I have always liked turn based strategy games.. They used to be "the" game genre, but over the years as time and technology has marched forward they have largely started to decline in favor of more real time strategy games and first person shooters.
So when W!Games introduced Greed Corp a modern turn based strategy game with a very clever land collapsing mechanic to the PC late last year, I was pretty excited.. This was the first I had heard of it even though the PS3 and XBox players had access to it since last February. I don't follow the console games market at all so it was completely new to me.
I have to admit I really like it.. The best part about this game is that it's actually a game.. Meaning it focuses on game play not wizbang special effects or graphics.. I really feel that this is a shining example of good game design and salute the W!Games folks.
The fun of the game comes in the form of playing on the edge of a very delicate balancing act between harvesting resources to fuel your expansion and preserving that land to stay alive. The games landmass is divided up into these hex tiles that you take control of in an attempt to control the whole map. Each hex tile has a level associated with it and each time your harvester harvests it's tile and the six around it, that level is lowered one.
If you lower it too far, it breaks up and falls away. You can (and often do) intentionally crack up some key spots to help direct the flow or to cause a cascade of tile collapses in order to win the game.. It's a lot of fun and can be deceptively challenging..
It's not your standard 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) game like Masters of Orion or Civilization.. In that there is no exploration, you see the entire map from get go and know exactly what your opponents are doing all the time. Nor does it have that rock/paper/scissors mechanic in it's pieces where each piece has an advantage over some other piece, but a weakness to a third as so many modern games try to do..
To me this is one of those "chess" games.. You have a one primary game piece that has a very specific movement rule-set. And you have a 3 possible placeable pieces (buildings) with no movement mechanic but affect the map or gameplay in some way. That's it. Simple. Elegant.
The rest of it is about playing your opponent by out maneuvering them with your few pieces.. It's brilliant..
I give this game 4.5 out of 5. The only reason it's not a 5 is because the of the camera angle and zoom level. I can't help but feel the camera angle is too steep, and pine for the ability to zoom out a bit.. But other than that I can honestly say well done guys.. Great stuff.