Reus PC Review
When I first checked out Reus I judged it by it’s visuals. I don’t normally play strategy games, as I must have stood in the wrong line when they were giving out that part of the brain, but I thought “Hey this looks like a game a kid could play.” I’m sad to say I was wrong, but not egregiously. Reus was simple enough that I fell into it rather easily, but it also made me have to think instead of holding my hand and leading me from point A to point B. It also helped that there was a link to the Wikipedia page right on the title menu.
Reus is a strategy, simulation game where you play as a planet who’s recently awaken from a long slumber. Upon regaining consciousness you find that the once prosperous land has become a barren wasteland. Using the last of your strength you summon four elemental giants to help restore the Earth to its former glory.
Each session starts as a new era. Each era lasts only 30 minutes, which seemed short if you ask me but after achieving new developments (in-game goals) you can unlock longer playtime. The extended play period gives you a better chance at finishing developments. At the beginning of each new era you’ll select different developments to strive for in order to unlock new animals, plants and minerals.
As I said there are four different giants that you control. The four represent Earth’s ocean, rock, swamp, and forest. and each one has specific powers and some that intermingle with each other. Each giant has four starting skills. The first skill for each giant corresponds with what element it is. The ocean giant creates oceans, the rock giant creates mountains which in turn creates deserts, and so on and so forth, you get the idea. The other skills create minerals, animals and plants that will help the villages grow. Each natural source is zone specific. For example even though you may use the ocean giants domestic animal power to create chickens in the forest zone, using the same power will result in different animal in desert or swamp zone. The same goes for minerals and plants.
I want to touch back on how the skills intermingle between the giants. Each giant has skills that compliment each other and help villages grow. Since it requires a combination of all four giants to make the village flourish, they’ll need to stick together to succeed. In the beginning its pretty easy but when your land starts to grow that’s when the strategy part kicks in, especially when considering you’re on the clock.
There are six types of biomes but only three types of villages you encounter in Reus. There is the forest, swamp, and desert villages. Each one needs different resources in order to progress. The forest needs food, the swamp needs technology, and the desert needs wealth. That’s just basics though. After the first project each new one will require a mix of other resources.
Let me explain what a project is. A project is basically a building that a village will try to build in order to improve itself in some way. They’ll need your help though, and you do have a time limit to complete. If you don’t complete it the townspeople might not revere you as much, but if the project is successfully done you will gain prosperity and usually an ambassador. Ambassadors are people from villages that will climb up on your giant’s shoulders and give them new powers. Reus limits you to one active ambassador at a time, so choose carefully.
A large part of the game that I really liked was the focus on symbioses and transmutation. Everything has it’s matching counterpart and you have to use that to get the most resources out of it. I’ll use chickens again for an example. If you put chickens next to blueberries it will give you extra food, and that resource will stack. So you can have tons of chickens surrounding a blueberry bush to gain a large amount of food quickly.
Now moving on to transmutations. Using the specific giant ability you can upgrade any natural source so that it turns into something completely new with new symbioses, which usually grant you more resources.
Once your villages start to get bigger there is a chance that their greed meter might go up. If that happens you will have to keep an eye out for any warmakers (a product of village greed) who might attack other villages. You can deter them by using the giants offensive skills, but your giants can be harmed so you have to watch out for their health.
I enjoyed Reus’ concept and gameplay, but it somewhat lacks in the graphics and plot department. The aesthetic is simple, although it’s detailed enough so you can tell what everything is. In most cases I can overlook graphics if the gameplay and plot are engaging. However, I found the plot lacking as there’s no real story line after the initial “you’re a planet covered in strife – make it better” part. If you want something with a good concept and great gameplay, and you’re able to ignore some minor flaws and a lackluster story – then check out Reus.