Reus is a god game where you control four gods and create an inhabitable planet, where nomads form villages and thrive based upon the resources you provide them. Having played a similar game, Black and White, over ten years ago and having enjoyed it, I thought Reus would be a decent game to try and I wasn’t disappointed.
When you start a game, you are given different objectives to achieve so that you can unlock the next level of game play. You start with a planet which is nothing but a wasteland, using either the Swamp, Forest, Mountain or Water gods, you create biomes. You need water to create the Swamp and Forest biome and obviously a lack of water to create a desert. That part is straight forward, and then it gets complicated.
Each god creates different elements, minerals, plants and wildlife. The combination of these things creates food, wealth and technology for your village. Each village is limited to several plots of land and the boundaries of the village can expand if its able to. You must utilize each plot of land to maximize resources and accomplish the projects of your villagers. The success of the village is based on the village’s prosperity, which can lead to a village getting greedy and your villages not being as impressed with your godliness.
Personally, I suck at this game. Each game is timed, 30, 60, 90 or 120 minute games. I have yet to unlock anything past the 30 minute game. You have to take advantage of the symbiotic relationships between different elements, like putting a particular plant near a mineral for instance. It takes a long time to learn which gods spawn which things in each biome and how they all work together, which I have yet to get the hang of, since I haven’t played nearly enough games to get a firm grasp on it.
If a village gets greedy, they will go to war and invade nearby villages. The gods have limited ability to stop this, with abilities to cause damage to villages, and if you aren’t careful, you may inadvertently destroy a village. At a certain point when the villagers feel they know more than the gods do, they may even attack your gods. Then you have to smite them and shit, because that’s what gods do, right?
When you accomplish village tasks you unlock ambassadors, and there are three different types: Swamp, Forest, and Desert. The ambassadors can be attached to your gods and add additional skills. You can put multiple ambassadors on a god, but only when each god has at least one ambassador on it, to make symbiosis easier and to evolve the different elements into better ones. Since I am severely lacking in the skill department, I’ve never done this so I haven’t even gotten a chance to use all the skills.
From what I’ve seen, if you have enough time to learn what everything does and how it all interacts with one another it can be a very strategic and interesting game. It’s just not a game you can play for a while, toss on the backburner and go back to later without feeling lost.