Terra Nil is a reverse city-builder where you work to rejuvenate natural ecosystems by planting greenery, purifying water supplies, and reintroducing wildlife – rather than building an industrial empire. Terra Nil has released a few demos over the last year, taking Steam by storm and impressing players with its ecological twist on the genre. All those demogoers should be pleased to hear that Terra Nil is finally launching onto PC and mobile (through Netflix) on March 28th.
We can see a condensed version of environmental restoration in Terra Nil’s newest trailer. Within a minute, the trailer shows off the eco-technology we’ll be using, the process of packing up our toys, and the serene, natural world we’ll leave behind. We get brief glimpses at plenty of biomes whether that’s pools of lava, glacial sheets of ice, or a more tropical kind of greenery complete with sandy shores. Terra Nil will have four different regions full of procedurally generated levels and some challenging alternate stages available to unlock after the main game.
The game looks like a great meditative experience, and if my time with Cloud Gardens is any indication, mending nature can be very satisfying. Plant parents can testify to the soothing feeling of watching a plant slowly grow, sprouting leaves and contorting in odd ways – the feeling’s even better in game form, where a bundle of flora springs to life in a second.
CJ tried Terra Nil’s demo last summer, and in the midst of a global heatwave, he found it to be a relief. He called Terra Nil “a calming diversion, a way of pretending that we have the power to take charge of our environment for a little while.”
Developer Free Lives aren’t content with just simulating environmental change, as a portion of the profits from Steam will be donated to the Endangered Wildlife Trust, a charity that works to preserve threatened species and habitats. Terra Nil’s lead designer Sam Alfred says, “From the very beginning of development we’ve wanted Terra Nil to be able to have a real-world impact,” leading to their partnership with the charity.
You can begin your wasteland reclamation when Terra Nil launches on Steam and GOG on March 28th for £21/$25/€25. Pre-ordering the game will grant you the Deluxe Edition – which includes a digital soundtrack and art book – at no additional cost. There’s also a free Steam demo available now.