Having to limit my design considerably due to the size and time constraints, I looked for a strategy genre that would work well with little to no graphical assets. In the end, I decided to take the classic Risk as inspiration. The final result resembles it only in how the map is constructed, but using it as a basis allowed me to quickly get something working off the ground, and easily add the competition theme (the four elements: earth, water, fire and air) to the mix later.
My goal was to make a game that could be played inside 15 minutes, so I tweaked the dynamics a bit; limiting each player to 3 moves per turn, but allowing armies to move more than once. This shifted the ponderous tempo of classic Risk towards a much more fast-paced and dynamic game. While that changed the tactics you have to use significantly, it didn’t remove the fun from the game.
The game can be played both single-player (against the AI) or multi-player against your friends. There is no online play though, so the most comfortable way to play against other people might be a tablet (or multiple mouses :)).