Most of us have had thoughts of a future without humans. A future where nature has healed and has taken back what once belonged to it. Plants growing uncontrolled and reclaiming buildings. Parking lots and open spaces completely covered with untamed wilderness. Cloud Gardens is a game about doing just that, albeit on a smaller scale, and it is incredible.
The premise of Cloud Gardens is therefore quite simple. Players will grow plants on dioramas in the clouds until a progression meter is filled before moving on to the next diorama. Growing plants involves throwing a seed pod onto the diorama and letting it grow wild as you place more and more objects onto the scene. What starts off extremely simple eventually becomes quite challenging with later levels involving quite a lot of strategic placement to progress.
Placing objects onto the scene will trigger an “energy” wave which causes the plants to grow. Players will have to think carefully about where to place certain objects in some levels since space might be limited on the diorama. Thankfully though the game does allow you to skip a level if you get stuck or frustrated.
Players will initially have access to only one type of plant. Wisteria. Growing the wisteria on urban decay is great as it creeps along surfaces and eventually forms flowering blooms. As players progress through the game’s six chapters, they’ll unlock new types of plants including an opuntia and a monstera which looks great when it fully grows. The plants when fully grown will produce flowers or blooms and when clicked on, provide you with water and the opportunity to create/purchase more seeds for planting. Balancing plant growth with the amount of space on a diorama while trying to fill the progression meter is challenging but not impossible.
Cloud Gardens features a great low fidelity graphical aesthetic that is rather visually pleasing. It’s quite satisfying watching plants take over a building as their vines and leaves stretch out and take hold on the structural framework. Placing objects onto the scene also allows for a level of customization that you can be proud of even if the campaign limits you somewhat. The limits don’t extend to the entire game though. Once you’ve played through the campaign, you’d have unlocked a range of objects which you can use in the game’s sandbox mode. In the sandbox mode you are free to create your own diorama and set it up in whatever way you’d like. Creative gamers will definitely have a tonne of fun with this mode.
The soundtrack used in the game suits it perfectly with the right blend of atmospheric music and sound effects to suit your planting endeavours. It’s all about the ambience here and Cloud Gardens has completely mastered this. If you’re looking for a game to have a chilled non-toxic experience with, Cloud Gardens is it. There’s just something about watching plants grow all over manmade structures that’s ridiculously therapeutic in nature.
Unfortunately being an early access title right now, there are some bugs currently present in the game but thankfully there’s a handy “report bug” feature built into the menu which will help get these sorted out. One of the bugs encountered involved not being able to unlock a specific seed when clicking on the box it was contained in. A minor grievance that was solved by simply skipping the level. Another bug involved not being able to grab a seed pod after creating it for planting. This will probably be fixed quite soon.
Overall, in a time where anxiety and stress can be quite hard to deal with, Cloud Gardens fills the perfect gaming niche for gamers who want to have a casual relaxation session growing plants and being creative in the process. The campaign mode will keep you entertained for a good few hours as you try to figure out how to completely overgrow the numerous dioramas you’ll be presented with. The built in photo mode rounds off the package and lets gamers appreciate their creations even more. Cloud Gardens, while still in Early Access, is highly recommended by us if you’re into casual, chilled, yet engaging gaming.
Indie game dev Noio has released Cloud Gardens into Early Access on Steam (PC & MAC)
Did you enjoy reading our preview of a game before the game gets its final release and its final version? if yes, click here to find more early previews.
In Cloud Gardens players must harness the power of nature to overgrow lo-fi scenes of urban decay and manufactured landscapes. By planting seeds in the right places, they’re able to create small overgrown dioramas of brutalism and beauty, salvaging and repurposing hundreds of discarded objects to create unique structures for nature to reclaim.
Product In Stock: https://schema.org/OutOfStock