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Cloud Gardens will cultivate ruined urban ecosystems later this year

If there’s one thing we can all seem to agree on, it’s that human civilisation will make a beautiful corpse – A quiet reassurance to the idea that, even once we’ve all bitten the dust, life will find a way to carry on regardless of the concrete messes we leave behind. Announced today, Cloud Gardens wants you to tend to those spaces, helping life flourish from urban decay when it arrives on Steam next year.

Properly revealed today, Cloud Gardens is a collaboration between Kingdom developer Noio and Eli Cauley, who’s developed a number of lovely solo games over on Itch.

Each scene in Cloud Gardens’ six-chapter campaign tasks you with bringing life to one of its decayed dioramas. At first, you’re given a handful of seeds to sprinkle in particular spots to kick things off – but as your garden grows, you’ll unlock more junk to place around, creating platforms and focal points to wrap your ecosystem around. The goal in each stage is to completely flood the environment with life – but if you’d rather just potter around in your own concrete allotment, Cloud Gardens will also offer a completely freeform sandbox mode.

If you’re a regular Sunday reader, you might recognise Cloud Gardens from a screenshots post back in March. Truth be told, it’s been hard not to post about it every week a screen shows up, so stunning are its brutal, overgrown rooftops emerging from comforting evening mists of all colours. I do quite like that Cloud Garden isn’t even the only brutalist botany sim out there, with another unnamed effort popping up earlier this month courtesy of Estonian duo Elina and Johann.

Cloud Gardens is set to sprout into early access on Steam later this year.

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Natalie Clayton

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