce-vomiting competition, which somehow made its way onto YouTube.
It’s a real sport that deserves respect. We will not be shamed for revolutionizing sports.
Anyway, at the end of a Legacy game, the players can customize some stuff to their liking. You can found a city, rename a continent, improve an existing city, etc. These things will provide specific bonuses in the coming games.
There are “scar cards” that permanently impact territories, like creating ammo shortages in a region. Then that region will be forever short on ammo. Like, every game from then on.
Various of these changes are actually made using stickers, which is cool, but it’s practically impossible to start fresh. You’d have to buy another copy of Legacy. That said, you will probably play your copy so many times that you won’t have a real need to do it again.
This is a hot option for RISK lovers with consistent playgroups who will capitalize on the ongoing nature of the gameplay.
Rick and Morty RISK (RISK and Morty?)
Let us first reassure you that this is not a blatant cash grab like when the latest trend makes its way to Hot Topic. Well, okay, maybe it is.
Rick and Morty RISK is still a real game with a lot of dark, funny conflict to play on, including some shit involving those Jerry worms. Ironically, cash grabs using product licenses are the exact kind of thing Rick would sardonically mock.
Whatevs, it’s still fun. Did we just say “whatevs”? Yes, we did.
You’ve got Robot Dogs, Post-Apocalyptic People, Gazorpians, the U.S. Government, and Mythologs. What’s a Mytholog, you ask? Why don’t you shut up! Just kidding, we’re not sure either.
You can use portal guns to sneak around the back of an enemy’s territory, so this game will challenge certain traditional RISK tactics involving border control.
RISK Metal Gear Solid
Thankfully, the designers of this game did not make the rules as difficult to grasp as the story of a Metal Gear game…
… So Liquid Snake is not dead, but still living in the form of Revolver Ocelot’s arm, and the main character of MGSV is not Big Boss, but a guy who was surgically modified to resemble him, but who thought he was Big Boss, who was actually Naked Snake, who was the genetic source material for Solid, Liquid, and Solidus Snakes?
Where’s Sam Jackson when you need him? Yeah, we’re on a first-name basis with ol’ Sammy.
Featuring everyone’s favorite characters from the Metal Gear series, like Otacon, masked soldiers, Old Snake, and… Meryl? Yeah, guess she was in this series too. Okay.
You play as one of the many private military companies clogging up the Metal Gear dystopia, and you can enlist heroes like Solid Snake himself (prematurely aged, but sporting the dapper mustache that identifies firm, no-nonsense Japanese men).
The players also vie for domination of the Outer Haven battleship, which allows you to unload reinforcements wherever the hell you want, and that’s pretty cool.
Lots of flavor and classic MGS art here for fans who want to put down the controller, but keep the snakes coming. More snakes? Yes, please.
By the power of Ra… Ancient mythology without the weird sex stuff! (We’re looking at you, Zeus)
RISK: Godstorm is superb. The map is gorgeous, the components are excellent, and the fun factor is way up there. You don’t really get to play as a particular culture, which is kind of a bummer, but you do get access to a series of four gods with really neat little designs.
The gods of sky, war, death, and magic will aid your cause as you pillage/plunder your way through enemy territories.
Godstorm uses a 5-round system, which is pretty different than your average points victory or standard elimination win condition. It does cut the game down to a more manageable time, making this more of a light, fun RISK that doesn’t threaten to consume you for eternity (like SOME deities).
Miracle cards can be played for effects like reinforcements, currency, or some other, more devastating effects. This serves to make Godstorm a RISK game with a heavy dose of chaos.
Great Anubis of the Serendubis! One of the miracle cards sinks like a sixth of the freaking map! Now that’s chaos with a capital C, although looking back, we did not actually capitalize the word “chaos.”
Oh, well. Play RISK: Godstorm or you’ll go to hell.
Nothing risky about a RISK game night. This is one reliable series of games that seems to produce gem after gem.
And you know how we feel about gems.
So pick your flavor, round up some friends, play some RISK, and don’t hole up in Australia. Or do if you want to be bored and lose. But they don’t call it “RISK” because you’re supposed to play it safe.
Though if you want to get really technical, RISK originally stood for “Rotund Iguanas Selling Krack.” They turned it into an acronym to cover up this strange fact, but here at Roll for Turns, we’re all about the truth.
Too much RISK but still didn’t get your strategy itch scratched? Check out our list of Best Strategy Board Games and find your next challenge!