Platform: PC / MAC / Linux
Here we are. It is 2012. Lux Delux has been out for some time now, and even if it just came out yesterday it'd be anything but a new game.
Based off of the game Risk, Lux Delux offers essentially the same experience via a computer mediated gameplay experience where you can duke it out amongst A.I. characters or even real life friends. For anyone familiar with Risk, the learning curve should be approximately zero minutes.
That does not mean that you should overlook Lux. What we have is a great little game, something that can be played in short bursts or over long periods of time. Perfect for netbooks on the go or in between term paper paragraphs on a desktop. Think of it this way. While you are having a chat conversation you could be simultaneously be conquering the Mediterranean or losing a massive battle held in a recreation of the Star ship Enterprise.
Thanks to user generated content you are assured that the "game-board" can be just about anything you want it to be. You're not limited to the actual globe but have the option of playing on fantasy maps like the Lord of The Ring's Mordor, or a highly detailed historical map like Imperium Romanium Expletus, a map designed with Italy at the center and incorporating countries surrounding the Mediterranean sea.
For anyone familiar with Risk the rules are essentially the same. Conquer predesignated areas for a greater amount of armies to place on the following turn, conquer new countries for a card, combine three cards for a set amount of armies, etc, etc. These simple mechanics make for some fun strategy during games. It is an easy to pick up hard to master kind of concept that has become almost as ubiquitous as checkers but it is still fun and that is what counts.
I do have some issues with the A.I. They can be somewhat difficult but most times you will see a reoccurring pattern in their play styles. Some will essentially attack without weighing the cost, meaning they could be wiped out in the next turn but that does not stop them from throwing everything they have into one last attack. Others play it pretty safe and some even seem perfectly content growing their forces. I think the best way to get a good challenge out of Lux is to have a mixture of difficulty levels in a game just so that the match will be less predictable.
$14.95 might seem a little steep for such a title, but it is certainly worth it if you are a Risk fan. This is the type of game that is small enough to install and never uninstall. One to play as a kind of palate cleanser or even just between pages on a writing assignment. Playing amongst friends is the way to go but solo isn't so bad either. What it comes down to is whether or not you like Risk enough to want and play it quicker. If you do it is a buy, if not it just might be too.