Realms beyond Reality (RbR) is an upcoming Turn-Based 4X Game for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One & PC. The game is similar in ways to other 4X Games focusing on the premise of eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate and has the player controlling one of the various factions in the game. RbR is also part of the High Fantasy genre and has the player able to pick from several non-human creatures as well as having various fantastical elements that impact gameplay.
During the opening credits of the game there is a cutscene showing the various factions that appear in the game including Humans farming crops on open fields, Gremlins mining for gold within chasms, Fungafolk using chemistry in a laboratory, Merfolk performing at a coastal opera and an army of Beastmen and Draconians going to war with one another.
The player can find out about some of the culture of each of the civilizations both from their bonus attributes, unique units and buildings as well as the game's encyclopedia on elements of the game.
Realms beyond Reality is played in a three-dimensional spherical board comprised of 5 to 8 sided tiles, the player's goal in the game is to complete one the various objectives in the game, these depend on if the player is playing a scenario or free-play and can be customized in the latter during the Game Setup section of the menu. The player is able to build settlements, construct buildings, recruit units of various types including combat, scientific, magical and civilian among others and explore the world in search of the other factions on the map and bonuses found throughout.
The game has several starting options including; Nomadic (No Starting City), City Center Only (Just the basic City) or Specialized (City with one Specialized District that the palyer can choose for their faction).
Cities function quite differently in this game to other 4X Games, there are several types of structures within a City that the player needs to be aware of;
|City Center||Constructed by Settlers outside the territory of another city. Capable of producing most non-combat Units. Improved by building City Center Buildings or using Settlers to turn a City center into a Tower of Babel, the City Center takes up one whole tile.|
|Districts||Constructed by Settlers within the territory of another city. Able to produce many of the same buildings as a City Center and Non-Combat Units, can also be specialized to produce particular resources, Districts take up one whole tile.|
|Specialty Buildings||Constructed via the City Center, serve specific purposes, can only have one of each type within a city and the capacity is depednent on the population, Specialty Buildings take up one whole tile.|
|Landmarks||Constructed via the City Center, unique buildings with powerful effects, only one of each can be built in the entire game, Landmarks take up one whole tile.|
|Improvements||Constructed by Builders, provide a boost to a particular resource or tap into the benefits of a Luxury Resource, Improvements take up one side of their tile (5-8 per tile).|
|Defensive Buildings||Constructed by Builders, able to produce Combat Units and provide defensive bonuses to a tile. Certain Defensive Buildings can also bolster the effects on Combat Units and some provide a space where late game Combat Units can be kept. Defensive Buildings take up one side of their tile (5-8 per tile).|
There are a number of Unit Types in the game, each having their own roles and abilities;
- Civilian - The most basic of the units, these include a wide variety of roles including Settlers, Builders, Military Engineers & Traders. Civilians can be recruited at the City Center or Specailty Buildings in some cases and will have generally one specific role to serve in the game.
- Scientific - These are units which specialize in developing technology, Scientific Units need to be sent out to inspect various aspects of the world and can discover technologies through that exploration, this includes inspecting wildlife, flora, natural features and even some of a faction's own buildings and units. Technologies have hints on how to unlock each of them to be researched however it's up to the faction to use Scientific Units to make them available. Scientific Units can also engage other Scientific Units either in friendly Technological Exchange which can have the chance for either faction to unlock technologies the other faction has or through aggressive actions which can lead to stealing technologies unlocking them for the faction and getting a boost towards researching the technology if the enemy already researched it.
- Magical - Magical Units are capable of using magic and discerning the aspects of magic within the world itself, similar to Scientific and Philosophical Units they need to explore the world to unlock different types of magic, unlike their counterparts however once a magic is unlocked the faction simply needs to bring the Magical Unit back to a City, District or Specialty Building and have them publish their Tome to have that magic accessible. Magical Units can also be used for combat although are not particularly effective as there are Magically-inclined Combat Units available fairly early on in the game.
