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Chill eco-strategy game Terra Nil comes to Steam and Netflix next month

Reclaim nature square by square in this ‘reverse city-builder’

Oli Welsh is senior editor, U.K., providing news, analysis, and criticism of film, TV, and games. He has been covering the business & culture of video games for two decades.

Terra Nil, an ecological spin on a city-building game that has you reclaiming nature and building ecosystems using wind power, irrigation, and the like, has a release date. Publisher Devolver Digital announced that the game will launch on Steam for Windows on March 28, as well as being added to the increasingly impressive catalog of mobile games included in a Netflix subscription.

Developer Free Lives — the South African outfit behind the tonally very different Broforce, a tribute to 1980s action heroes — also announced that it would be donating a portion of all of its profits from Steam sales of Terra Nil to the Endangered Wildlife Trust.

A new trailer shows off the game’s verdant isometric art, chill soundscapes, and peaceful vibe. According to the press release, it will take six to eight hours to see Terra Nil’s four regional biomes, which include ruined cities, tropical islands, and volcanic glaciers. But they’re all procedurally generated and replayable, and there are unlockable alternate levels to boot.

After sampling a demo of the game for Polygon back in 2021, Charlie Hall wrote, “There was a delightful tension to using the least amount of resources possible to have the greatest impact on the land. But it was a thoughtful, distant kind of tension, mind you, the same sort of tension felt when planning the layout of a vegetable garden or picking which wall to make an accent color in the living room. And that tension was at all times mitigated by the game’s delightful, Ghibli-inspired landscapes and animations. As the land came back to life, flocks of geese crowded the sky, while frogs and herbivores caroused in the forests.”

Sounds delightful indeed. As someone whose favorite game of last year was the similarly mindful Dorfromantik, sign me up.

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