Risk will always be a classic strategy game go-to, but there’re all kinds of awesome
board games like Risk to add to your game-play arsenal. Below, I’ve selected a variety that all have the classic's same “world conquest” qualities with unique approaches. Whether you feel like playing for two hours or 10, and with kids, adults, or both, there’s a game below for you and your crew.
To find games that compare to Risk, I looked for
board games that demand strategic thinking and territory building — ones that require players to build up territories and resources, and in some cases, conquer those of other players. From a space exploration game that involves using war and diplomacy to conquer planets all over the galaxy, to a territory control board game that’s set in an alternate world, there are plenty of games similar to Risk that you can invest in to take your game night to the next level.
Similar to Risk, most of the games below
require players to be at least 10 years old; though I did include a few picks that are for teens and up, ones that have higher complexity ratings, longer play times, and slightly more adult themes.
As you scan this list you’ll see the recommended players, complexity scores, and pacing listed out, so you can pick the
best tabletop board game for you. The games gathered below offer a pretty big range, as some of the shorter board games can wrap in just 30 or 40 minutes, while the longest game here can keep you and your friends busy for up to 6 hours. For reference, I’ve listed each game's estimated play times, along with complexity ratings, according to Board Game Geek, which gives Risk a complexity rating of 2.09.
Check out these highly rated
board games like Risk, all available on Amazon. 1 A Space Exploration Game Like Risk
For anyone with an interest in exploring the universe,
Empires Of The Void II is a great game like Risk that’s the most challenging board game on this list. You’ll embark on a mission to build your own galactic empire in this game, traveling to new planets where you can either wage war, form allies with aliens and new species, or start building your own structures to establish a foothold on the outer edges of your galactic world. This has a longer playing time and a higher complexity score than Risk, so it’s a great level up if you’ve tired of playing Risk every game night. The Basics: 2 to 5 players, ages 13 and up; 1.5 to 3 hours game play Board Game Geek Complexity Rating: 3.46 out of 5 What fans are saying: “I can totally recommend this as a perfect game for couples who have even a slight interest in space games and enjoy some area control and fun battling.” 2 A Board Game Like Risk That’s Great For Two Players
two-player board game pits you and a friend against each other as you race to build bridges and conquer a 12-island archipelago. You’ll use cards to build bridges (or remove your opponent’s bridges) from the board’s map, and the game lasts for three rounds of back-and-forth card play or until someone has no bridges left on the game board. This is a quicker game than Risk and can’t be played with as many people. but that makes it great for anyone who struggles to commit to a days-long battle to conquer the world (or for younger players, as well). The Basics: 2 players, ages 10 and up; for 30 to 40 minutes of game play Board Game Geek Complexity Rating: 2.06 out of 5 What fans are saying: “Great Strategy game for two people! If you like Risk or Settlers, but don't love playing them with only two people, then this game is for you. It's easy to learn, and doesn't take too long to play (our games seem to average 20-30 Min.).” 3 The Best Resource Management Board Game Like Risk
Formerly called Settlers of Catan,
Catan is more about negotiation, territory-building, and resource management than conquering. A lot of how players fare depends on the roll of the dice, but like Risk, a player’s success also depends on building up their settlements and cities and expanding their army as well as collecting resources, having the longest road, and gathering victory cards. The Basics: 3 to 4 players, ages 10 and up; an hour of game play Board Game Geek Complexity Rating: 2.33 out of 5 What fans are saying: “We love to play Risk and this is always under the, "people who buy this also buy this" section. Since learning this game (which is fairly easy to learn btw), I have no desire to play Risk anymore. We are obsessed! We already want to buy expansions but are going to make ourselves wait a few months so we don't burn out.” 4 A Territory Control Board Game Set In An Alternate 1920s Timeline
Set in a post-war alternate history of “Europa,”
Scythe is a complex territory building game with a science fiction spin: It’s a time of farming, yet players have to contend with activating monstrous machines called “Mechs,” which were used to fuel the Great War. Players represent one of five Eastern European factions who are working to claim land and fortune for their people — whether by expanding their borders, building structures, enlisting recruits, or activating monstrous “Mechs” to deter potential enemy invaders.
The game takes place in lands around the “Factory” — a mysterious capitalist city-state — and each player begins the game with different resources, starting locations, and a hidden goal. While players have plenty of chances for conflict and combat, none are ever eliminated. Like Risk, this competitive pick is all about expansion and territory building. Unlike Risk, dice aren’t used, and it's a bit more complex than Risk, so it's meant more for teens and adults.
The Basics: 1 to 5 players, ages 14 and up; around 2 hours of game play Board Game Geek Complexity Rating: 3.37 out of 5 What fans are saying: “Here is a flat out honest review. Damn is this game complicated. Takes a lot of time to learn the rules and figure out what the hell you are doing. Once you get the hang of it, its like risk on steroids. I do not recommend this to anyone looking for a fast 30 minute game (took us 2 1/2 hours to play one game). You end up reading the rules frequently and going "duh" a lot, but it’s well worth it. The more you play, the better it is.” 5 The Best Strategy Board Game Like Risk With Long Game Play
Perhaps the most time-consuming game on this list,
Diplomacy is all about negotiation, with a little bit of bluffing thrown in. This war game takes place in 1901, so about 13 years before the First World War. Players represent the “Great Powers of Europe,” so you can choose from Great Britain, France, Austria-Hungary, Germany, Italy, Russia, or Turkey. There are no dice; instead, players instruct their military units by writing a set of “orders” for them. At every turn, your units — that is, armies or fleets — can move to an adjoining territory, support an allied unit, or simply hold their position. The Basics: 2 to 7 players, ages 12 and up; up to 6 hours of game play Board Game Geek Complexity Rating: 3.36 out of 5 What fans are saying: “Game is fun, but takes a long time. Played a 10 hour game with friends yesterday. Tons of fun. No random chance in dice rolls like in risk. All strategy.”