The last time I played Risk was New Year's Eve, 1999, which I spent with some folks from the local Renaissance Faire, figuring if the world were catapulted back into the Dark Ages, they would be the people to hang with. It went like many Risk games do...two hours of engrossing play followed by people wandering away from the table for various reasons, eventually forgetting we were playing. The game is just too damn long, and manufacturer Hasbro knows this. Their answer to the problem? Risk: Black Ops. It's the Risk you've come to know and love in short bursts, redesigned with a sleek and sexy new look, a new resource system that rewards possession of territorial capitols, and the big change - an objective system. Objectives are tasks such as "Control Europe" that reward a player for completing them. The game starts with four major and four minor objectives from a pool of twelve, and completing any three is considered a win. This changes the face of the game completely!
Imagine all of the fun, strategy, and intrigue of a game of Risk without having to set aside an entire evening in order to play a game through to conclusion! It makes me want to break out my old copy of the game and make up my own objectives, though in my case they'd be more like, "Avoid landing on any soda stains", which is much trickier than it sounds.
So why is this important to the video gaming crowd? As Newsweek's N'Gai Croal reminds us, back in August EA signed a deal with Hasbro granting them the rights to create casual games based off of Hasbro intellectual properties. While the original Risk would never have worked via Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network, Risk: Black Ops would be simply sublime. We'll keep an eye out, but don't be surprised if EA jumps on this one in the near future.
Risk: Black Ops [Gamers With Jobs via Newsweek's Level Up]