Developer: Sillysoft Games
Price: $4.99 Download on the App Store
Attention to all “Risk” aficionados and fanatics, Sillysoft Games is showing you some love for your itch to achieve world domination. Lux DLX is the mobile version of their desktop oriented game, Lux Delux, which has a sizable following on the net.
I’ll admit, I haven’t had much experience in turn based strategy games in the vein of what’s found here, but I’m always up for trying something new. So with that disclosure of my perspective, here are my two cents.
The premise of Lux DLx is easy to grasp. In basic terms, your goal is to defeat opposing armies to grab the areas that they occupy. When you occupy all areas of the map/battlefield, you win the game. Armies —from two to six, depending on your preference — are equally split up all over the map at the beginning of the game.
This turn-based game requires you to position the territories you already own and fill them with troops. After you’ve allocated your troops, you have options to attack other armies or stockpile troops in preparation for a big assault later on. Battles are determined by which area has the most troops. For example, if an army occupying an area with 8 soldiers attacks an area with 7 soldiers, the army with 8 soldiers would win. Lux DLX gets really crazy with five or six armies going at it, so you may want to limit your initial games to a smaller group of armies until you’re confident you get what’s going on. Lux DLX has five maps that are pre-installed, but there are dozens of additional maps that are free for download straight through the application.
Gameplay is generally smooth and the help section does a good job of laying out the basics. Touching an area selects your army, and sliding onto an area occupied by another army triggers an attack. A handy little window provides particulars giving a view of what army is controlling the map/battlefield. I experienced some lag and hang ups when trying to select my units, but the issues were few and far in between.
Multiplayer action is available in Lux DLX, but only via the same iPhone. It works okay, but it’s no substitute for real multiplayer action via Wi-Fi. For an application priced at $8, it’s a glaring omission that will hopefully be addressed in further updates.
The graphics and sound in Lux DLX are merely adequate when compared to other games on the iPhone. The maps are colorful and interesting, but the sound effects and animations are rather basic. That being said, this isn’t the kind of game that sinks or swims based on bells and whistles; it's all about the gameplay.
In addition to adding more robust multiplayer functionality, there is one other thing that this game is noticeably lacking from my perspective. Some type of campaign-oriented mode would be a welcome addition. While playing maps on a one-off basis is satisfying, it would be great to tackle maps while getting absorbed in an interesting story providing context for the warfare.
Overall, I had a lot of fun with Lux DLX. There are countless ways to approach conquering the battlefield, and I can see fans of strategy oriented games losing many hours of their lives playing through the wide variety of maps that are available. If $8 seems a little steep to you (I get it, we’re in a recession...), feel free to check out Sillysoft’s free Lux Touch as it’ll give you a small taste for what you’ll see in Lux DLX.