You sank my hexagon...
- Vibrant visuals and charming music; classic board game-style gameplay with excellent 2-4 player multiplayer.
- Genuinely intimidating difficulty curve will test how much you like board games.
It’s unfair to give Greed Corp a single score. If you like board games, it’s a must have. If you don’t, it’s simply too dull and difficult to bother. It’s unashamedly a niche game, but newcomers should start with a gentler introduction to the genre.
Price$ 14.95 (AUD)
Before 90 per cent of households played videogames on rainy weekends, families would sit around a table and whip out a board game. You’ve probably heard of them – Monopoly, Chess and Scrabble are pretty much all that’s left, but once it was a thriving industry.
The older generations will remember that the range of board games on offer was once as varied as an EB Games store shelf. One of the most popular was the military-style game, featuring grids of hexagons, careful manipulation of resources, and intelligent scheming. Best of all, there was the option of flinging the board skyward and screaming ‘earthquake!’ when losing - a tactic that has unfortunately been lost to time. TVs don’t usually enjoy being thrown around.
Greed Corp, newly available through the PSN and Xbox download services, is a throwback to that era. It’s a simple game on the surface – you construct buildings and build units, which you then maneuver around a grid of hexagons to capture territories and eliminate the enemy.
Initially it all seems too simple, in fact. There are only a handful of buildings that can be constructed, and one solitary unit to move around. Combat is as simple as “whoever has the most units, wins.”
Luckily, before you get a chance to get bored with this simple setup, you’ll crash into the wall of unrelenting difficulty that is both the beauty of Greed Corp, and simultaneously the reason almost no one will want to play it.
The challenge is in resource management. Buildings and units are expensive, and the only way to obtain the resources to pay for them is to destroy territory you occupy. Each hex on the grid only provides a few units of currency before it is irrecoverably cannibalised, and if you run out of hexes it's game over.
You’ll never have as many resources as you’ll need to simply overwhelm your opponents, so careful strategising to make the most of the limited units and buildings you’re able to build is a must.
The computer AI puts up an incredibly tough challenge right from the first level, so finishing the one-player campaign is an achievement in itself. But like all good board games, the real fun is in multiplayer. Online, it’s a quiet community and considering Greed Corp is such a niche title, will always be so. Worse (for the newbie), the players that are online are invariably good at this kind of game.
Consider it a warning - getting over Greed Corp’s steep learning curve will provide an experience as engaging as Chess, but just as it would be intimidating to play a Russian Chessmaster, it’s better to practice against friends in Greed Corp before taking a shot at a world champion.
Everest-style difficulty curve aside, Greed Corp is a pretty game with a great soundtrack that is also a throwback to pre-electronic gaming. Nothing about this game is innovative or outright exciting, but anyone who remembers (or still plays) classic board games will get a hell of a kick out of this.
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