I started Reus with an open mind; I was never into God sims as a kid, and could never get into Black and White, the absolute king of the genre. But something about the promotional material and friends playtime peeked my interest in Reus, and in turn made me give the God Sim genre another go. I’m glad I did.
You start of Reus with a few tutorials to get you used to the basics of the game. You control giants which all have special, unique abilities, and you must use these abilities to the benefit of the humans inhabiting your world. There are 4 giants in total, which are as follows: The Ocean giant, swamp giant, rock giant and forest giant. Each of the giants have abilites that are quite self explanatory (£100 to anyone that can guess what each giant specialises in) but also have abilities that compliment and help each other. The ocean giant creates oceans, but is also used to make animals, making sure to not get ignored/sidelined compared to the other giants in the later game, I’d class him as the support character for all other giants. The forest giant on the other hand creates forests and fruit, making him good for food production for civilisations, and very good in the early game. Your challenge is to experiment with each giants abilities and find a solution to the needs of the humans that inhabit your land.
Each section of land can have one giants ability in its place, and this is how you make resources for the villages/land throughout the game. Get the forest giant to make fruit on a section, and berries will spawn, providing food in that area surrounding the section of land. Make the Ocean giant place animals next to the berries, and food will significantly grow due to the animals eating the berries.
The giants of Reus aren’t just static objects that occasionally make land, far from it. In fact, as the era progresses, you will fulfil more and more human requests, giving you ambassadors to collect and use. A human ambassador helps out a giant by augmenting their powers, enabling a giant have more abilities to help the humans on the land. For example, giving the forest ambassador (achieved by fulfilling a forest villages requests) to the forest giant allows him to transform/upgrade plants with the fruit ability, turning the blueberries bushes into apple trees. This doesn’t sound like much, but apple trees produce more food if animals are around, which in turn could help the animals themselves to produce more food. Its a great cycle that allows for the player to experiment and see what combinations work in each area.
“Wait!” I hear you ask, “is there a main narrative or challenge to this game to give you a purpose for helping the humans?”, and there is indeed. Before starting a game, you get to choose what era you would like to participate in. A normal era is a 30 minute game, a bigger era is 60 minutes, and finally you can make a single game last 2 hours. Before you start your game, Reus will remind you of the developments/objectives you can work towards in this era. Some of these objectives are simple, e.g. completing 3 village requests, but others are challenging, and may be so specific that you end up only making one village for an entire 30 minutes and catering to their every command. These developments make sure you work towards a common goal, and help to add to the longevity of Reus.
In conclusion, Reus is a fantastic game that tests your knowledge and multitasking skills to their limits. In the later game it becomes a lot harder when trying to make your land as efficient as possible, but the outcome is worth it when you see all the developments popping up to show how well you’ve done. I admit, this isn’t going to be everyones cup of tea, especially with a lack of direction in the game, but for those that like pushing their multitasking skills to the limits, this is for you.