- Philosophical - The third Research based Unit type, Philosophical Units need to explore the world to unlock different Philosophical Moments and similar to Scientific Technologies these can then be researched. Philosophical Units are also able to explore into territories most other units for a faction cannot go including into other faction's borders without causing war. Philosophical Units can be used to have a Cultural Exchange with another faction temporarily boosting both factions' ability to research Philosophical Moments or can be used to Condemn a faction if they have a different government type to the Philosophical Unit's faction which can impact the output of that city.
- Combat - Simple units which are designed to fight one another, take over land, deal with wild creatures and unruly folk as well as capture other types of units. Combat Units come in many types some for direct combat others with ranged or bombarding tactics. Combat Units are produced at Defensive Buildings unlike most other units and so are tied to the production output of the tile their building is located on. Each Faction has several unique Combat Units across the Eras which give them distinct advantages with that particular unit over their enemies.
- Religious - Religious Units are units that are able to spread faith of a faction's belief system as well as establish several unique improvements such as Heritage Sites, National Treasures and Relic Sites which can contribute towards the output of a city. Religious Units are also able to be used to influence over other units to the religious unit's faction's side, the probability of this working varies based on a number of factors but however can allow a faction to turn the tide of a battle.
- Environmental - Environmental Units are a rather unique type of unit, they're able to be sent to unmodified tiles and based on technologies, magic and moments that have been unlocked can turn these tiles into Gifted Tiles which have additional bonuses to them and typically spawn rare resources that a faction can make use of. Environmental Units can also be sent in to improve the output of certain buildings across a faction's city and in the later stages of the game can be used to cause natural disasters or natural bounties the former having devastating impacts on any faction caught in the disaster's wake and the latter providing a massive bonus in the surrounding area for a temporary period of time. Environmental Units are the only unit type in the game that regardless of the state between two factions cannot enter another faction's territory.
There are several Victory Types in Realms beyond Reality that the player can strive to achieve, during the Game Setup different Victories can be Enabled or Disabled;
- Score Victory - By the end of the game (designated by a number of turns during the Game Setup) the faction with the most points (or factions if team mode is on) wins.
- Conquest Victory - Win by eliminating every enemy faction from the game until only your faction and your teammates remain.
- Scientific Victory - Win by being the first to send an Astronaut to another planet, this requires completely almost all of the Scientific Research Tree.
- Magical Victory - Win by being the first to unlock and use Mind Wipe the most powerful Magical Spell in the game which can only be unlocked through creating the necessary buildings to research it.
- Ideological Victory - Win by having your faction construct the Ideological Marvel a special landmark building which is unlocked by completing the Philosophical Research Tree.
- Nature Victory - Win by having the highest synergy with nature and then summoning Mother Nature through a combination of Science, Magic and Philosophy.
- Religious Victory - Win by having your Belief System followed by between 50-100% of the world's population.
- Landmark Victory - Win by building or controlling a certain percentage of the possible landmarks (excluding the Ideological Marvel) in the game (between 50-100%).
- Diplomatic Victory - Win by acquiring enough Diplomatic Favours, Bribes and Alliances to have your faction voted as the World Power.
- Anarchy Victory - Win by causing every other faction in the game to collapse into anarchy one way or another.
