There's something slightly spooky but alluring about the remains of urban civilisation rusting away in the apocalypse covered with ivy and grasses and bright flowers. Cloud Gardens puts you in nature's boots, directing the growth of all these lovely plant life forms in little dioramas that serve as your canvas. I could almost get caught up just looking at screenshots, but if you're in the mood to give it a go, it launches in early access today.
Every so often I'm hit with an urge to find a nice game about tending to plants and somehow I've just never clicked with any of the nice idle games out there. Cloud Gardens seems to be a more active option for folks like me. You're able to play in a sandbox mode, creating freely, or take on a campaign with six chapters of goals.
"By planting the right seeds in the right places, and learning how to make them thrive, [players are] able to create small overgrown dioramas of brutalism and beauty," the developers at Noio say.
The goal of the campaign is to strike a balance between manufactured objects and vegetation. "As you overgrow the objects, a meter fills to show your progress," Noio say. "You are given objects to expand the scene. These objects contribute energy to the growing of plants, but you will also have to cover them in foliage to complete the stage."
Noio say they expect to remain in early access around three months, refining parts of the game that players most enjoy—whether that be the sandbox or campaign. They also plan to release more campaign chapters in the full version. The early access build has about half of what's planned, they say.
You can find Cloud Gardens in early access on Steam where it's currently 40% off for £3.47/€3.95/$4.79. It's on both Windows and Mac.