My first interaction with Reus was watching a video of a gigantic stone behemoth slowly plodding across the earth. After a (very short) mental debate, I purchased the game and started downloading it through Steam. While it was downloading, I imagined all the ways I was going to crush, smash, and “go all Shadow of the Colossus” on my enemies. After I played through the first few tutorial levels, I noticed a distinct lack of rampant violence and began to wonder if this game wasn’t entirely what I was expecting it to be.

In short: No, it wasn’t. But that’s a good thing.

It was something entirely different and even better than what I had expected to be playing. You, as the player, are the earth. You control four giants that you use to enact your will upon the surface of the earth- err… yourself (I guess that make these giants the equivalent to your personal hair dressers). Each of the four giants has a specific type of land and corresponding unique set of skills that it champions.

The four giants/land types are: Ocean, Mountain, Forest, and Swamp. Each giant has the power to transform a section of the earth into their type of land. A forest or a swamp can only be planted nearby an ocean (because plants love water or some shit), although raising a mountain anywhere will cause a desert to appear on either side of the mountain. After a period of time, villages will start to form on a suitably sized tract of land. Sadly, a village cannot be settled on an ocean ( :[ no pirates).

The giants can add an improvement to a specific “tile” of the earth (tiles is the word that I’ve chosen to arbitrarily represent a select-able section of land). These improvements come in the form of animals, minerals, or plants. Depending on what the improvement is, it will give that tile a stat of some sort: either food, wealth, or science (technically, there are a few more, but these are the big three). Any resources within a village’s borders will be used by that village (go figure). As a village prospers, its borders will grow, allowing it access to more resources so that its borders can grow and gain access to more resources which in turn means that it’s borders will grow. Seeing a pattern?

After a period of time, villages will start “projects” (not the government housing kind). Projects can range from something as simple as a granary or a sacrificial altar or an observatory. Each project has requirements that must be met within a certain time limit or the project is abandoned. These requirements are usually something like “get 75 food and 50 wealth,” but occasionally there’s a requirement that isn’t just “have X of this resource.” For example, for a sacrificial altar to be completed, another village on the map must be wiped out. “Sorry Sunnyville, but I’m a lot more interested in Bloodburg’s sacrificial altar than I am your windmill.”

When projects are completed, the village will offer you an ambassador who will stand on your giants’ head and unlock new abilities that allow them to turn certain resources into newer, better ones.

So, why not just fill every single tile with an improvement and be done with it? As it turns out, when a village has access to an abundance of any resource, they will start to get greedy (the bastards). Greedy villages will start wars, harass other villages, and even attack the giants because they think they deserve more. Only two of the giants have directly offensive abilities. The mountain giant can cause earthquakes and the swamp giant can throw “swamp balls.”

Personally, I would take the earthquake. The ocean giant can indirectly attack things by creating an ocean under their feet. The forest giant is limited to sitting there like a big dumb idiot or fleeing when spears are being thrown at it. When a village decides they deserve more, they will send out armies of little dude to attack your giants until you viciously exterminate pacify the uppity little shits. After laying wate to a few armies, the villages decides that maybe they’re out of their league on this one and goes back to respecting the giants.

Games are played out in “eras” which are either 30, 60, or 120 minutes long. You start out only being able to play 30 minute eras with limited access to advanced resources. As you unlock more and more the in game achievements, you gain access to longer games and new resources that you can use in your next play through. Because of this reason, the game has a butt-ton of replayability and will prove hours of entertainment to anyone willing to micromanage which fern should go next to which rock to achieve the highest stats for that particular tile.

I found this game to be a refreshing break from the ordinary and will be recommending it to anyone looking for a new game to start playing. Reus was created by Abby Games and can be purchased for $9.99 off of their website or through Steam.

Overall Score
75 %

A great game with a lot of replayability to it. There isn't much of a story, but then again, this game doesn't need one to be incredibly fun and challenging.

Story 50%
Graphics 75%
Fun 70%
Replayability 90%

About The Author

Things I love: Video games, comics, steampunk, space
Things I like: Cyberpunk, hard cider, not being in the sun, pokemon
Things I dislike: The sun

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