On the birthday of its illustrious dictator, the North Korean government proclaimed Kim Jong-Il to be the world's greatest leader. More impressive, though, was the assertion of his golfing skills. In his first time on the links, so it was said, the potentate scored 11 hole-in-ones, posting the best score in the sport's history.
While I do not match Kim Jong-Il's purported skillz, I do share in his deluded vision of world domination. Lux DLX enables that megalomania, shamelessly copying the fundamentals of Risk.
The same rules and strategic principles apply here, just in digital form. Conquering countries and annexing territories with massive armies is your sole objective.
World domination is just the beginning in Lux DLX. Dozens of maps entertain the resurgence of the Roman Empire, relive the days of feudal Japan, and even turn the tide of history in the Pacific theatre of World War II.
The game comes preloaded with a basic set of four maps, which of course includes a world map. You can build on this collection by downloading maps from an online database that lists dozens of user-created maps.
It's an effortless process, streamlined to make grabbing new maps a cinch. Pressing a "Download More Maps" key on the map selection menu takes you to a scrolling list of available files. Tap one and the download begins, the game automatically installing it.
Such a simple, intuitive feature does amazing things to broaden the game's replay value and differentiate it from a sea of substandard clones.
Flexible controls enable you to move about these maps and move units with ease. Multi-touch zooming and the ability to scroll across maps help immensely in strategic planning, particularly when playing on large maps.
It's relatively easy to accidentally select the wrong territory when choosing a target for attack or unit deployment, so being able to zoom is essential.
For all that Lux DLX offers, it oddly doesn't go the extra mile when it comes to multiplayer. No network play here - in fact, there's not even support for local wireless competition. Up to six players can compete on a single device as a consolation.
Given the availability of downloadable maps, omitting online play is a curious move.
It's a missed opportunity, but one that can still be seized in an update and fulfil to potential of this already solid interpretation. Lux DLX proves that replicating classic games is possible only if the effort is made to bring new features into play.