Reus is what I’d call a mix between Populous and Settlers, two of my favorite strategy game series. Your goal is to create an economy eco-system (the Settlers part), but indirectly, by shaping the planet and placing and transmuting different environments and resources (the Populous part). And it’s simply a delight to play.
The basics are quite simple. Our elemental giants can place three environmental object types: animals, minerals, and plants, which in turn give one or more of the three types of resources that humans use: food, wealth and technology. It’s a very basic and simple concept, and the depth comes in combination between the environmental objects and environments themselves (forests, swamps, oceans, deserts and mountains, which our giants also are responsible for creating), symbiotic relationship among nature, settlements, and between each other, and adapting to the situation by transmuting nature as the settlements start expanding and it all suddenly sounds a lot more complex, doesn’t it?
But here’s the thing, Reus is very smartly designed when it comes to expanding depth and not overwhelming the player with it. You start with just the basics, and unlock upgrades (both direct for nature and indirect for humans) as you complete certain number of goals. So this allows you to spend time trying to figure out how to make best of the symbiotic relationships between different plants, animals and minerals (and the way people want to use them depending on what they’re building, we don’t have any controls over the humans) and as you get a better understanding by completing goals – you get access deeper into the systems.
The only thing that I think is missing from the game is a fast-forward function. Even though it’s very enjoyable to listen to the game’s awesome ambiance music as you watch the lush and beautiful graphics, sometimes you just want to speed things up a little bit.
So unless slow pace is something that’s going to push you away, I’d definitely recommend to check it out! I’ve spent hours in the game already, and sense that will spend many more.