Cloud Gardens (Review)
Where To Get It: Steam
Ha. The most chill post apocalyptic game has released, and I have… Mixed feelings. Not about the game, but more… Well, it suddenly feels a bit raw, a game about nature claiming our buildings, the last evidence humans were there, growing over eerily familiar environments with the power of the stuff that was put down there, making them unrecognisable…
The game, I only really have a few minor problems with. Mostly to do with tooltipping. I’m sorry, what did this moss ball do again? Why would I bother with grass? I’d like not to have a restart finding out. We’ll get to the other two bitches in time.
In any case, the game is a very simple one. In the middle of nowhere, there is an isolated segment of civilisation, be it a dump, an apartment, a toll gate, or a highway. You’re given at least one seed to start off your quest, each with their own growth patterns. For example, got a big gap between the thing and the ground? The first seed you’re ever given does that well. But it doesn’t do well with flat surfaces, that’s what vines are for (and, to a lesser extent, moss.)
Once you’ve done that, you’re given items of civilisation. They’ve got a radius, and within that radius, things will grow around where you placed that item. And your seeds will grow, and sprout seeds of their own, which you use to cover more, place more items, so on so forth, until a certain percentage of growth is completed. And heck, if you have items left, and seed power left (what, you thought they’d be mean enough to stick you to just one seed type in a mission beyond the tutorials?), then you can add more before going to the next level, just to make it a little more aesthetic. I often do.
Entirely mouse driven, the loop is simple, the UX is minimalist, yet stylish, and the low poly landscapes, isolated in cloud (geddit, you’re making- Oh, never mind) appeal to me greatly. Less appealing is how it’s sometimes hard to see planters (look for green corners on objects. Not sure if there’s a colourblindness issue there, best to check with a screenshot), and how certain objects, like bicycles, are both inherently unstable and useful. Nothing quite frustrates like placing a bike in the middle of some lush foliage to get easy seeds, only for it to fall over the exact plants you wanted to harvest, lowering your percentage and fucking you out of the seeds.
But, overall, it’s a good, chill game. Goodness me, the post-apocalypse is a relaxing place without…
Ah. Yeah. Anyway, give it a go if you like puzzle games.
The Mad Welshman loves nature. No, really, he does! It’s full of things that are both crunchy and juicy when put over a flame of some kind!