Risk Box

According to Whitehill, the game of Risk became one of the few territorial war simulation games "...to be embraced by the general public after WWII". The copy in the photograph on the left was donated to the Museum in 1981; however, the game was first introduced by Parker Brothers in 1959.

Whitehill indicates that the name of the game was suggested by a Parker Brothers salesman, and that the letters R-I-S-K are the combined first initials of this salesman's four grandchildren. On the other hand, Alfonzo Smith - a game collector - indicates that the game of Risk according to a former vice-president of Parker Brothers was originally a game developed in France and was marketed as "Conquest of the World"!


The game features a board that is a stylized world map, 55cm long x 57cm wide. The board folds in half and has a name label on one side when folded.

There are 45 playing cards (8.9cm long x 5.8cm wide), each with a stylized map of a country pictured on the board, and a black icon of a military object, such as a cannon. These cards are in the photograph at the top-center.

Playing pieces consist of about 400 wooden 1.1cm cubes in six different colors - green, blue, yellow, red, pink, and black. In addition, there are 30 wooden triangular oblongs (1.7cm long x .7cm high), 5 oblongs in each of the same colors as the cubes. These are in clear plastic boxes, and three of these boxes are pictured at the lower right of the board.

The game can be played by 2 to 6 players. Movement on the board by the playing pieces (known as "armies") is accomplished by rolling the dice. A series of instructions with specific "rules" indicate how a player captures and occupies a territory on the map.

The game is still popular around the world, and is now made and sold today by Hasbro, Inc. in the United States, and copies are readily available. A micro computerized version is also available.

Last update March 5, 2010