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Best mashup of Dungeons & Dragons and Risk: Small World

Strategy, plus monsters!

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Small World
Dylan Matthews is a senior correspondent and head writer for Vox's Future Perfect section and has worked at Vox since 2014. He is particularly interested in global health and pandemic prevention, anti-poverty efforts, economic policy and theory, and conflicts about the right way to do philanthropy.

Board Game Geek rating: 7.3/10.0 (192nd).

Based on the decade-older game Vinci, Small World is a fantasy-themed territory-acquisition game. Think of it as a less chance-driven version of Risk, with orcs, ghouls, sorcery, alchemy, and more. And the best feature just may be the board’s ability to vary in size. You can play with two to five players (six if you get an expansion) and the board shrinks or grows accordingly, meaning that you’re never trying to fit an awkwardly small or large number of people onto a board designed for 3-4 players, as is sometimes the case with games like this.

Like Ticket to Ride — also by publisher Days of Wonder — Small World comes in a wide array of electronic forms. iPhone users are out of luck, as its sole iOS version is iPad-only, but there are editions for Android, Steam (both Windows and OS X), and Vassal. The latter is great for trying it out before springing for a print copy.

Buy at Amazon: Small World ($44.99); Small World: Underground ($44.89); Small World: Power Pack, Vol. 1 ($32.58); Small World: Power Pack, Vol. 2 ($29.76); Small World: Realms ($145.54); Small World: Grand Dames ($11.99); Small World: Tales and Legends ($45.00); Small World: Necromancer Island ($5.99); Small World: Royal Bonus ($30.28); Small World: Leaders of Small World ($5.29); Small World: Sky Island ($28.71); Small World: Necromancer Island ($5.99).

Buy on iTunes: Small World 2 for iPad ($1.99).

Buy for Android: Small World 2 ($1.99); Small World 2 - Kindle ($4.99).

Buy for Windows/OS X: Small World 2 ($9.99, complete pack $14.67); Small World 2 - Cursed ($2.99); Small World 2 - Grand Dames ($2.99); Small World 2 - Be Not Afraid ($4.99).

Play on Vassal: Small World (free); Small World - Underground (free).