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Club Nintendo Members Receive 3 New Games

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Cloud Gardens Early Access Preview

Posted by GG Goblin On September - 23 - 2020

Giving nature a hand.

 
There have been quite a few interesting things that have come out of lock down, including people finding new hobbies and things to do. Gardening has been high up on that list, as spending time relaxing in the garden and creating a more appealing space has had obvious benefits as people have been unable to leave their homes. For gamers, there are a fair few options when it comes to virtual gardening, most of which involve tending a farm and growing crops for cash. However, they don’t really cover the relaxing side of the hobby. This is where Cloud Gardens, from Noio, comes in.

 

 
Recently launched onto Steam Early Access, Cloud Gardens is a puzzle game of sorts in which the player guides nature as it reclaims more urban dioramas. However, calling it a puzzle game suggests brain work, which can be far from relaxing. This is a much more laid back, zen-like experience.

 
There are two modes available in Cloud Gardens at this time. Dropping into the campaign to start with is probably a good idea to learn the ropes, not that any instruction is really given. The game really only needs a splash page to explain what to do and how it ties together, so hopefully this will come before the game leaves Early Access. Right now, it can take a little while to work out what’s happening. Let’s see if I can lay it out…

 
The player is presented with a small diorama, perhaps a derelict car or a crumbling structure of some sort. They are then given a seed pod that they can launch at the scene, and plant life will start to grow. This only goes so far though, and so the player will then have to place items in the scene, each of which bring energy to encourage growth. These can be anything from bottles or rocks, to old signs or traffic cones. Placing these encourages more growth which will hopefully lead to the plant life creating flowers, which can then be harvested for more seed pods. The goal of each diorama in the campaign is to completely cover it with plant life in a natural way, but the player can skip onto the next scene whenever they wish if this is proving too difficult.

 


 
As the player progresses through the campaign, they will unlock all manner of bits and pieces for the sandbox mode. This mode takes away the objectives and leaves the player to build up and infinitely play with their own diorama, which they can decorate as they see fit. With different types of plant becoming available as the player progresses in the campaign, each of which look and grow differently, players will quickly be able to create beautiful set pieces.

 
The sandbox mode offers a truly zen experience as the player tends to their cloud garden and helps nature reclaim the urban decay. The campaign does have objectives, but still offers a very relaxing experience with no time constraints and the chance to continue tending even after the objective is reached. The chill soundtrack will also help players to achieve that sense of relaxation. The visuals in the game are dated and wouldn’t look out of place in one of the older isometric post-apocalyptic games, but this actually works in the games favour,looking quite magical as the diorama floats in the mist.

 
Cloud Gardens seems quite complete to me and I am not sure what else the developers will be able to add during the games time in Early Access. I would suggest some kind of guidance explaining the mechanics for new players, but otherwise Cloud Gardens appears to be ready to go.

 


 
The developers have suggested that Cloud Gardens will be in Early Access on Steam for about three months, but I would say that anyone who is interested in a calming puzzle experience should take a look at the game right now. While unlocking objects through the campaign mode is a necessity, those with a creative streak will also get a kick out of the sandbox mode in Cloud Gardens, creating magnificent dioramas in which nature is reclaiming the urban mess. Incredibly immersive for such a simple concept, Cloud Gardens is already impressive. Find Cloud Gardens on Steam Early Access now.

 

Comments are closed.



 
Coming later this year to Xbox One, PS4, PC and Switch.

 

King Of Seas Switch Trailer

Posted by GG Goblin
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