Evoking games like Catan and Civilization, W!Games has released a turn-based strategy game called Greed Corp set in the steampunk world of Mistbound.

Turn-based strategy was supplanted in the 90s by its real-time brother as the premiere strategy genre, but it has seen a resurgence in recent years. The Dutch company W!Games, based in Amsterdam, has tried to put a few new twists on the genre, while also delivering an environmental message. In Greed Corp, you can choose to be one of four factions which each symbolize a facet of the economy: The Empire, The Cartel, The Pirates, The Freemen. You gain resources by using harvesters, but harvest the land too much and the very earth you stand on can crumble away into the void, taking every unit along with it. Greed Corp is out now on XBLA for 800 points or on the PSN tomorrow for $9.99. W!Games plans a PC version but there are no details given on timing except “Coming Soon!”

The gameplay videos have a distinct aesthetic: one part Pixar, one part silent film, one part steampunk or at least retro-future. The jazzy music alone, while almost certainly used because it was in the public domain, lends a light-hearted feel to the game.

The use of collapsing tiles both as a harvesting mechanic and an offensive strategy (knock down your enemy’s land before he does it to you) is refreshing, and it seems like a game I’d love to play.

The message of corporate greed in search of resources set against the fragility of our planet isn’t too heavy-handed, but it may ruffle a few anti-global-warming folks. It seems like a good idea to just present the ideas, without ever making a moral judgement on whether it is good or bad.

On the other hand, just playing a game called Greed Corp implies that you are, well, at least a little stingy.

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