Lux (PC)

By Lucas Allmon

Published on Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Graphics: 5.00
Sound: 2.00
Gameplay: 8.00
Replays: 6.00

Risk is probably one of the most popular games ever created. Dominating the world with strategic might and military muscle has always been loads and loads of fun…for hours and hours. One of the main drawbacks of the game however has always been the dedication of time for playing it (my personal best on the terrestrial version has been 12 hours over 5 days). In steps Lux, a shareware title from Sillysoft which is a digitized version of the old classic.

The first thing you will notice about Lux is that it is devoid of any real graphics outside the map. The closest that it comes is the little soldier graphics used to represent how many pieces you get to place at the beginning of your turn. The map is just a basic map of the world, no text or ornamentation; however for the geographically inept such as me, you are able to hover over a country to see where you will invade next. The cool thing about Lux is that it doesn’t just give you the world to conquer. You can play in just Europe, America, custom geometric maps, or you can try out one of the many maps available through download. It gives you quite a choice.

The game play is pure Risk. If you don’t know the rules, well, it is pretty simple, yet deep. Each person takes turns choosing countries to occupy, and placing soldiers in them. Then turns proceed by taking over surrounding territories and strategically placing and moving soldiers to gain an advantage. Like I noted before, the downfall of risk for me is time investment. Lux takes all the slow parts of the game such as rolling the dice, matching cards, counting soldiers at the beginning of each turn and does it for you, creating a faster playing game. However, the game still is a strategic one, so I wouldn’t recommend rushing through it.

The audio is where the game really lacks. All it consists of is explosions, which sound more like a plop, and the winning/losing fanfare which was so boring I can’t even recall what it was. In fact, there may not have been any at all. It would have been nice for the devs to offer up some public domain music or something to spice it up. The 1812 Overture that was playing in my head was barely enough to cover up the dull thump of the “explosions”. However it was really the only gripe with the package.

With the bad comes the good. Online play. You can play with other people online or over the network, and I was surprised at how many games were available to join when I jumped on at three in the morning. Online play can make anything seem like more fun, and for me, fun seems to be getting my ass handed to me in Risk in the middle of the night by someone who is speaking what seemed to be German. I now know why I am not a strategist. A demo can be downloaded from http://sillysoft.net/, and the full version is $20.

Overall Rating: 7.00

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