Cloud Gardens (2020) is a puzzle game where you grow vegetation over a dilapidated post-apocalyptic world. It's a low-pressure puzzle, from the team behind Kingdom
. It has the same pixel-art style, but here you are left to take your time to grow each scene with a combination of plants and the detritus of civilisation.
Play involves choosing seeds, then rotating and exploring a vignette to find the best place to plant your different foliage. The scenes all look like they are taken from a zombie apocalypse game, only here there's no danger. In fact, you can take all the time you want.
Once you have eventually grown enough plants, flowers, shrubs and trees you can move onto the next level. As you progress this extends beyond just interacting with flora to providing new architectural elements to add, like road signs and lamp posts, that provide new structures for the plants to grow. You also prune and water your plants to help them grow or tend their shape.
Through the game, you harness the power of nature to overgrow lo-fi scenes of urban decay and manufactured landscapes. Create small overgrown dioramas of brutalism and beauty by planting seeds, repurposing hundreds of discarded objects and creating unique structures for nature to reclaim.
The main game gets slowly harder on each level, but there's also a sandbox mode with no goals. However you play it, it's a game that depicts the ecology and interaction between nature and humanity. You work to strike a balance between the natural and the manufactured. At the end of each scene you can watch short videos of your completed dioramas and share them with other players.
Our examiner, Andy Robertson
, first checked Cloud Gardens 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 4 months ago.