I agree with all your points, but bizarrely we had an enjoyable time playing this with our son of 7. Must admit we have a ton of small questions and i had a vague empty feeling whilst playing. Could not see much in the way of long term strategy and only a little in the way of short term tactics. Mr Borg any way of contacting you to answer all our questions as i would like to persevere with the game given my son enjoyed it?
well, it is subtitled Risk Junior. That implies that it is somehow simpler than Risk, which is a pretty simple boardgame to begin with... and from your description it seems they simplified it by removing the strategic elements. A lot of people (myself included) are inclined to sneer at Risk, but games like this make you realise how much worse it could be...
The beavers allow you to cross rivers, but from your description the movement is all off-board to onboard or vice versa, when does the river crossing come into it?
The initial attack is off-board to on-board, but assuming as attacking player you defeat the defender then as long as you have more than 1 piece left you can choose to attack a neighbouring territory. Normally you can not attack a neighbouring territory if this requires you to cross a river (other than if there is a bridge) unless you are accompanied by the Beavers or have a Ford card.