Publisher: Abbey Games
PC – Available on Steam
Reus is a God-simulation game, where the player takes control of 4 giants – the forest giant, the swamp giant, the rock giant and the ocean giant – who will help to craft the blank canvas of the globe into a habitable landscape.
To create a swamp or forest, players must first use the ocean giant to create a stretch of water, after which they can decide to place a forest or swamp next to it. Deserts can be created by the rock giant in places which are bone dry, with no water adjacent to it.
Nomads will travel the Earth and providing you’ve set up a landscape, they will settle on the new spot of land you’ve created. Here, the player must use the giants to add plants, animals and minerals to help the settlements grow in food, wealth and technology. The giants can be used to help complete projects launched by the settlements, like building a school or workshop, where certain conditions must be met. This means the player must carefully decide what natural aspect to place in the limited patch of the settlement boundaries and where, to get the most out of the resources. It sound easy enough but it’s actually quite a difficult task if you have just the right amount of wealth, for instance, but not enough technology.
All the resources in the game can be upgraded in certain ways to evolve into different species or types, for example a mineral mine into a salt mine, or a blueberry bush into an apple tree. These upgrades can help you achieve the resource goals to complete the settlement projects and to unlock achievements and upgrades that will allow you to progress with more species. Completing the projects also creates an embassador for the area, which the player can choose to assign to a giant of their choice to unlock special abilities.
The game can be quite complex from the start if you were to jump right in, which is why Abbey Games have a three part tutorial which is an excellent way for newbies to understand how the game works. After the tutorial is complete, the player can then choose to play an “era”, the first of which is 30 minutes long. In these 30 minutes, the objective is to meet certain requirements to unlock achievements. After a certain amount of achievements are unlocked, the player will be able to play 1 hour eras and unlock further achievements, which in turn unlock more species of animals, plants and minerals, as well as more projects for the settlements to tackle.
Reus is such a pleasant game to play, with it’s brightly-coloured adorable graphics and relaxing music. It’s one of those games where you can relax and enjoy playing at your own pace without much thought. Even after being away for a while, it’s pretty easy to pick up and get back into it. Using the mouse and keyboard, the game is really simple to control, with just the task of a juggling the resources, as part of the gameplay, the only real head-scratcher. After completing the tutorial and becoming familiar with how the game works, the gameplay is rather steady in its difficulty, slowly getting harder as you complete and unlock challenges. It’s such an entertaining game to play because of this as you never feel frustrated or stuck, yet it’s challenging enough to make you use your brain.
For those looking for a simple yet endearing God-sim, Reus is a cute entry that will capture your imagination.