Stratego Online review: Strategized nostalgia
If there was a single board game I played a ton of as a child, it was Stratego. I practically grew up on this game. The sad part about this is that I don't think I've ever played the game with every piece – that is until today. While I ruled the household with my strategic whims as a wee one, I didn't keep up with the game over the past 20+ years or so. Out of the blue I'm playing Stratego on Facebook for free and on my iPad against my friends and I feel like I'm seven again.
Due to the work of Keesing Games, Zigiz.com game portal, and Royal Jumbo – Stratego has entered the digital modern world. Nostalgia hold me back. As of today you can play Stratego Online free on Facebook or for $6.99 on iPad. The best part about all this is that the web, Facebook, and iPad version are all cross platform so this means more players, from all over, can play each other.
Unlike the version from your childhood, this digital version of Stratego has more options. With that said, the original game you know and love is still 100% there if you're a Stratego purist. You have your 40v40 piece set completely customizable as far as setting up the board. A feature I'm digging is how you can save your layouts to load for future matches. After a few days I could see the matches starting nearly instantly from people just deciding which premade set they want to use for that round.
Your opponents can be computer AI, friends (really easy to find when integrated with Facebook), random strangers, quick matches, and even ranked play. Ranked play has a system where you gain points depending on your wins and losses. What better system to tell who is the best in the world than a good ole ranked brawl. The matches have timed 15 second moves which lead to a fast paced match. All you need to do is find your foes flag before he finds yours.
If 40v40 is too intimidating for you, there is also an even faster paced 10v10 piece map. Sure you don't fill up your entire side of the map but it may have even higher strategy to it. This version of Stratego gives you the option to play how you want to play for whatever type of time frame you have. You can even practice versus the computer but it is relentless and never forgets what your pieces are once you reveal them.
After playing a match against a coworker, I instantly time traveled 20 years to a past where Stratego was king. In the match, my stress level went up and I was questioning every single piece he had on the board. It felt right. Keesing's Stratego Online is by far the best digital version of the old board game classic I've ever played. It offers everything I'd want out of a digital Stratego and offers me opponents from multiple platforms. The graphics are great, the interface is simple, and it's really easy to get a game going. The only thing left is to get my ranked score up.