Build and tear down strategy game Dead brings the wasteland to life


At the end of classic development strategy games, there is usually an impressive city, a complex industry and a completely finished map. In Terra Nile, however, there is not a single building at the end of a successful game – only newly constructed, untouched nature. Computerbase was able to reveal the title.

Construction and dismantling transform the desert into a living world

In the beginning was a dead desert. Barren, toxic and dusty no man’s land with dry riverbeds and scattered rocks. And on one of these rocks the player starts building a windmill. The electrical energy thus obtained can be used to purify the ground in another building, another to sow grass. The water, flowers and forests of the newly created biotope go through several stages, until the first animals return and the climate is restored. Then you now have to recycle useless buildings, collect materials and disappear from the airship. Ultimately, what remains is an ancient living biosphere.

The game turned out to be an interesting puzzle

During Gamescom, the publishers had the opportunity to try out the concept of the game for half an hour. In the available mission, 1,000 units of biomass were initially available. Constructing buildings consumes biomass, and growing crops replenishes the player’s account. Terra Nil quickly became an interesting and sometimes difficult puzzle involving wind turbines, detox machines, seed throwers, water pumps, drills and other buildings in a targeted manner, taking into account distance, difference in height and effective radius Must go as well as other dependencies. The first attempt failed because the available biomass was exhausted before even a fraction of the procedurally generated map had been reconstructed. In the second attempt, however, Greenery succeeded – thanks to the experience gained and the planned process.

However, it is important not only to constantly watch the available biomass and calculate the expected profit from the game during construction, but also to look to the future: once a sufficient part of the map divided into squares has become green, turning out of the biotopes to do. In the case of a temperate climatic zone, it is a flower meadow, a marshy landscape and a forest. The first is through the use of bee colonies. The soil is not yet fertile enough for trees, so first increase the temperature and burn a flower meadow to get fertile ash soil. However, if the player is not careful, a large area can ignite uncontrollably, thwarting restoration efforts.

After the creation of the biosphere, recycling is next

The crux of it all: Buildings cannot be broken down initially. There is an undo function, but it only allows you to go back one step. So, it’s entirely possible that if players act carelessly and randomly, they’ll have to navigate dead ends and start all over again. Since a round only lasts about 15-30 minutes, at least little progress is lost.

But if the buildings can’t be demolished, how is it possible that in the end not a single one will be left standing? Well, provided the biotopes have been created, the humidity has increased, and the temperature has been brought down to a usable level for life, Terra Nile heralds a turning point in gameplay. The player must build an airship to leave the area with all the man-made constructions. For this purpose, all buildings must be recycled and collected by a drone on the waterway. While not all buildings are accessible via rivers, streams and lakes, improvements still need to be made in this final phase.

However, once the newly created nature is stripped of all traces of human intervention, Terra Nil offers a carefree vision of the fruits of Riddle’s labor: waterfalls splash, bees fly from flower to flower, frogs leap in the swamps, deer graze forest clearings and birdwatching areas. Screenshots show additional biomes at other latitudes, including tundra landscapes with snow or tropical rainforests with beaches and coral reefs.

A new concept has potential

Although Terra Nil surprised the publishers, who were previously unfamiliar with the game, with a startling and potentially hugely scalable claim, it still had a slowing effect: you could think as long as you wanted between each step. and plan, the emerging biosphere invites you to observe and when the arid desert slowly gives way to a living landscape, there is a satisfying feeling of creating something – even if all the buildings disappear again. Must be

However, it is debatable to what extent the title can serve as long-term inspiration. The different maps and biomes provide diversity, but Terra Nile does not offer a conceptually high level of game depth. Dividing into levels with limited space also prevents players from tinkering with the map for long periods of time and designing their own landscape as an endless game – once one game is over, the next wasteland awaits. East. Nevertheless, the title promises to be a relaxing and, above all, refreshing and different strategy and puzzle game.

A release date is still pending

However, publisher Devolver Digital has yet to provide any release date information for Terra Nile. Developer Free Lives, formerly responsible for, among other things, ‘n’ run Broforce, currently offers a free demo version of only around 350MB with limited content on Steam. The game should also appear on GOG.

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