Terra Nil is a beautiful and tranquil building simulation game that subverts the genre by tasking you with converting a barren wasteland into a flourishing ecosystem, then leaving it without a trace of your technology there.
Currently in development by Free Lives (creators of Broforce, Genital Jousting and Anger Foot), Terra Nil is a reverse city builder where your aim is to create ecological paradises that look untouched by technology. We previously featured an earlier build of Terra Nil on Alpha Beta Gamer a year ago (and it was excellent), but the beautiful pixel art visuals have had a significant upgrade and the gameplay has been expanded on in the latest build.
In the game you are presented with a barren procedurally generated wasteland and you place special buildings to help rejuvenate it. This includes purifying the soil, water irrigation and cultivating greenery. Then to reach the optimal levels of biodiversity you also need to create wetlands, meadows and forests. These require specialises technology and forests are particularly interesting as you’ll need to create bush-fires to create the required ash for them to grow.
Creating a flourishing ecosystem is only half of the challenge in Terra Nil though – you also need to pack up all your technology, build a rocket and blast off into space. This can actually be more of a puzzle than creating the ecosystem, as you need to create waterways for your tech harvesting drone to travel along – which can have adverse effects on your ecosystem.
It’s a wonderful game with a great premise, easily accessible gameplay and a tranquil atmosphere. There’s a real satisfaction to be had from watching life burst out of a once barren landscape and the attention to detail in the pixel art animation is incredible. Highly recommended.