|Human||Industrial Worker - Builders have two additional charges they can use and Improvements produce 10% more Production for their Tile.|
|Elf||Longevity Wisdom - Scientific Units provide a boost to Research if they discover a technology within the player's Territory.|
|Gremlin||Power of the Horde - Cities do not lose population when creating Settlers, new Cities come with a District immediately included on an adjacent tile.|
|Cycloptian||Focused Fight - Flanking Bonuses for Combat Units is doubled, when three or more combat units of the player's surround an enemy combat unit without any adjacent enemy combat units there is a 5% chance per turn that unit will join the player's faction.|
|Fungafolk||Mycelium Regeneration - Adjacent Units (regardless of type) will heal double health when recovering health, this does not stack for multiple adjacent units.|
|Golem||Blessings of Earth - All Mineral-based Luxury and Strategic Resources count as double, Mines and Quarries have their outputs doubled and are able to produce Melee Combat Units.|
|Merfolk||Return to the Ocean - Can construct Districts and Specialty Buildings on bodies of water, Fisheries have their output doubled and cost of Naval Combat Units is reduced by half.|
|Cahnbracci||Ocean's Deep - Naval Combat Units have +1 Sight and +1 Range, Oceanic-based Luxury and Strategic Resources count as double.|
|Beastman||Full Moon - Combat Units have +1 Movement and +10% Power on Tiles with Vegetation or when Underground, does not apply when attacking structures.|
|Vampire||Vampiric Essence - Defeating Enemy Combat Units or Capturing Enemy Non-Combat Units will restore up to 25% of the player unit's health.|
|Draconian||Power of Legends - Mountains produce Gold for the player, the player can purchase units with gold without the necessary Philosophical Moments unlocked.|
|Harpy||Trading Winds - Traders have +1 Movement, Trade Routes between Cities have +50% Output for both Cities.|
|Ent||Life of the Forest - Forests have double yields in the player's territory, Improvements have +10% Output on Tiles with Vegetation, Defensive Buildings have +10% Production towards Combat Units when built on Tiles with Vegetation.|
|Chimera||Cultural Mixing Pot - When meeting other Factions gain a boost to unlocking the current researching Philosophical Moment. +2 Culture in Districts with at least 1 Specialty Building Adjacent to them.|
|Imp||Burning Passion - Generate 100 Culture when killing or capturing an enemy unit, Builders can move after constructing a Defensive Building.|
|Capillima||Way of the Wind - +1 Movement for all player units within their or an ally's territory, Windmills have double output.|
|Gribbit||Cute Reflex - +25% Favour per Turn from Landmarks, borders with Allies generate Favour.|
|Naga||Shedding Off - Grievances against the player wear off 50% faster, Declaring War causes 50% less Grievances and joining an Ongoing War does not cause grievances.|
|Siren||Alluring Melody - Religious Units spread faith while idle, Religious Units have +1 Charge.|
|Gargoyle||Stone-Hard Resistance - Defensive Buildings have +5% Health, Attacks from Garrisoned Units deal +10% Damage.|
City Center & Districts
|Barracks||Spears||Can construct Melee Land Units|
|Ship Builder||Sailing||Can construct Light Naval Units|
|Archery Range||Archery||Can construct Ranged Land Units|
|Labour Camp||Serfdom||Can construct Cheap Melee Land Units|
|Shipyard||Ports||Can construct Light & Medium Naval Units|
|Stone Walls||Walls||Provides Defensive Bonus for Land Units on the Tile|
|Stables||Horseback Riding||Can construct Mounted Land Units|
|Smithery||Steel||Melee Land Units constructed on the same tile gain 5% more Experience|
|Siege Factory||Siege Weapons||Can construct Siege Land Units|
|Concrete Walls||Architecture||Provides Defensive Bonus for Land Units on the Tile|
|Lookout Tower||Military Training||Ranged Land Units constructed on the same tile gain +1 Sight Range|
|Chariot Arena||Chariots||Mounted Land Units constructed on the same tile gain +1 Movement|
|Command Tent||Formal Armies||Land Units constructed on the same tile gain 5% more Experience|
|Bowyer Home||Crossbows||Ranged Land Units constructed on the same tile gain 10% more Experience|
