Risk is a strategy board game of diplomacy, conflict and conquest for two to six players.
The game board is a map of 6 continents divided into 42 territories. Each continent is a different color and exists of 4 to 12 territories.
There are six complete sets of armies, each containing three types:
1. Infantry (worth l)
2. Cavalry (worth 5 Infantry)
3. Artillery (worth 10 Infantry, or 2 Cavalry)
Also included is a deck of Risk cards, comprising forty-two territory cards, two wild cards, and twelve or twenty-eight mission cards.
Standard equipment also includes five or six dice in two colors: three red dice for the attacker, and two or three white or blue dice for the defender.
There is also a Golden Cavalry piece used to mark the progressive turn-in value of matched sets of territory cards.
Players may form and dissolve alliances during the course of the game.
The goal of the game is to occupy every territory on the board and, in doing so, eliminate the other players.
The game can be lengthy, requiring several hours to multiple days to finish. European versions are structured so that each player has a limited “secret mission” objective that shortens the game.
Risk was invented by French film director Albert Lamorisse and originally released in 1957 as La Conquête du Monde (The Conquest of the World) in France.
It was bought by Parker Brothers and released in 1959 with some modifications to the rules as Risk: The Continental Game, then as Risk: The Game of Global Domination.
Lamorisse offered the game to Miro, a game manufacturer in France, and the rules were slightly modified by Jean-Rene Vernes to make it simple enough for starting players.
Parker Brothers had a good relationship with Miro and brought the game to the United States. They modified the look and changed again a few rules (they add cards to speed up the game) and last but not least, they changed the name into Risk: the Continental Game.
The first new version of Risk was released in 1986. Called Castle Risk, it featured a map depicting 18th century European castles instead of a map of the world, and it was a financial disappointment.
In 1993, the rules for Secret Mission Risk, which had been the standard in Europe, were added to the United States edition.
After a limited special-edition release in 1999, in France, called Risk: Édition Napoléon in commemoration of 200th anniversary of the Napoleonic era (1799-1815), a new edition called Risk: 2210 AD was published in 2001 by Hasbro’s Avalon Hill division. The game was futuristic-themed, featuring moon territories, ocean territories and commander units and offered a number of expansions.
Starting in 2002, Risk versions themed around media franchises such as Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Transformers were released, sometimes with as many as six editions per year.
A collector’s edition of classic Risk in a bookshelf-format wooden box was issued in 2005 as part of the Parker Brothers Vintage Game series, distributed through Target Stores.
In 2008, Winning Moves, a Hasbro licensee, introduced 1959 Risk, a reproduction of the original Parker Brothers version with original artwork, wooden playing pieces and rules. Many themed versions are currently being published, and new themes continue to be introduced.
Several video game versions of Risk have been released as Risk, starting with the Commodore 64 edition in 1988 and the Macintosh edition in 1989. Various other editions have been released for PC, Amiga, Sega Genesis, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo Switch.
In 1996 Hasbro Interactive released a PC version of Risk that included a new variation on the game called Ultimate Risk, which did not use dice but rather implemented the use of forts, generals, and complex battle strategies.
Risk II for PC and Mac was released as a 2000 video game which includes classic Risk as well as board and gameplay variations.
In 2010, Pogo.com added a licensed version of Risk to its library of online games.
An Xbox Live Arcade version of Risk called Risk: Factions was released on June 23, 2010. It includes classic Risk as well as a factions mode where players can play as Zombies, Robots, Cats, Soldiers, or Yetis.