- Aug 25, 2020
Cloud Gardens has been announced for Steam Early Access, and its creator describes it as a "chill game about using plants to overgrow post-industrial wasteland dioramas". To me, it looks like a game where you play as Mother Nature in The Last of Us. Created by Kingdom: New Lands developer Noio, the core game takes place across tiny stetches of ground, across which the player needs to spread nature across as much of the environment as possible. However, to earn the energy to grow those plants, they first need to 'decorate' the area with the scuzzed-up, broken down remnants of industrial civilisation. The result is a series of tiny, beautified slices of urban decay that look like voxel-ised versions of the landscapes in The Last of Us' overgrown apocalypse. I think it looks wonderful, and you can check out a trailer below: [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/07/29/cloud-gardens-trailer"] The concept reminds me of my favourite element of last year's Concrete Genie, which saw you tasked with covering the walls of a grim, post-recession town with living paintings. You could just paint a boring line of flowers on there and be done with it, but I never did, because it was so much more satisfying and relaxing to spend the time creating mini-masterpieces across the game world. I imagine I'll have the same impulse here, prettying up my creations well after the game tells me I can move on. For those less interested in the 'campaign' aspect, however, there will be a full sandbox mode with no goals, where players can create for the sake of creation (and lovely screenshots). The game will come to Early Access later this year, and will stay in that state for around 3 months, allowing Noio to to modify the core loop using player feedback. "This might be an extensive rework, or a tuning modification," continues the Steam description. "We will fix bugs and polish the UI. As we work on those things, we also continue work on the remaining chapters that we did not include in the EA launch, and will release that along with the updates." You can wishlist the game now. We have Noio's breakout game, Kingdom, a 7.7 review, calling it "a gorgeous and addictive test of city management". [poilib element="accentDivider"] Joe Skrebels is IGN's Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to [email protected].