|Brick Walls||Defensive Tactics||Provides Defensive Bonus for Land Units on the Tile|
|Siege Field||Trebuchet||Siege Land Units constructed on the same tile gain 10% more Experience|
|Naval Barrrier||Naval Warfare||Provides Defensive Bonus for Naval Units on the Tile (Land Units cannot disembark onto the tile until the Naval Barrier destroyed)|
|Cavalry Armourer||Advanced Cavalry||Mounted Land Units constructed on the same tile have 25% more Health|
|Bombadier Factory||Firebomb||Can construct Wallbuster Land Units|
|Fort||Battle Formations||Can construct Leader Units|
|Gunsmithery||Gunpowder||Ranged Land Units constructed on the same tile have 10% greater Strength|
|Naval Academy||Square-Rigging||Allows the construction of Flotillas from Naval Unit Construction Buildings within a nine tile radius|
|Weapon Storage||Cannons||Wallbuster Land Units constructed on teh same tile have 25% more Health|
|Reinforced Keep||Explosives||Can construct Siege & Wallbuster Land Units|
|Shipping Complex||Frigates||Can construct Heavy Naval Units|
|Spy Tower||Espionage||Can construct Espionage Units|
|Mercenary Camp||Mercenaries||Can construct Cheap Ranged & Mounted Land Units|
|Independent Port||Privateering||Can construct Cheap Light & Medium Naval Units|
|Armoured Walls||Worker Contracts||Provides Defensive Bonus to Land Units on the Tile, Enemy Units take while occupying the Tile|
|Pirate's Headquarters||Piracy||Can turn Cheap Light & Medium Naval Units into Regular Light & Medium Naval Units|
|Munitions Facility||Rifling||Melee & Ranged Land Units constructed on the same tile have 10% greater Defence|
|Dry Dock||Dry Docks||Medium & Heavy Naval Units constructed on the same tile have 25% more Health|
|Command Center||Organized Armed Forces||All Land Units constructed on teh same tile gain 5% more Experience|
|Naval Bunker||Turtle Ship||Provides Defensive Bonus for Naval Units on the Tile, can be built on Shallow Water Tiles|
|Training Bunker||Bolt-Action||Melee & Ranged Land Units constructed on the same tile gain 10% more Experience|
|Naval Reserve Academy||Battleships||Heavy Naval Units constructed on the same tile have 25% more Health|
|Reinforced Walls||Cement||Provides Defensive Bonus for Land Units on the Tile, boosts strength of Land Units on the Tile by 15%|
|Ship Armourer||Reinforced Hulls||All Naval Units constructed on the same tile have 10% greater Defence|
|Explosives Factory||Dynamite||Wallbuster Land Units constructed on the same tile have 15% greater Bombardment and do receive penalty movement points for moving on Defensive Buildings|
|Reporting Station||Telegraph||Espionage Units constructed on the same tile have 2 extra Charges|
|Train Yard||Locomotive||Can construct Locomotive Land Units|
|Naval Artillery||Naval Cannons||Provides Defensive Bonus for Naval Units on the Tile, allows Naval Units to attack twice from the Tile|
|Medic's Tent||Anaesthetic||Melee, Ranged & Mounted Land Units and Light Naval Units constructed on the same tile have 15% more Health|
|Transfer Depot||Distribution Transport||Locomotive Land Units constructed on the same tile have +1 Movement|
|Submarine Bay||Submarines||Can construct Submarine Naval Units|
|Auto Plant||Diesel Engine||Can construct Vehicular Land Units|
|Military Asembly||Nationalism||All Combat Units constructed on the same tile have 5% greater Strength|
|Airbase||Aircraft||Can construct Light Aerial Units|
|Valor Hall||Military Service||All Combat Units constructed on the same tile gain 10% more Experience|
|Codebreaker Building||Double Agents||Espionage Units constructed on the same tile have +1 Movement, Enemy Espionage Units can be detected by the building from up to 2 Tiles away|
|Modern Armour Plant||Kevlar||Melee & Ranged Land Units constructed on the same tile have 20% greater Defence|
|Tanker Shipyard||Dreadnought||Takes up two slots on a tile, Heavy Naval Units constructed on the same tile have 10% greater Strength and Defence|
|Alloy Refinery||Super Alloy Armor||Must be constructed on the same tile as a Mineral-Based Resource; Siege, Wallbuster & Vehicular Land Units and Medium & Heavy Naval Units and Light & Heavy Aerial Units constructed on the same tile have +1 Movement|
