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MSRP: $9.99

Platform: Windows

Release: 5/16/13

Reus is a god-game with a hefty dose of city building & strategy.  You control four giants (Forest, Swamp, Ocean and Rock) and are given the responsibility of Terra-forming and placing resources in the world.  People will move in on their own (a new settler is spawned as worldwide productivity increases), and sometimes, those same people will make decisions that will make you want to tear your hair out.

You have no direct control over the humans, but if you give them too many resources too quickly, the will get greedy. Greedy humans will attack other settlements and even the giants if their greed goes unchecked.  You are given a couple of ways of dealing with greedy humans, but really, it’s better not to let that get that way in the first place.

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The first button on each giant’s control panel is their Terra-forming ability.  The ocean giant creates water, the rock giant creates mountains.  Space between mountains where there is no ocean nearby immediately become desert.  The forest and swamp giant each create the kind of turf you’d expect, but they must be adjacent to water.

Giants also can create resources – the forest and ocean giant get one each, and the rock and swamp giant get two each.  Resources can be improved in the course of game play, and each level of each resource has its own synergies with other resources. A settlement with resources within its borders will use those resources for productivity.  There are three kinds of productivity; food, wealth, and science.

A player new to Reus will be have three short tutorials to play through, and afterwards 30 minute eras will be available.  New resources (and longer game modes) are unlocked by completing achievements.  Reus’s achievement system is robust, and you are also rewarded for the projects that your settlers complete.  You are also required to complete in-game goals to advance your player level, and unlock longer eras.

You can not assign specific projects to settlers, but if they decide to build something you don’t like, you can destroy the project and hope they will choose something else.  Each project is upgradeable, and given enough time, your people will upgrade each project once. I enjoyed tinkering around to see what leads to what, but there is also a pretty comprehensive Reus wiki that will help you understand project progression (as well as having a lot of other good information about biomes, resources, and synergies).

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When settlers complete projects, a village will produce an ambassador.  You then direct one of your giants to pick up the ambassador, and that giant will get another ability or improve a current ability. Ambassador types are tied to biome, and not to specific projects, so any project completed on a forest biome will produce a forest ambassador.  However, as the game progresses, your people will stop being happy enough with low-level projects to produce an ambassador, assumedly so a player cannot demolish a level 1 project over and over to keep obtaining ambassadors.

There is also a free-play (or alt) mode, but many achievements cannot be completed in this mode. I have never used it, because I like the timed play, so I’m not sure what the differences are.

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Incidentally, if you ever want to reset your unlocks & developments progress, you can do so by pressing CTRL-Shift-F3 from the unlock screen (shown above), and it will reset everything but the developments for completing the tutorial, allowing you to start from scratch.

Reus has a lot more depth (and in my opinion, replay value) than it appears to at first glance.  I have played for over 90 hours now, and I still haven’t come close to completing all the achievements available. This game has been hanging out in my favorites category, and it’s got one of the lowest price-per-hours-played of any game I’ve bought on Steam.

One thought on “Reus

  1. […] I was both a huge fan (to the tune of over 90 hours played) of Reus, the first title made by Abbey Games, and a sucker for any kind of game about exploration, picking […]


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