On the last Black Friday XBox sale (not this year’s, but 2010’s), Greed Corp was on sale for 240MSP or about $3 in real money. I had never heard of this game before, although apparently it is on iPad and PSN as well, but seeing as it was a board game and it wasn’t too expensive, I took a chance and bought it.
We had been playing Catan fairly often on the XBox, and frankly that was a very decent port (the only thing that is lacking was local multiplayer). Perhaps that encouraged us to buy a couple of other board games on XBLA, such as this one and Risk: Factions. Risk wasn’t that fun (and definitely not worth the 800MSP I paid, even if it didn’t go on sale for 200MSP). I didn’t play Greed Corp after I bought it until last week, more than one year later!
The mechanics are a bit difficult to understand, mostly because they don’t explain it too well and because they tried to put a (useless, non-sensical) story around the game that distracts from the experience. The goal of the game is to destroy as much land as you can for resources, until you get to the end game, when you try and outmaneuver your opponent(s) and destroy all of their troops and buildings.
Now that I have played a bit and understand how the game works, I think that the design is missing one key factor that makes it enjoyable – luck. Most of the board games that I play have some form of luck, such as rolling dice or drawing cards. In Greed Corp, there is no luck at all. You move your troops and choose what actions you want to take. The only variables are what your opponents do and a 60s time limit on your turn. I think it is possible to play perfect games and attain a stalemate; but luckily, the expert AI will purposely make dumb moves so that you have a chance of winning.