Terra Nil was one of the big announcements from this year’s Wholesome Games Direct event. It’s a game originally developed by Sam Alfred, Jonathan Hau-Yoon, and Jarred Lunt and later released on Itch.io. Since then, the developers have teamed up with Free Lives and Devolver Digital to expand upon their creation with more levels and better graphics. First announced on June 7, 2021, the project is slated for a 2022 release date. We got a better look at Terra Nil thanks to a gameplay trailer and demo, available now on Steam.
The game takes inspiration from the climate crisis we’re currently living in. Instead of the usual strategy game where your goal is to collect resources and more or less destroy the environment, the goal in Terra Nil is to restore nature. Your objective is to turn a wasteland into a lively paradise.
Players drop into a procedurally generated plot of barren land. The rivers are dry, and the trees are rotting. You’ll see some rocks where you’ll place your first wind-powered turbine. These will power your Toxin Scrubbers, Irrigators, Water Pumps, and Excavators. All of these helpful technologies are designed to bring life to the area. Collect points by transforming the cold dead land into a field of green with flowing rivers, and try to liven up your territory by expanding efficiently.
It’s relaxing but takes the critical thinking you’d expect from a strategy game. Your points limit your moves and what you can build, but there’s an undo button if you mess up. Naturally, it pays to be as efficient as possible in Terra Nil, and figuring out how to cover the most territory possible can be mind-boggling. That said, it’s still a relaxing and unique experience, and the demo is a lot of fun.
Begin with the water system, slowly purify the soil, and cultivate pioneer greenery. Embark on more ambitious tasks, restore biodiversity, fix the climate, introduce wildlife, and finally recycle all the structures you used to get there, leaving the environment pristine.
If this sounds good to you, there’s a Terra Nil demo available on Steam for you to check out yourself.
Terra Nil is scheduled for a 2022 release date and is subject to change.
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