War: Age of Imperialism
TomChick - :60 Reviews - Comments - 10/09/04

I can't get into Risk anymore. I've tried. Cyberlore did a pretty thorough Playstation 2 version recently with some nice touches. But in a post-Civ world, the basics of Risk just aren't enough for me. It feels like going back to checkers after you've been in a chess club for a year. So when I saw that Eagle Games had a board game conversion of something called War: Age of Imperialism in the running for the next IGF, I figured I'd take a look.

Ah, yes, this one is just right! It's just the right mix of random elements like die rolls and face down tiles, combined with broad strategies and simple calculations for armies, industry, and technology. The AI makes it fine for a quick game against the computer, but the great online support makes it even better for live multiplayer matches or longer term PBEM-style games (a multiplayer game is hosted on the publisher's server, so players can drop in any time to take their turns).

Oh, and I can tell you from experience not to bother with that 'grab Australia and hunker down' bullshit. Age of Imperialism has boats, native revolts, and, well, imperialism. Old school staying at home in one corner of the globe isn't going to get you anywhere.

War: Age of Imperialism is in the competition for the 2005 Independent Games Festival. There's a demo limited to seven turns here and it's available for download for $25 here. If you're not averse to some board-gameyness in your turn-based strategy, I heartily recommend this one.

Plus, I want you to get it so there will be more people for me to play against.

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