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Video Game / Reus

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Reus is a 2013 PC game by Dutch indie developer Abbey Games, later ported to Playstation 4 and Xbox One in 2016. The game mixes elements of puzzle and god games by having the player try to make a planet as habitable as possible for humans. This is achieved by controlling four Giants that can essentially shape the environment at will. The Giants are, for all intents and purposes, Physical Gods; they raise mountains, dig deep oceans and create plants and animals with little more than a wave of their hands. The Giants are:

  • The Forest Giant: A lanky, simian figure made out of moss, leaves and living wood, the Forest Giant can create nutritious plants for the humans to enjoy. Can create the forest biome if the land has access to water.
  • The Ocean Giant: A rocky, barnacled, crab-like titan with enormous claws for hands, the Ocean Giant can create oceans and certain animals that can be domesticated by humans.
  • The Rock Giant: Essentially a walking mountain, the Rock Giant can raise mountains, which causes the surrounding land to dry out, creating the desert biome beneath them. Can place mineral deposits, which can either be a source of wealth or technological development for humans.
  • The Swamp Giant: A lumbering tower of swamp-water and festering biomass, the Swamp Giant can create exotic animals and certain herbs. Can create the swamp biome on land that has access to water.

Reus contains examples of:

  • A God Is You: Technically, the player is addressed by the game as the planet itself, which controls the Giants.
  • Combinatorial Explosion: The game's Symbiosis system, in which certain placed elements can be powered up by having other specific elements within a certain range, is there to encourage players to try different combinations in order to progress.
  • Cruelty Is the Only Option: Oftentimes, the only way for one village to prosper is by you destroying another. A few villager projects will require you to destroy a specific other village in order to succeed with them (in addition to their other requirements).
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Giants can be killed by the humans.
  • Divine Delegation: You (as the planet) give orders to the four Giants, who then act to sculpt the world according to your wishes.
  • Elemental Crafting: Of a sort. Various "elements" (fruit-bearing shrubs, herbs, domesticable animals, minerals, etc.) can be placed by the different Giants. The form each element takes is determined by the sort of terrain it's placed on, which in turn also gives each element distinctive bonuses. Elements can be further enhanced or upgraded by using the Giants to endow them with certain Aspects as well.
  • Elemental Embodiment: Each of the four Giants is associated with a particular type of terrain.
  • Entitled Bastard: The villagers. Are they happy you created a peaceful, bountiful paradise for them, using the downright irreplaceable Giants? No, they get Greedy for more stuff, start destroying other villages, and eventually attacking the gods out of sheer force of entitlement. Hence why you have you have to blast them back to the Stone Age on occasion or create patches of angry wildlife.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: You can invoke this once the puny humans get on your nerves too much.
  • Genius Loci: For all practical purposes, the player acts as the will of the planet itself.
  • Gentle Giant: Even when they're being attacked by human villagers, the Giants won't defend themselves or retaliate unless you command them to explicitly.
  • Geo Effects: Terrain affects the nature of the elements placed thereon. For instance, fruit-bearing plants are more likely to flourish in the forest than the desert.
  • God Job: Each of the Giants has a particular role and certain specialized abilities.
  • Good Is Not Nice: You'll have to do this in order for the villages to remain peaceful. Else, they get Greedy.
  • Greed: A key game mechanic. If a village experiences a sudden increase in resources, they become greedy. Greedy villagers are more likely to make war with their neighbours, or even on the Giants themselves.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: In a strange inversion, the actual green-eyed monsters can be used to prevent this trope, either through awe, dangerous animals, or in the worst case, stomping the offending village flat.
  • Humble Goal: The planet-god just wants to sleep, but every time it tries its creations have destroyed themselves by the time it wakes up again.
  • Idle Animation: If left to their own devices, all of the Giants will do little things on their own:
    • The Ocean Giant will dance.
    • The Swamp Giant will scratch under its neck (or mouth). Other times, it will put both hands under its mouth, as if it's trying desperately not to vomit.
    • The Forest Giant will use a hand to comb its hair (which is made out of forest), or sneeze a whole bunch of leaves out.
  • The Magic Goes Away: After a certain amount of time (30 minutes to start with; longer options can be unlocked as you progress through the game), the Giants will lose their power and sleep. At this point, your score will be tallied, and achievements will be awarded.
  • The Maker: You, through the agency of your Giants, make the planet.
  • Physical God: Each of the Giants is a god, basically.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: When the humans get too greedy they often feel as though the Giants aren't giving them enough resources, leading to this.
  • Terrain Sculpting: You shape the face of the planet through the four Giants.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: You really do want your little villages to do well for themselves, but the behavior of the human inhabitants occasionally leads to...
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Are the villagers getting too greedy? Making war with their neighbours? Have the Ocean Giant come over and re-enact the story of Atlantis. (The Swamp and Rock Giants are capable of some impressive devastation as well.)