Apparently, Iâ€™m a credit to humanity. Slightly more alarmingly, Iâ€™m also â€ślike Winnieâ€¦but whereâ€™s the poo?â€ť These are the kinds of messages you can expect to see if you start winning in Lux, an addictive turn-based strategy game from indie developer Sillysoft. Itâ€™s a no-frills package, but the low price and entertaining Risk-like gameplay makes Lux a game that is definitely worth your time.
Like Risk, the game presents you with a map divided up into territories. You are allotted a certain amount of troops each turn (the number of which varies depending on how much land you have captured), and must use your armies to both defend and attack. Itâ€™s a delicate balancing game â€“ if you expand too quickly, your troops will be spread too thin, allowing your enemies to sweep through your undefended lands. On the other hand, if you refuse to take risks and conquer territories, you wonâ€™t get nearly as many troop reinforcements, allowing everyone else to overwhelm you.
Thatâ€™s essentially all there is to the gameplay, but Lux gives you a comprehensive range of options to ensure that you get your moneyâ€™s worth. You can choose from a wide selection of enemy AI to go up against, or create your own AI types. If computer opponents arenâ€™t your thing, you can hop online and fight against other people â€“ just be prepared to lose. The game comes with a good selection of maps, and when you get bored with them, you can download a huge selection of user-created maps (or just make your own). With this kind of service, a lively online community is essential, and thankfully, Lux seems to have attracted a large number of enthusiasts.
While this does extend the lifespan of the game, you may eventually find yourself using the same tactics over and over again, at least against the computer opponents. The different types of maps help mix things up, but you canâ€™t help but wonder whether other game modes or options would have spiced things up a little. Still, for what it is, Lux does a great job of combining Risk-like strategy with a healthy (or unhealthy?) dose of addictiveness. If youâ€™re a fan of turn-based strategy games, and arenâ€™t too fussed about flashy graphics, you owe it to yourself to check out Lux.
A demo can be downloaded from the Lux Delux website and the full version costs US$24.95.