In the style of heady German board games like Carcassone and Catan comes Greed Corp., a fascinating strategy game taking place in a new fantasy world called Mistbound. There is a major difference, though — whereas Carcassonne and Catan are about building and cooperating, Greed Corp. is about beautiful destruction. This is a highly polished first effort from W!Games and is a welcome addition to Xbox Live Arcade.
Greed Corp. is a land grab game that plays out on hexagonal boards, but the twist is that each hexagon can be destroyed. In order to harvest resources and build units you must consume the earth beneath your feet, and by the end of a game the landscape will be a mere skeleton of what it was when you began. The concept makes for great fun and I never tire of watching those columns crumble away and disappear into the nothing below. Greed Corp. is a visually exciting board game.
Your objective is always the same: be the last man standing. When the dust settles, the player that survived the longest is the winner. Factions are eliminated if all their units and buildings are destroyed, but it is actually quite difficult to get a sense of who has the upper hand at any given time. This is one of those games where the player with just one unit and one tile to their name might end up the victor in the end. The destructible nature of Greed Corp. makes it an unpredictable beast.
Although there are many levels to the game (literally), you only have a few units to build. Harvesters will drain resources from the land at the beginning of each turn until its tile is destroyed. Armories will produce Walkers, your one movable unit that will go forth and claim tiles for you. A Cannon can be built to lob artillery at enemies and destroy their tiles. Finally, the Carrier will transport Walkers to any tile on the map. Even with these limited unit options, Greed Corp. offers plenty of interesting strategic possibilities.
Do you build a lot of Harvesters to earn massive loots? It’s tricky because each Harvester you build dooms all the tiles surrounding it. Another option is to go on the offense and build a couple Cannons so you can hopefully pound your enemies into dust. Players will be able to develop their own tactics with Greed Corp. Up to four players can join a game but besides their visual traits there is no difference between the four factions. Any combination of players can get greedy both locally and online.
Even though Greed Corp. is designed as a multiplayer game, the lengthy single-player campaign is loads of fun and serves as a useful training ground where you can develop your skills. It does take a few matches to really get an understanding of how the game works. Spend a little time with it, though, and you’ll find Greed Corp. is successful at creating both an original world and a new board game — make that a digital board game for which a real-world counterpart wouldn’t be possible.
If you fancy yourself a fan of either turn-based strategy games or heady board games, you’ll definitely want to check out Greed Corp. The fact that you have to destroy the ground beneath your feet in order to harvest resources makes for some fascinating choices. It’s designed for multiplayer and has friendly on- and offline features, but the single-player campaign is also great fun. Watching Greed Corp.’s tiles crumble into dust has been one of my favorite gaming moments of the year so far.