It’s safe to say that I have a new addiction. Released on Steam on September 1, 2021, Cloud Gardens by Noio Games has players plant seeds to build lush, overgrown gardens out of decayed, post-apocalyptic urban landscapes. By adding rotted and rusted out objects to the scene, plants are encouraged to grow larger. Flowers and seedpods are harvested as gardens grow in order to acquire more seeds to plant ever more greenery.
Cloud Gardens gives players both a sandbox toy and a game with challenges that encourage creative problem solving. It’s a brilliant blend of gardening simulator, dystopian landscape builder, and mellow point-and-click puzzle game that somehow, perhaps magically, never gets frustrating.
Sandbox mode allows players to Zen out and engage in purposeless world building. On the other hand you can play campaigns that are at least solarpunk at heart, with numerous chapters where the key to creative solutions lies in finding the right balance between nature and manufactured technology.
At $17.99 usd, the game is reasonably priced and is well worth it for the hours and hours of relaxed entertainment it provides. I highly suggest you check it out. Grab your laptop, kick back on the couch, put on some chill, ambient electronic music, and get lost in this new rewilding world building game.
Justine Norton-Kertson (they/he/she) is the co-editor-in-chief of Solarpunk Magazine. They live in rural Oregon with his partner, puppies, cats, goats, and beehives. She can be found on Twitter @jankwrites.