|Militia Camp||Conscription||Can construct Cheap Siege, Wallbuster & Vehicular Land Units|
|Airship Dock||Zeppelin||Can construct Airship Aerial Units|
|Tank Factory||Tanks||Vehicular Land Units constructed on the same tile have 25% greater Defence|
|Air Comms Tower||Powered Flight||All Aerial Units constructed on the same tile have +2 Movement|
|Nuclear Silo||Nuclear Power||Can construct Nuclear Missiles|
|Missile Silo||Rocketry||Can construct Ballistic Missiles|
|Air Hangar||Jet Engine||Can construct Heavy Aerial Units|
|Submarine Armament||Nuclear Submarine||Submarine Naval Units constructed on the same tile have 10% greater Strength and +1 Range|
|Missile Control||Missile Systems||All Missiles constructed on the same tile have 20% greater Range|
|Reservist HQ||Reserve Army||Allows the construction of Divisions from Land Unit Construction Buildings within a nine tile radius|
|Laser Research Division||Lasers||All Units with Ranged Attacks constructed on the same tile have +1 Range|
|Air Fleet Base||Organized War Plan||Allows the construction of Regiments from Aerial Unit Construction Buildings within a nine tile radius|
|Multi-Layer Walls||Fortification Reserves||Provides Defensive Bonus for Land Units on the Tile, allows Land Units to attack twice from the Tile|
|Mixed Arms Center||Aircraft Carrier||Medium & Heavy Naval Units constructed on the same tile have 20% greater Strength, must be constructed on the same tile as an Airbase or Air Hangar|
|Commando Tent||Commando Tactics||Melee Land Units and Espionage Units constructed on the sametile have 30% more Health|
|Triad Center||Modern Military||All Units constructed on the same tile have 5% more Health, must be constructed on the same tile as at least one Land Unit, Naval Unit and Aerial Unit Construction Building|
|Rally Tower||Police State||All Land Units constructed on the same tile have 20% more Health and cost 10% less Production, must be built on a tile adjacent to a City Center or District|
|Trench Ops Tower||Deep Sea Vessels||Submarine Naval Units constructed on the same tile have +1 Movement and 20% more Health|
|Fusion Reactor||Fusion Power||Vehicular Land Units and All Naval Units constructed on the same tile have +2 Movement|
|Plasma Jet Facility||Plasma Propulsion||Light Aerial Units constructed on the same tile have +2 Movement|
|Military Management||Combined Arms||Leader Units constructed on the same tile have 2 extra Charges|
|Evasion R&D||Cloaking||Espionage Units constructed on the same tile gain +3 Movement when detected by an enemy Unit or Building|
|Smart Walls||Fire Wall||Provides Defensive Bonus for Land Units on the Tile, prevents Religious Conversion from enemy units|
|Energy Walls||Force Fields||Provides Defensive Bonus for Land Units and Naval Units on the Tile, can be constructed on any non-Mountainous and non-Oceanic Tiles|
|Bio-Combat Labs||Super Soldier||Melee & Ranged Land Units constructed on the same tile have 35% more Health|
|Hover R&D||Hover Vehicles||Airship Aerial Units constructed on the same tile have +1 Movement|
|Laser Range||Laser Weapons||All Units with Ranged Attacks constructed on the same tile have +2 Range|
|Combat Cybernetics Factory||Trans-Humanism||Melee Land Units constructed on the same tile have 25% greater Strength|
|Settler||Can settle new cities and build Districts.|
|Builder||Can construct Improvements and Defensive Buildings and repair damaged Buildings.|
|Trader||Can create Trade Routes between Cities and improve Diplomatic Level with other Factions.|
|Spy||Can perform all Espionage Operations from within another Faction's Territory, is Invisible to Non-Spy Units until attacked or detected.|
|Diplomat||Generates Favour and can perform Diplomatic Operations to improve relations with another Faction.|
The World is generated based on a seed that the player can input during the Game Setup or import from other players, there are a variety of environments that can appear across the world ranging from realistic environments like Forests, Plains, the Ocean, Deserts, Tundra and Mountains to more magical ones like Bolenum, Lapacu, Obstalt, Glaciano, Nebulcarn and Nuravi.
