Greed Corp was an impulse purchase for me. One of those cases of a game being on sale for a cheap enough price that I couldn’t resist trying it out. I now have 19 hours of playtime on it, so I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth, and for a game that is at its core as simple as Greed Corp, that’s quite a pleasant surprise.
How’s it work?
The game is played with one to four players, any number of whom can be AI-controlled with various skill-levels assigned to them. Each player generates gold every turn, which they can use to buy troops, factories, cannons, or the barracks that troops are built from.
Troops are all identical in ability, meaning that whenever stacks of troops from two different forces meet, they’ll each lose troops until one stack or the other is gone, with ties going to the attacker.
What makes it interesting?
Where the strategy of the game comes into play is that the hex-based terrain is all extremely destructible. Each player gets gold every turn, but can get extra gold from factories. These factories give gold for the hex they are on and for each adjacent hex, and every time they earn that gold each of those hexes drops one level, eventually collapsing entirely.
This steadily-shrinking battlefield is Greed Corp‘s core mechanic. Factories drastically increase income rates, but give a player less actual space to work with, and obviously losing your last territory means you’re done. Games become balancing acts of resource and terrain management, with many of the more aggressive moves involving building factories and firing cannons purely to reduce the amount of ground an enemy has to work with, with the potential of creating chain reactions dropping huge sections of the map into the abyss.
Worth the time?
The gameplay is solid and entertaining, with individual games actually moving at a fairly fast pace, especially for a turn-based game. Turn timers are not only an option, but are rarely a problem once someone knows the basics of the game. Even the graphics are refreshingly bright, with each player having a very easily-discerned aesthetic and color scheme so that any player can tell at a glance what everything is and whose it is.
The closest thing to a real negative that I’d apply to Greed Corp is that the later stages of gameplay tend to be very similar from one game to the next, with the the remaining players separated by the now-destroyed terrain waiting until they can afford to fly across and invade what territory they have left. This makes many games drag out a bit towards the end as everyone just waits until the one closest to their goal (of having enough troops to attack and having the planes to manage it) reaches it and wins.
The game up to that point is great fun. It has all the tactical maneuvering and power plays that one expects from a turn-based strategy, giving it a great deal of replayability even with the occasionally-stale endings. The single-player campaign is challenging enough to be worth some fun, and is a great way to ease yourself into the deeper strategies involved.
Greed Corp comes highly recommended by me, and the price tag is more than reasonable even without the frequent discounts Steam gives it.
Now if you will excuse me, I have the urge to go play again.