Ever wanted to reclaim a dystopian, abandoned landscape through the power of plants? Cloud Gardens by Noio Games does just that.
In each scene you need to plant seeds to cover the junk and detritus society has left behind, but it’s that rubbish that makes the flowers bloom. A bit of strategy is needed to know where best to place your different types of vegetation, and when to put down your cinder blocks, bottles, road signs or broken chairs to promote growth. Combine the man-made and the natural to complete each scene, unlock more varieties of plant, and create unique dioramas.
There is a challenge to each stage, and it’s possible to fail, but there is no time limit and not really any frustration either. A very relaxed low-fi soundtrack contributes to a game without stress, and the 3D scenes add just the right amount of visual interest. There is satisfaction in covering a highway with grass and cactus, or a radio tower with creepers, and for those times when I need something to do with my hands while listening to a podcast, it requires just the right amount of attention.
Currently available on Steam and on the Microsoft store, I don’t know that I would have bought it’s current price (I bought it as part of a bundle), but there are definitely many hours of content with a hundred levels. With almost endless replayability this is one I will keep going back to.