Green Project is a post-apocalyptic survival and farming RPG developed by Zerone Games, their first released game as a father-son game developer. Releasing on both mobiles and Steam, Green Project seems to be a heavily mobile-centric game from both a graphical and gameplay standpoint, and with the stigma around mobile gaming it could be hard to get into it before playing the game, though I can say I’ve had fun with my time on it with its steam release so far.
The game starts off with a short introduction screen of earth accompanied by text explaining the current state of affairs. Humans left earth quite some time ago, for our character to be put into a cryogenic sleep for 300 years, at the end of which he is deposited back onto earth in the hopes that the toxicity of the planet has calmed down over the long period of time. Sent in alone, with only bare-essentials, our protagonist must survive on the planet with no real directive over than to live on.
As a self-imposed goal, as well as to explore the world better, we are tasked with cutting down the rotten trees of the world and plant their seeds in the earth to grow new ones, bringing back green to earth. Since the earth is full of poisonous dumps of toxic waste, we must plant trees near the sludge to overgrow it with grass to move on, first being locked into a small area with a house, finding the local town, the far away mine, as well as some other locations with useful items or lore.
With no end-goal in sight, Green Project is designed as an endless-survival game, there are a few pieces of lore hidden around as well as the overarching goal of removing all toxic fallout from the world, or explore all the hidden areas. You can explore the current map, as well as the buildings that have been added so far, in around 10 or so hours, depending on your luck with seed drops and where the grass grows.
After exploring the map, there isn’t much else to do in Green Project aside from tick down the toxic counter and survive as long as you can. In its current state, the survival portion is very easy, all it takes is a few specific trees to spawn squirrels and you’re set for food, with a few rain barrels you’re set for water. With a lack of in-depth lore/story to follow up or objectives to complete along the way, Green Project can feel aimless at times, especially when it takes a few days in-game for the trees to grow which causes a lot of waiting.
Playing similar to games like Kynseed, Green Project is a simple top-down survival experience. You move around with WASD, interact with the left and right mouse buttons for looting or using tools. As time passes your food and water meters will go down, requiring you to eat and drink, though both will need to be cooked or you will incur toxicity in your body similar to Fallout games. Overtime your toxic levels will increase, requiring certain teas and alchemical fluids to remove.
Starting off in a small shack, you’re restricted by a circling pile of toxic fallout, causing you to plant trees to greenify the area. To do so you’ll need fertiliser which is made via combining 5 lots of organic waste which is obtained via dead trees or combining hay and sticks. Fertiliser is also required to start up a farm, though you’re not overly in need of food, relegated the farmland to growing cotton for crafting or items that satisfy the nearby escape pod.
Speaking of the pod we landed in, it makes a sore landmark outside of our house, though is another long-term goal for the player. As you make the earth green again it will start to ask for certain items, from mushrooms and plants to dead animals. With each tier of progress, the pod tree will change the world in a more forgiving place, making it so plants require less water, stop poison mushrooms spawning, allowing the character to drink water without boiling it and stopping the passive gain of toxicity. This is more of a difficulty controlling mechanic, with no real end-game or story attachment to it. The requirements for the pod are also incredibly high, requiring 50-99 of the items, sometimes asking for a total of 297 items for 1 stage, which can take a very long time to do.
Green Project has a bit of a rocky landing when it comes to difficulty, though this is only compounded by getting used to the mechanics at play. After a few days, setting up your own water collection and nearby trees, it becomes an overly easy experience. Though it does seem to be designed in a way to not be overly exerting or pressing against the player.
With the current content, time between patches, as well as the planned expansions of content, Green Project feels like it should be listed as an Early Access game rather than a full release. There’s no ending to the story, set as an endless game, so it’s hard to put it down on that end, but you complete most of the minimal exploration and story within around 10-20 hours, most of that being a waiting game for trees to grow. There are several dead-ends behind the toxic sludge, which feels like a lot of postponed for later, halting a lot of progress into the games lore and story.
Overall, Green Project gets a 7/10, it is a fun experience though feels heavily geared towards a mobile experience. The story is short, with a lot of the map not being finished yet, though with updates coming every 2 weeks I can see them getting completed rather quickly. At the price of £5.79 it’s a bargain for the number of hours you can get out of it, as well as seeing the updates in progress as well as getting released as I played. While it doesn’t look or feel finished, when it comes to fleshing out the map or filling in gaps with the story, I don’t find it too offensive for going straight into full-release, though others may feel cheated at the lack of an Early Access tag.
Green Project is available on PC for £5.79, if interested you can purchase it here.
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