In the beginning there is only an empty planet…
Using its last remaining power, the planet summoned four elemental giants in an attempt to restore life to it’s dead surface. These giants were charged with cultivating a suitable environment for life.
Welcome to Reus, a 2D god game by Abbey Games where under your control are these four giants; Forest, Rock, Ocean and Swamp.
Each giant has the ability to create a unique biome by terra-forming the planet. They can then place different types of resources within these biomes, and grant aspects which can augment their own, or other giants resources.
Multiple resources work together to create a ‘symbiosis’ that offers additional benefits to the surrounding area. These resources then attract nomads who settle in the cradles of life that you create, building villages that soon require more resources to grow.
The task that forms the lions share of the games complexity is a balancing act, between finding the combinations of resources that provide what a village needs, and keeping the villages ‘greed’ in check.
Simply put, greed is a mechanic where by bestowing a village with too much too quickly, they become greedy and destructive, to the point where it can result in a village destroying the very utopia you forged and even turning on you. If necessary you may have to destroy the offending village, its your choice.
Progress is made in the form of achievements. Achievements grant access to new resources, but can only be earned if certain criteria are met by the end of a timed play-session. Though one does have the option to continue to play indefinitely, this mechanic essentially forms a ceiling for progress, and so can leave one feeling without real purpose in the game and so less likely to continue.
The games music sets a mellow tone, but there’s little diversity in terms of tracks and so soon can become a repetitive tune. The sounds of the world on the other hand does well in helping to build a sense of immersion. From the bustling villages to the thundering of your giants footsteps, it gives the game a grand feel with you as the architect of your little patch of the universe.
The art style of the game definitely deserves praise. The animations and look of each biome are wonderfully detailed, melding together to create an ‘innocent world’ look. Though I must add, the idea of a colossal giant staring at you as you go about your daily business is a tad bit creepy.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a deeply engrossing story then better get looking elsewhere. But at a very reasonable price of £6.99 (when I bought it) on Steam, if you want something that’s relaxing to play, has a variety of interesting concepts to keep you happily occupied and to top it off a charming art style. Then Reus is definitely worth a look.