vConqr: World Domination is Closer, but still Just out of Reach

This app is not currently available in the App Store.

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.

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This app is not currently available in the App Store.

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  • MrCubes

    Thanks for this review. As the developer of this game I would just like to add a few things:
    1. You can set the speed at which the computer plays at any time with the slider at the bottom of the screen. A common complaint previously had been that the game was too *slow*, so we sped it up, but with the option to slow down if you don't like it.

    2. If you make a mistake when deploying or moving armies you can just tap where the armies came from to move back. We also added an undo for the case where you are fortifying a new territory and you accidentally touch another territory (just left swipe at the bottom of the screen). Admittedly some of these features are not immediately obvious - which is why we added the in-game help. Again, a big criticism of the first versions were all the buttons on screen that hand-held you through the gameplay. We're trying to strike the balance.

    3. We do still have a lot planned in terms of features and enhancements. We've tried to concentrate on the bigger areas first and time has been constrained for reasons given at the end of this blog entry:

    Be assured that we do read all the comments in the reviews, left as feedback on our site, or in reviews like this one, and we're committed to making this game better and better with every release!