In addition to the more varied terrain the player will also find that the world is not limited to just one level, the player can have units some time into a game explore underground finding certain resources significantly more easily as well as encountering more dangerous enemies. Underground Caverns vary in type and length with some going for dozens of tiles while others are strictly a single tile wide. The player's options in what to do with the underground tiles is different to their above ground counterparts and the player also has the option of opening up an underground tile to the surface merging the two into a single layer, this cannot be done for all tiles however and only works on ones without City Centers, Districts, Specialty Buildings or Landmarks.
As with other 4X Games, tiles of the same time can vary based on additional factors; Vegetation, Rivers, Mountains & Hills. The presence of these is not considered a new tile but can impact the player's ability to have units traverse the tile.
There are eight Primary Resources in Realms beyond Reality; Food, Production, Science, Culture, Magicka, Gold, Faith & Favour.
Food is the resource by which Cities grow, it is generated from Buildings and Improvements and when there is more Food Produced than the Consumption of a City its population will grow. Populations will not grow if the next Population Consumption Rate is greater than that of the Food Produced at the current turn.
Production is the resource used by the City Center, Districts and Defensive Buildings to produce Buildings and Units. It is produced by Buildings and Improvements. Creating a Building/Unit requires a certain amount of Production, which is described in terms of turns for that Building/Unit, if there is an excess amount of Production produced on the turn that a Building/Unit is completed it will be spent on the next Building/Unit in that City Centers, District or Defensive Building.
City Centers and Districts share the total Production Output within the City and the player can micro-manage how much of the Production/turn each gets. Defensive Buildings have their own Production Rate which is dependent on the Production Output of the tile the Defensive Building was constructed on.
Science is used to research Scientific Technologies, it is produced by Scientific Units and certain Buildings. Scientific Units are able to be used to discover Technologies which can then be researched to maximize their potential, this also generates Science from the unit. Scientific Units have limited charges and can either make a Discovery or Improve Existing Sciences, the latter rewards a large sum of Science for that turn.
Science Output in Buildings benefits when the Building is adjacent to tiles with Non-Science Resources, the more of these that are adjacent the greater the Science Output for that building.
Culture is used to research Philosophical Moments, it is produced by Philosophical Units and certain Buildings. Philosophical Units like Scientific Units have two abilities; Epiphany and Cultural Exposure. Epiphany functions like Discovery and is needed to start researching Philosophical Moments, Cultural Exposure will generate Culture based on the following factors; Quality of the Land, Landmarks, Natural Wonders, Faction Territories (within Sight Range).
Culture leads to Civics which are a set of acquirable bonuses for the player's faction only found in Philosophical Moments. Culture Buildings generate Cultural Pressure to surrounding Buildings, the amount of Culture a building produces is dependent on how focused its pressure is, the more buildings in a city and the more evenly they're spread out the better the output will be.
The Tree is split into Eight Eras each with various things that can be researched. As outlined earlier, Technologies, Moments & Spells are unlocked and made available for research by discovering a trigger for them. Each has their own hint to help the player although there is often more than one way to discover them, once discovered a Technology can be researched with Science, a Moment can be researched with Culture and a Spell can be researched with Magicka. The total cost of all Techs, Moments or Spells for a given Era increases with each Era however due to the different amount within each era the cost of an individual Tech, Moment or Spell may be less than that of a preceding Era.
Alongside those three there are also Governments which allow the player to adjust the Civics they receive from researching Philosophical Moments. Governments can consume all three forms of Resources and so as long as the player is researching a Government and not researching a Technology, Moment or Spell it will consume that respective Resource instead. Governments also cost considerably more than any of the other three so it is often wise to dedicate all resources towards unlocking them quickly.
When not researching a Technology, Moment or Spell the player's Faction will accumulate excess of the relevant Resource, the player can build special Buildings in their Cities to collect and hold the resources so they don't go to waste, it is always more advantageous to be constantly researching than to be collecting however this does mitigate loss and can build-up an reservoir of a resource allowing for rapid research of a Tech, Moment or Spell depending on the resource and can potentially allow for an instant research where the Tech, Moment or Spell is discovered on the same turn it was started.