Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading. In this installment, we’re covering Cloud Gardens by developer Stage Clear Studios.
Cloud Gardens: (The Explanation)
Cloud Gardens is a simplistic puzzle game set in a post-apocalyptic world overrun with trash. The trash and debris littered around the world make for a great foundation as you try and plant flowers, vines, and other greenery. The gameplay happens on single-screen dioramas where the core idea is to rebuild the once thriving world.
Each level has a selection of seeds that can be planted which will grow plants, combining them near other objects will allow the plants to spread out and flourish. You move on from diorama to diorama by completing the growth needs within each one. The plant life gives hope to the dying world and revitalizes the various landscapes. Cloud Gardens has a unique soundtrack that cozies up against you in the game and fills your ear-holes with a great mix of urban and natural tunes.
Aside from the main campaign which sees you playing through larger and more intricate levels, Cloud Gardens also has a Creative Mode. You can share your creations online and see other creative landscapes. The game has a photo mode as well.
Personally, as I played through Cloud Gardens, I was a bit unsure of the actual gameplay and puzzle elements as I felt that I was mostly just clicking aimlessly placing the items within the level at random. That isn’t to say the game is pointless, it’s just that I didn’t connect well with the game in understanding the point of it all. I guess in many ways the gameplay loop is to be creative with how you decorate the wastelands and place the flowers and other plants around the world.
If you are looking for something that is different, Cloud Gardens is certainly that. It’s just that I am not sure what it is trying to do and if it’s doing it well. I was engrossed in the game with the time I spent so far, and want to continue with it and see what other people have made in creative mode. I am not big on sharing in-game pictures, but I do like to see what other people have created. Cloud Gardens is a unique and chill puzzle game about making the world a better place, whether or not there is a decent or good game in there is up to the player.
Cloud Gardens: (The Gameplay)
Developer: Stage Clear Studios
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Category: Simulation, Lifestyle
No. of Players: 1 player
Release Date: June 16, 2022 (EU & NA)
File Size: 632 MB