Risk has always been one of those games that sounds like a good idea to play, and then two hours in, with no end in sight, I regret ever buying it. Still, it’s a classic game and there is a lot to be said for the simple strategy to chance ratio and the way a roll-off of dice between players feels a little like battle.
Halo Risk Legendary Edition, Hasbro – $39.99 is another in the line of many themed versions of Risk already on the market. In this case, it is the world of Halo, the wildly popular video game franchise on the Xbox platform, featuring USMC units, Covenant and the dreaded Flood.
These themed editions are often nothing more than the same old game with a different map and different models for the playing pieces. Halo Risk is in this vein, but there are some surprisingly fresh differences that affect strategy and how the game is played.
The introduction of mobile teleports to move troops quickly to a different map area adds new tactics to game. The campaign cards offer objectives beyond wiping out the other players, such as, “Conquer seven territories in one turn.” Finally, there are three different maps to choose from, each different from the others and one is a Halo Ring map, which spans 5 feet!
The game pieces are cool, you are given lots of them and overall, I thought they were well-modeled (with the exception of the Scorpion tank on the UNSC side, which lacked detail) and it was easy to tell what was what on the board. The maps are interesting and beautifully drawn, and the box has a plastic insert with places to store the pieces without getting them all mixed up. From that standpoint, it’s a quality game.
That said, it is still Risk. That means long games (particularly if you play on the huge Halo Ring map) with lots of dice-rolling. Underneath the Halo theme and minor tweaks to gameplay, it is still just Risk.
If you hate Risk but love Halo – I’d recommend you steer clear unless you just want to add it to your collection. If you love Risk, this is a will be a version you are likely to play again and again.