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    Reprisal Universe: Review

    An artsy fan letter to Populous, Reprisal Universe is often less an RTS and more a divine instrument that morphs humble players into left-clicking machines. It trades the genre’s usual complexities for a simpler kill or be killed approach. In fact, the whole thing can be condensed into a three-point plan: expand your population, decimate all rival civilisations, and sometimes work on accruing or upgrading your divine powers.

    The interface is similarly sparse, colourful sigils replacing protracted explanations, and only three and a half ways to interact with your autonomous devotees. You can have them go on the offensive, gather at a waypoint, or build new homes, but one on one communication is something else entirely. The bulk of your time will revolve around terraforming islands, ousting citizens from their homes to carry out your orders, and raining a variety of pixellated disasters on the enemy. You also have the opportunity to turn the leaders of your people into ‘heroes’, such as the minotaur who can transform the oceans into dry earth. Almost all of this is accomplished with the left mouse button, although camera controls can be piloted with the WASD keys.

    The minimalist design has its drawbacks. Although the game promises over 180 individual islands to subjugate, it’s difficult not to experience a feeling of sameness after the first few hours, even accounting for the various available game types. Better as a bite sized diversion than a full day investment, Reprisal is a lean, attractive game that makes no attempt to pretend it’s anything more.


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