Reus is a pretty cute and interesting god simulation. The player controls four different giants that mold the world to be populated with silly humans. The humans are greedy idiots of course, and usually turn against even the gentlest giants, but overall the mood in the game is positive. It’s about creation, development and different routes to flourishing settlements.
The player can only choose the size of the planet and the length of the play time from a couple of options. Still Reus isn’t really a small and short game. The game can be paused to give the giants some directions, so 60 min play mode can take a whole day if one starts to micromanage things.
There’s the possibility to strike the annoying humans down – even whole villages. But the game expands with completing achievements which unlock new upgrades. So there’s a reason to aim for the non-destructive goals too, just to see what else is available.
I think the idea is pretty neat actually. The different playthroughs have a lot more freedom than actual campaign scenarios but there’s still the feeling of overall progress.
The gameplay itself is simple. The different giants can mold the plots of land in several ways. Different types of villages will sprout to the varying soil. Then the plots next to each other give different bonuses in the several resources (wealth, science, food as main resources). There’s surprisingly many different ways to make combos with these plots, which gives the seemingly simple game quite a lot of depth.
There are also special building opportunities that will spawn an ambassador if finished. And these ambassadors will upgrade the giants’ abilities (also looking funny standing on them).
I would recommend Reus for more serious strategy or sim gamers and casuals alike. It’s easy to learn and fun to play. Mastering it requires a bit more effort, and it most likely has a lot to give even for the more strategic minds. Still the game doesn’t really punish the player, so casual playthroughs are very much possible.