A 2d side scrolling “godgame” that shares some similar concepts with one of my most favorite games of all time, Black and White 2. However, instead of having totally devout humans, in Reus, no matter how benevolent you are, greed may make them turn on you and each other. Such is human nature.
ATTENTION: Congratulations to the two winners of the giveaway contest! It was really hard to decide who to pick. I decided to have 2 winners instead of one because everyone had such wonderful entries! If you didn’t get an email by now, I encourage you to try again on the next giveaways =).
An Indie “godgame” Review Developed by: Abbey Games
NOTICE: Interview with one of the developers will be at the end of the review before the giveaway contest questions. Personally, I found the developer’s answers inspirational. Personally, it gave me the nudge I need to finally start working on my own indie game. I also found that it can be applied to life challenges.
Shoutout of Gratitude: I want to thank the developers of Reus for making it possible to host this giveaway and for the interview. Thank you for giving this new blogger your time even though I knew you guys were probably having a very busy and hectic week since I contacted you guys around the time you just launched. I also want to say I’m so happy with all the positive feedbacks you’ve received and want to say this is one of my favorite games to play at the moment. Hugs to you all!
What got me interested: I’m actually a huge fan of godgames. I just absolutely love them! I like having the power over civilizations and taking care of them with all the kindness and love every benevolent gods bestow upon their people. I also love to save the game, then start smiting left and right as I maniacally laugh in front of my computer which not only baffles those by me, but I was told it also scared them. As mentioned, I love Black and White 2, and I still believe to this day nothing can really compare to that game when it comes to the godgame genre. I’ve been looking around the internet and waiting for a game that will even come close to BW2. Seems like my patience paid off with this game. It didn’t only gave me a BW2 nostalgia but it also gave me a whole new experience which I totally appreciate because as much as I love BW2, I still also yearn for something that’s different and can stand on it’s own. I personally think Reus has that capability.
First Impression and Gameplay
The Opening Scene
I want to talk about the opening scene first because I really think it’s something worth watching. The artstyle for me was personally cute with it’s caveman/child-like drawings, but the story it conveys is a serious issue and I think, something to be seen because it is true. What I mean is, even though we don’t really have giants magically terraforming the earth to help us, we ARE still hurting mother nature with our greed for resource. I know I may sound like a “hippie” or “tree hugger” but we are over harvesting and over using natural resources faster than the time earth can recuperate and as the opening scene shows, when civilizations gets greedy, we do wage war against neighbors. I understand some people may say, well it’s just an opening scene, calm the heck down. However, I really appreciate that it shows those things and the game’s mechanics covers that. It makes it more real for me.
Reus opted for a 2D side scrolling graphic style which I actually found lovely, clean, and refreshing. If you guys played that iphone game called Godfinger, it will remind you of that. I personally like it this way because you focus more on the game content than “beastly” graphics. Plus, just look at the giants!!! I want one…
My Personal Opinion Concerning The HUD and Font Size
This is my personal issue, maybe others also have it, but I find the font too small that it strains my eyes after a little bit. I do however like the game’s HUD because I find it informative yet it’s still clean. What I mean is that some complex games tend to overdo it with the information they try to cram on the screen and it can be overwhelming to new players. I’ve actually met people who quit the game they want to play just by staring at HUDs like that. Reus may not be complex to some, but the ones I’ve talked to who played the game told me it is, so this is something they probably appreciate. Another thing is, feel free to correct me if I missed it; is that there seem to be no indicator whether symbiosis and specialization is active or not. I only know it is because I try to remember how much each things originally gave (food, wealth, tech) and then I check if they’re higher. To those who have not played Reus, this may be confusing, but don’t worry I’ll break it down for ya in a bit.
I really super duper highly suggest you go through the tutorial before going through freeplay. First, you won’t be able to play the other modes anyway until you play some of the tutorial first. Second, you will probably miss a lot of important information about the game’s mechanics that could ultimately help your settlers thrive such as taking advantage of symbiosis and specializations. Lastly, because the game can get complex, the tutorial will give you a nice breakdown of how the game works.
