Gamers are good at making design choices seem like the end of the world. Very rarely is it, really. Though in one instance over these last six months, one game has brought to the market (though not the video game market) a design choice that is the end of a world as we know it. Over and over again.
I speak, of course, about Risk Legacy, the latest in a long string of Risk variants that Hasbro’s put out over the years. Most of these variants have been licensing affairs with a different map and some special rules to fit the property: Lord of the Rings Risk, Halo Risk, and so on. Legacy is not. Legacy is a game in which every game played will have lasting effects on every future game played with that Legacy set. It’s a board game with some unmistakable borrowings from video games, where persistent progress is pretty normal, but also some really ambitious – some would even say audacious – features that mean that the game is going to change. Whether you like it or not.
Risk Legacy is controversial because it has consequences.