Developer(s) – Abbey Games
Publisher(s) – Abbey Games
Designer(s) – Adriaan Jansens, Dennis Pullens & Nick Witsel
Programmer(s) – Bas Zalmstra, Maarten Wiedenhof, Manuel Kerssemakers, Dennis Pullens, Tim de Jager & Jacco Krijnen
PEGI – 7
Developed and self-published by indie developers Abbey Games, Reus is a unique type of real-time strategy game, whereby the player must create a world and influence the populace to maintain as peaceful a civilization as possible. Overall, I was extremely impressed with how original this game is, and I would recommend it to any fan of the strategy genre who may be wanting a much different experience than what they may normally be used to.
Graphics – 7/10
Making use of hand-drawn 2D graphics, I really like the conceptual design of this game. It gives it a deceptively innocent look about it, when in fact, it can become a wonderfully hectic challenge to maintain civility among the world’s people, and provide resources as and when they’re needed, and not overdo it in any way. The game’s soundtrack can also add to this depth in deception, as it sounds very peaceful against a potential foreground of problems that must be solved.
Gameplay – 7/10
The game puts the player in control of four ancient gods, who must be used to create different forms of terrain across the planet to allow for the development of civilization and its expansion. The more food and gold mines the people are able to utilize, the more prosperous it’ll be, but more prosperous societies may become greedy and complacent, and be the subject of envy amongst other civilizations that may exist across the world, thereby increasing the risk of conflict between them, and affecting the level of peace throughout the land. Though it may not be the first game to introduce mechanics of the same ilk, as it does draw inspiration from strategy games such as Empire Earth and Sid Meier’s Civilization, it does it in a very different way to either of the aforementioned and provides a challenge unlike any other.
Controls – 10/10
As a strategy game, it is inevitably best played on PC, as it can be quicker to issue commands to the gods and carry out tasks as and when required through the use of hotkeys. But on consoles, it’s not unplayable; it’s still quite easy to get to grips with the controls, and the overall gameplay system. In fact, it can arguably be seen as a greater challenge playing a game like this on consoles. I felt the same way when I played Tropico 5 on PlayStation 4, and Reus is no exception in my opinion.
Originality – 9/10
To put it simply, I’ve never seen or played a game like this before. Its 2D graphic design and unique way of playing make it stand out from every other strategy game ever developed. It gives testament to how willing and capable indie developers are of creating new concepts for games of pre-existing genres. There’s been Don’t Starve, Five Nights at Freddy’s, and Super Meat Boy to name but a few, and Reus is every bit as innovative as those examples in my opinion.
Overall, Reus is an enjoyable and insanely unique gaming experience that comes highly recommended by me. As a fan of strategy games, I had a lot of fun playing this title, and I’ve no doubt that other strategy game fans will feel a very similar way about it.