You can pretty much see the influence Black and White 2 gave the game in terms of using Giants to do the Gods/Goddesses wishes. I want to make clear however, that that’s pretty much where the similarities end. You’ll find in the interview that the game, and I’m guessing the use of giants as well; was also influenced by this awesome short story animation (which was the inspiration of the game, ya’ll should watch it). Now, couple things about these cute giants. First is that each giants have their own type of terraforming depending on what kind of giants they are, such as: Swamp, Ocean, Mountain, and Forest. The other thing is, you must have each giant work together to really help the settlers prosper in their civilization.
Here they are in case you guys want to see how they look like:
As you progress in the game, your giants gain new “aspects”. Aspects are basically abilities that “buffs up” the floras, faunas, and minerals you plopped down in a number of ways, such as giving it another trait. Ex: Enhancing a peppermint tree with the “herb” aspect would give it the “food” trait. Not only that, if you used the right aspect on whatever it is you’re using it on, it may even give it the power of transmutation (you’ll read about transmutation below).
These are buildings that can be built in settlements by meeting the projects’ requirements and they usually come with a time limit. Finishing projects can make an ambassador appear. Certain aspects can only be unlocked by certain ambassadors (like swamp ambassador, ocean ambassador, etc.) They basically upgrade your giants.
Transmuted floras, faunas, and minerals changes what they originally were physically and even biologically. So think of it as a buff up variant of it’s former different self. An example would be transmuting a peppermint into a tomato or transmuting a chicken into a rabbit. The transformation also gives them different symbiosis and abilities.
This is something that you really have to take advantage off in order to help your settlers thrive to its fullest potential. Basically it is like a bonus effect when you place certain floras, faunas, minerals, or buildings (projects) by others that they can have symbiosis with. For example: Placing a peppermint tree by a mineral yields +7 bonus in technology for every mineral by it. As stated above, transmuted plants, animals, and minerals also end up with different symbiosis from their former selves.
It’s pretty much like a project’s version of symbiosis. Scientific Fun Fact: Symbiosis scientifically pertains to biologically different organisms living on each other’s beastness. Like how anemones give clown fishies homes and protection with their sting of doom and in turn, the clown fishies poopies give the anemones ..er…nomnoms. The anemones basically eat Nemo doodoo D:.
Like in many civilizations throughout history…people go cray cray for wealth and become greedy. This will cause villages to attack neighboring villages. If they become too greedy, we have no choice but to smite them so this will wipe out the entire village. There will be an indicator on just how greedy a village currently is so keep on a lookout for that.
If you’re like me who’s been looking for a decent godgame, I would hands down recommend Reus. It doesn’t only takes us back to godgames we loved playing back in the day, but it also gives us something different along with a bit more complexity than other games that share the same genre like BW2. Personally speaking, in terms of game mechanics, I prefer Reus over BW2 which surprised me. Unlike my favorite game BW2 where I only need to focus on protecting and caring for my civilization or tormenting them when I feel like it; in Reus, I’m forced to keep tabs on whether one of my villages is getting too greedy and about start a war against another village under my care. The game’s mechanics also gave me the opportunity to maximize my villages potential for growth through symbiosis and specialization forcing me to be more cautious about my villages borders and the placements of my faunas, floras, minerals, and projects. It requires more planning which I like because it gives me a challenge. I also have more options with how I want to raise my villages and can even have them specialize in either food, wealth, or tech which I really like. This is a game that truly needs to be tried.
Steam, Desura, Gamersgate, GOG.com: $9.99
For more game reviews: Game Breakdown Reviews: Released/Beta/Alpha
Interview with The Developer
Win yourself or a friend a copy of the game! Just answer the following questions below. The most creative will win. Good luck everyone!
DEADLINE: JUNE 18, 2013
- If you were a god or goddess, would you be a malevolent or a benevolent and what would be your master plan.
- What would you do with your powers? How would you affect your humans lives?