World Conquest

Free Download
System Requirements:
Jason Merlo
Suggested By:

Fracas is a world conquest game with quite primitive graphics (and a minimal soundscape) programmed in Visual Basic, with the source available from the developer, Jason Merlo. Merlo claims that it was inspired by Lords of Conquest, which he describes as "an EA Game" -- actually, it was an Eon game, published by EA in the mid-80s, and was essentially a digital implementation of their excellent boardgame Borderlands. (Eon, still sort of in existence, now operates Cosmic Encounter Online.)

At first glance, you might be mistaken for thinking that Fracas is yet another Risk implementation, but it is not. You are limited to one attack a turn, and in fact are prohibited from attacking enemy-controlled provinces unless you have superiority; by building ports, you can attack across a sea zone to any province it adjoins, at a loss in attack power. The result is a game that is much more strategic in nature than Risk, with the powers manuevering for control of chokepoints and strategic advantage, and without the "first my army sweeps across the world, then your army sweeps across the world" absurdity of Risk's endgame.

It's a shame that Fracas disposes of the resource-and-unit tree of Borderlands/Lords of Conquest, which was its most interesting feature.

There are a variety of opposing AIs, which are not entirely dumb; the game autogenerates a random map, and does a pretty good job doing so. In addition, there's a map creator (a separate download from the developer's site), and a bunch of fan-generated maps available, including some interesting ones (Middle Earth, Medieval Europe, Japan). There's also a networked multiplayer version, but it does require you to know the TCP/IP address of your host -- no automated player-matching.

Not a bad little timewaster, if you can forgive the primitiveness of the media assets.


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This game is very addictive, at least for some weeks. And it's even better when you play it with a friend; it's way more exciting than against A.Is, even if they're good too.
It's really worth the download. And if Jason Merlo could add some subtleties like different types of troops and some diplomay maybe, it would be great.

it was remade

Fracas was remade with excellent graphics and many improvements: Strategist by Oxeye Games
Unfortunately they apparently sold it to someone else to develop and it's no longer for sale, though the demo is still available if you hunt around. There's no information on who they sold it to or when it's coming out again.