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Publisher: Sillysoft    Genre: Strategy & War
Min OS X: 10.4

Lux Delux
November 22, 2005 | Michael Yanovich

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Online play
There is little reason to buy this game for the single-player experience. Thereís just no joy in beating an AI opponent in a game of Risk. In fact, Iíd use the single player game strictly as a training tool to learn new maps before going against other players via the internet.

Online play is delightfully easy to get in to. Games are easy to host—although firewall problems do exist on some systems—and joining is even easier. What really surprised me is the size of the Lux community, and even more so the bizarre Ďrulesí of online Lux games. New players like myself will be easily confused at the options and strategies out there. Iím very used to the ďtake as many territories as you can hold, and donít let your opponents get control of other continentsĒ approach. While you can certainly play that way online, be prepared for an onslaught of criticism from other Lux players.

First off, most players insist that all bots be killed off before the human players turn on one another. Prevent some dude from taking Australia instead of going after the bot that has a couple of land parcels in Asia and youíll never hear the end of it. Simultaneously try and control Australia and Africa at the start of a game and the other players will ask you to choose just one. Some games encourage players to take turn attacking an empty country and then retreating so they can each get a card, instead of going after each other—a strategy called card farming—and players will frequently allow an opponentís armies to freely travel to another continent (as in, theyíll clear out a border of South America to allow another player to move their units into Africa) instead of pressing the advantage and wiping out their forces.

I just donít get it.

Sure, there are forums where many of these odd behaviors are talked about and explained for newbies, but there are rarely any reasons given for these courtesies. After all, this isnít a game about global multiculturalism; itís about global DOMINATION. If itís in my best interest to wipe out another player at the start of a game instead of going after a bot first, I see no reason to sit on my heels and allow the other player to grow stronger with each passing turn.

Thatís not to say there arenít valid reasons for this. I just leave it to any interested players to explore those channels on their own. Meanwhile, Iíll be the player who goes for the gold right away (and frequently loses because of it).

Overall, Lux is a fun game if you are in the mood for a simple, classic game with a bunch of map options. If youíre looking for long-term strategy play with scores of unit types and game strategies, this isnít for you. The basic graphical interface will automatically negate some maps from being usable, but the ability to easily make your own is a plus that easily overrides that setback.

• Simple, classic gameplay
• Large range of maps to choose from
• Built-in map editor, installer, and online game finder
• Can play against PC and Linux players

• No zoom ability for complex/poorly-designed maps
• Repetitive gameplay can rely more on luck than skill

Lux Delux
Publisher: Sillysoft
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