“A Cute, Cheery, and Intense Turn Based Strategy Game: Scratching A Longtime XBLA Itch”
Greed Corp is a Turn Based Strategy game where, perhaps more than any other game, you will win or lose, live or die, by the resources on the map. I say this because in Greed Corp, resources are only earned by excavating the ground below you…and you’re floating in the sky. After too many turns of mining, the ground falls away below you, and any buildings and units that were perched above fall to their untimely demise. Unlike other strategy games, where it is possible to “turtle up” and wait until you have superior strength, the unique inclusion of fragile terrain is a novel way to keep games fast-paced and intense.
The game gently starts you off in a tutorial, explaining to you the basic principles of the game (harvest materials, build units, destroy enemies either by wiping them out or decimating the land they stand), and I would encourage the would-be armchair generals to pay close attention to the options available to you. At first glance, Greed Corp will seem like a very ‘busy’ game, with build menus, turn counters, and resource counters spread all around the screen, and don’t get exasperated if it takes you a few moments to have it ‘click’ (for my own admission, I lost at the first level twice before understanding some strategy in building placement and the value in owning the high ground). The tutorial is a very linear guide to the mechanics of Greed Corp, but it will take a few games of trial-and-error for you to understand the tactics available to you. Thankfully, the game ships with four unique factions to play as, each contained in their own separate campaign, and these campaigns will be all the training you need for the most dangerous opponent of all: Man.
Greed Corp supports 1-4 players, be they AI opponents (of varying degrees of difficulty), local buddies, or online rivals, and these matches can play out over a variety of different maps and options to truly show your mastery of the crumbling battlefields. If you find yourself appreciating the nuance of an ever-shrinking battlefield (and trust me, it is a refreshing change from standard strategy fare), you will be able to find countless hours of pleasure challenging the AI, squaring off with Gamertag friends using the supported Party system or even clawing your way up the leaderboards. A note about the online system: Much like a sparse collection of other games, only one player per console needs to have a ‘Gold’ membership to play an online game. That means that you can play a 2v2 match or 3v1 match, with multiple people playing per console. This feature is amazing, as it promotes online play with friends, without demanding everyone have a $50 gold account. I know that Microsoft supports this feature across almost all of its games, but sadly, too few developers take full advantage of this feature – the inclusion of local friends jumping online can only promote the game to more people.
Greed Corp gave me a vibe much like the first Advance Wars game did; strong tactical gameplay and unique mechanics are masked by a ‘cute’ theme and story. And while Greed Corp certainly gets exceptional mention for a fantastically-developed online mode, I can’t help but wish that users were more gently integrated into the game, rather than being thrown into such a busy UI. Don’t get discouraged by it though; this game has the depth any tactician can love, and its ‘fragile ground’ mechanic is a fresh breath of air to the genre.
Game Score 7.5/10
Download a free trial here.
Watch a trailer here.
Watch the new launch trailer here. It’s pretty hilarious (and very indicative of the the ‘cartoony’ theme).