What if there was a city builder that wasn’t about expanding and industrializing land, but rather restoring nature over map tiles stripped of any properties? That is the question addressed in Terra Nil, built on a super relaxing environment that leaves anyone in a zen state, in a different approach to the city-building and puzzle genre.
Terra Nil’s goal will be to rehabilitate a planet that is effectively dead and devoid of any traces of fauna or flora. Divided into four areas with different environments, it all starts with an element that makes it possible to generate energy, the wind turbine. In this sense, this element becomes the main mean of building the sub-elements that make it possible to create an environment conducive to the growth of vegetation, with the help of a toxin purifier and subsequent irrigator. With the appearance of water and vegetation, the perfect conditions are created for the approximation of animal life. The puzzle component comes into play when placing all the mechanisms created to create life. For example, the wind turbine only works on top of stones, and the sprinkler only has X number of tiles per area, among others. The same applies when letting the area breathe freely without using machines. The final phase of each level is recycling all equipment.
Each zone corresponds to certain areas of the planet, such as a forest area, a tropical area, or an icy area. It is indeed fascinating to see the world come to life in different areas with a simple click of the mouse button. One of the tasks presented to the player along his journey is the need to create the necessary conditions for the necessary flora to grow. Controlling temperature and humidity become very important aspects. Not being a super difficult particularity, it made me repeat the tropical biome since it was necessary to reach a certain percentage of humidity so that the corals could grow.
After all the weather conditions have been met, the second phase of each zone’s journey begins, the possibility of looking for the different animals. Even if the necessary climatic conditions are met, some animals have specific needs for areas in which to proliferate.
Some aspects in Terra Nil are fully explained, but others are learned through experience using various tools. It’s not a negative element, nor is the game itself difficult, but it can leave some players a little lost not knowing their next move. It is always possible to return to the starting point and if you spend all the resources needed to build each piece of equipment without reaching the next objective, that will really be the only possible choice.
Terra Nil is a super relaxing but short experience. It does have some replayability, with the implementation of different difficulty levels, but just four different zones seem pretty short. However, it is a fully recommended title for fans of city-builder games.