Reus takes an old formula and gives it a new twist, making for a refreshing change.

By PKKHaseo, Posted 28 May 2013

Reus is a god game, similar to games like Black & White and Populous, from developer Abbey Games. You take the role of four giants, using their abilities to shape the future of humanity. Will you help the human villages grow healthily and flourish or will you pit them against one another and watch them destroy each other? It’s up to you.

REUS, Review, Trailer, God Game

Unlike most god games that use an isometric view, Reus uses a two-dimensional side-scrolling perspective, the map being the surface of a small planet. Graphically speaking the game looks great. Everything is hand drawn, from the planet’s molten core to the trees on the surface and the clouds in the sky. The art style emphasizes the focus of the game, the giants by having the humans and everything related to them drawn in a more simplistic manner, while the giants carry a lot more detail. The villages’ looks depend on the biome they’re founded in and change as they develop. 

The music has a really relaxing tone that succeeds in getting you in the proper mood for this game. Sound effects react to what happens in the world, with different audio cues for different events. Each type of biome also has its own audio theme; you’ll hear frogs in the swamp, birds in the forest or the breeze when over the ocean. 

There are four giants: the Ocean Giant, the Forest Giant, the Rock Giant and the Swamp Giant. All four of them complement one another with unique abilities, each having a different focus (for example the rock giant is more inclined towards mining while the forest one focuses on providing the food sources for the villages). These abilities can be classified into biome creation, natural source creation, aspects and offensive/support abilities. 

REUS, Review, Trailer, God Game


Every giant can create a different biome. The Ocean Giant can create oceans that can harbor fish and are essential to the creation of forest and swamp biomes, since they can’t be created without water. The Rock Giant can create mountain biomes, which creates desert biomes around the mountain if no water source resides close by. There’s also a wasteland biome that covers the entire surface of the planet at the start of the game. Out of all the biomes, only forest, swamp and desert can host villages. 

The giants can place natural sources, such as plants, animal dens and mines on patches that the planet is divided in. Depending on the biomes where they are spawned and the giant spawning them. Reus offers a huge variety of different natural sources, each having different symbioses among themselves that occur when certain circumstances are met and provide unique bonus. Giants can also use aspects in order to transmute or empower these natural sources either increasing their production or turning them into a new source all together. Most of the higher tier natural sources will need to be unlocked by earning certain achievements. 

Each natural source provides the village with a resource. The game provides several from more traditional ones like food, wealth and tech, to more original ones like greed. The three basic resources give the villages prosperity and determine how fast they develop. When a village develops too fast, it will become greedy and, if consumed by greed, they will wage war against the others. To counter greed you’re offered two resources: awe and danger. Awe will permit your villages to develop faster without them becoming greedy, while danger provides an extra challenge to your villagers and limits their greed. 

REUS, Review, Trailer, God Game

Once a natural source is placed by one of the giants, a nomad will appear and establish a village. The village’s borders are restrictive at first, but expand as the village grows. As they develop, the villages will start certain projects - buildings that, if complete, provide huge bonuses. The projects have random specializations and provide further bonuses when met. Once a project is complete the village will generate an ambassador that can be used to upgrade the giants. Depending on the type of village that generated the ambassador, the giants will be upgraded in different ways. 

Reus takes the concept of god games and adds its own twists making for a refreshing change of pace. It’s a really relaxing experience thanks to its beautiful hand-drawn art-style and its smooth music, and I always find myself coming back for more. Despite its casual looks, the game provides plenty of in-depth mechanics that work perfectly together, making for a great mix of strategy and puzzle genres. The game is available right now on Steam for 10$ and for what it has to offer it’s a must own, more so if you like the idea of having your own digital “ant” farm.

Cirstoiu Alexandru, NoobFeed

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General Information



Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Abbey Games
Developer(s): Abbey Games
Genres: Simulation
Themes: Strategy
Release Date: 2013-05-16

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