The Great Land Grab

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Rating 7/10, Strangely addicting.

Available for Android and iOS.

I use an Android based smartphone. I love the capability to have a sensor loaded computer with me wherever I go.  I also love games.  There are many location based games and social apps available for Android. I ran across several sites recommending The Great Land Grab.  It’s free and it sounded interesting, so I tried it and I've been on for a couple weeks now.

Basically: you buy land; you collect rent on your land; you buy more land. Stated that way, it doesn’t sound like much but it is strangely addictive. You have to be in a parcel before you can buy it or you can buy adjacent land for more money or you can buy remote locations for a lot more money.  There is an element of competition to the game. You buy land from underneath other players and they can do the same to you. The more a parcel is bought, the more it costs. The more it costs, the more rent it generates. There are a number of twists that cause you to continue to spend game money. There is no end to the game so it is almost a social activity. There is a web site that allows you to view limited stats and purchase a few game items (for real money). There is a discussion board as well. There are alliances and feuds.  Some players have grabbed parcels in remote areas of oceans and written messages with parcel pixels.

If you want to break out your spreadsheet, I suspect that you could get really deep into the "right" way to do things. Here's what I think I know:

  • Don’t buy your work location. Labor there while you work.
  • Don’t buy your home location. Labor there while you sleep.
  • Use 3-way cooperation. Rotate your home location and your work location thru a couple friends to drive the price up for you to labor in. This will not work with 2 players, you need 3.
  • Use 2-way cooperation. Establish a QR Code and trade with a friend. I don’t know how much money this gets you but you need a friend to make it work.
  • Buy stuff at the online store. If you don’t mind paying real money for in-game items, lawyers and stores are cheap and can be turned into nice investments.

Can you cheat at the game. All the really simple things are protected against. Some of the protections actually become a little of a PITA for non-cheaters. I have some more in-depth attacks in mind, but really! It's just a game! Is it worth the effort? (For the game, no. For the entertainment of the attempt, probably. Do I have the time? Ha!)

There are enough nit-pik level problems with the game that I can get really annoyed with it but so far, they haven't stopped me from playing it.

  • Sometimes, it just seems very clunky. The game has locked up a couple times and my phone actually restarted once. I suspect that the game is very radio intensive and a weak signal causes problems.
  • It’s a battery burner. It leaves the screen on. As above, I think its radio intensive and weak signals will cause your phone to boost power and burn battery even faster.
  • There is no "grand view" of the playing field. you have to use your handheld to laboriously view the world one screen at a time. Its using Google Maps, put it on the forum behind the login so players can see what they're dealing with (and the parcel pixel art work as well).
  • The login name that you choose in the game respects mixed case. I can’t login as JerryRigs today and jerryrigs later. Although enforcing case for a password makes sense, doing it for a login id on a heldheld typing device is just silly. Hey Jake, fold case!
  • It has been around long enough that there are a lot of players already and a new player is likely to pop up in the middle of someone else’s “private” lands. There are a couple score top players and it drops off quickly after that.
  • Registering a login on your phone does not create a forum Id on the website. It’s debatable, but maybe it should.
  • The developer has dropped off the face of the Forum.

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