Written by Remko Molenaar (Proxzor)
With the coming of Steam making it easier for indie developers or smaller studios to release their games, you will find the occasional diamond in the rough: a game that has a very promising concept, but because of a lack of funds it might be lacking in one way or another. Lux Alliance is a game like this, and we were given the chance to check it out. Is Lux Alliance worth its price, or is it another game that you should pass on and look for your strategy cravings elsewhere? Let’s find out.
Lux Alliance is a strategy game that is heavily inspired by Risk, and this can easily be seen in the graphical style of the game and its gameplay. When I first launched Lux Alliance I was surprised to say the least. The game itself is very poorly made; it took me a few restarts to get it working properly, and on first sight it doesn’t look very polished. The tutorial is simple, teaching basic controls and leaving you in the dark of how the game actually is played. It didn’t take all too long to finish this and I jumped right into the game.
In Lux Alliance you can choose between different historical scenarios like the second World War, the American Civil War, and many others. Since I am a big fan of replaying the 2nd World War in any shape or form it wasn’t a difficult decision and I went straight into battle. When setting up the game you can also choose what faction you want to play as. To keep things interesting I decided to pick Random, to keep it a surprise. You can also choose between a ton of difficulty settings, ranging from easy to hard with a lot of in-between options. There are many options falling under each of the difficulty options, but how difficult each one of these options is still a secret to me. What I do know is that supposedly all of these options are different types of A.I., so It’ll definitely spice things up each time you decide to replay a scenario with a different difficulty. You can also download a ton of different maps that people made themselves, some historical and some fantasy.
The game itself is really straight forward. You are thrown on the map where you can easily see who you play as, who your allies are, and where exactly your main bases of operation is. I was thrown into the role of the United Kingdom during this 2nd World War scenario and controlled areas in Canada, Africa, Australia, and obviously Britain. I was teamed up with the USA and USSR, and was up against Germany and Japan. Scattered around the map you will see the armies of your enemies and your own; in this setting it was either soldiers or tanks, with tanks being the obvious stronger unit type you can ‘buy’ each round. I also had two factories, one in England and one in India. At the factories you will be able to produce new units in new rounds, so you really have to strategize when you want to purchase new units and where exactly you’ll need them.
I always enjoy a good game of Risk. It can take hours to complete one, and I always love to come up with a strategy and try my best to follow this plan as best as possible. Heck, I even played the Rome Total War series mainly because of the Risk type of gameplay, I didn’t care at all about the unique large scale fighting in the game, I just left the fighting to automatic and just really enjoyed taking over the map one country at a time. Lux Alliance does the same, and pretty much almost the exact same as Risk, but enables you to play with a ton more scenarios. The list of available scenarios has hundreds of options, some even taking place centuries ago, giving me an extra fun history lesson of what took place during these times, even ones of my own country.
Lux Alliance is a bit of a tricky game. I wouldn’t say it is a diamond in the rough: ironically, it shines in some ways but isn’t polished enough to recommend to others. I really enjoy this game, because it is an awesome game I can play on the side while I am playing a different MMO and I just tab in-between them to when I’m not doing all too much in my main game. The game feels like you are playing a browser game, and if it actually made for your browser it probably would be working better too. You cannot expect this game to be a full fledged game. While the price is only $10, I think if you really love these Risk type of games that your money will be well spent – as long as you can see through the buggy issues and its very simple design. But if you want a more solid polished game, perhaps it is better to look for a different Risk clone.