Running a corporation is hard. It's even harder when your business is mining, and there's less and less land to mine. Competition heats up. Time to bust out the cannons. Time to play Greed Corp.
Developed by W!Games, Greed Corp is a turn-based strategy game that puts players in charge of a mining operation. Players mine the land with machines called "harvesters", causing the earth to crumble below. Mining, however, is not merely destructive as it enables players to buy robots called "walkers", armories to make more walkers, cannons (and cannon shells) and transport carriers. The goal here isn't just to harvest your own land, but to take over your competitors' territory and destroy them in the process. Matches can last anywhere between 15 and 40 minutes. And if you lose, that's it, so start the same match over. Greed Corp is a game of last man standing.
Just because greed might be good, does that mean that Greed Corp is good?
Presentation, Presentation, Presentation: With its cute, almost Pixar-like robots and harvesters, Greed Corp is a visual treat. As each match progresses, the light changes from late afternoon to evening to gloomy night. It is all offset by the ragtime style jazz music playing throughout the game, giving it an undeniable charm.
This Game is Relevant: Big business and corporate greed is always a timely topic. While the current global economic recession was caused in part by the bond market, white-collar greed seems more relevant than ever. Greed Corp could very well be the most topically relevant downloadable game released so far this year. There is something simple and straightforward and yet deeply profound about having players destroy the environment to raise money to destroy their competition. It's a vicious cycle and utterly fascinating and depressing.
And The Game Itself: For a turn-based strategy game like Greed Corp, everything really rests on whether or not the game itself works. And Greed Corp does, brilliantly. The strategy is strong and rich. Looking at the in-game "tiles" and plotting how you will take your competitor's while not destroying all your own titles makes for intriguing gameplay. For this reviewer, the strategy didn't come immediately, but once it did, Greed Corp proved itself insanely fun and provided the depth and pure playing pleasure of the best of any board game.
Greed Corp is an immensely enjoyable title. It is not a perfect game by any means. I wish the tutorial prepared players better for the campaign. Also, I wish that the single player campaign was more forgiving. I never quite felt I got positive reinforcement from the title — perhaps it is not aimed at a player of my skill level. The single player campaign goes into "Expert" as it progresses, and I often found myself playing the same match over and over again for over an hour plus. And with over 20 different boards, the game offered a sizable time commitment, and sometimes there wasn't much of a feeling that I was getting better. It's a shame that the campaign wasn't broken down into a regular campaign that significantly more difficult one for more seasoned players. Regardless, I enjoyed the game very much. And I imagine you would, too.
Greed Corp was developed by W!Games. Released on XBLA and PSN on February 24 and 25 respectively. Retails for 800 Microsoft Points or US$9.99. A copy of the game was given to us by the publisher for reviewing purposes. Played 20 levels of the single player matches and tested multi-player.
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