The Risk knock-off vConqr has undergone quite the revamping since our original review of the game when it was known as Virtual Conquest. This version is more playable and should appeal to both Risk fanatics and iPhone/iPod touch gamers. But even with some improvements the app still feels a bit constrained and lacks options.
There really is potential in vConqr. The graphics are excellent and the UI of the game board works quite well. And, compared to the original version, the AI is much improved. Gameplay against the computer enemy is actually a challenge when selecting the most difficult level.
Unlike mobile games that you can just pick up, swipe a few times and play, with VConqr most users will need to use the tutorial embedded within the game. This is especially true if you are not familiar with how Risk works. The object is to move your armies around the game board and defeat the enemy (or enemies) in battle. It takes strategy in army deployment, attacking, and of course, a bit of risk to win.
vConqr lets the user create human or computer players. The gameplay then involves moving armies, attacking, and re-locating troops after the carnage. But playing against the computer may result in eye damage — the maneuvers and explosions from battle move at lightning speed. While the goal of quickening gameplay can be appreciated, it makes it hard to analyze what the opponent did. And some of the options are a too constraining for beginners. Tap in the wrong play when deploying armies or attacking and that option is gone until the next turn.
Some of the other features of vConqr are either hard to decipher or missing entirely. You can save a game, but doing so means just closing the app with the home button (not intuitive at all). When restarting the app there is an option for resuming a game. Also, creating a human player is done by choosing "none" on the AI difficulty, not simply selecting a human/computer option. And some of the best features are promised but not yet available — downloadable maps, online play and tournaments.
The improvements are definitely welcome and make vConqr worth its $2.99 price. The game is better — but with improvements could be great.