Cloud Gardens is a fantastic game, but let’s you discover how the mechanics work all on your own. How about I explain them?
I’m Epokk and I run the Youtube channel Indie Game Guides, which purely exists to make the best guides for your favorite indie games.
Below you will find a part of my script that I used to make the guide on my channel. Of course I don’t need to explain to you how a picture is worth more than a thousand words, imagine how many words you need to explain what you see in a video.
For that reason I really suggest checking out the video. But in case you rather have the written word, you can find that below.
Imagine how Chernobyl looks right now, an abandoned concrete city that is now overtaken by plants. That’s what you are constantly recreating in cloud gardens. The game always starts you off with a blank canvas. It may traffic signs above an abandoned highway, a few poles in the middle of a field or an empty field under an underpass.
In the bottom left corner you have a neon sign that you need to completely fill. You do this by growing enough plants that cover the environment, basically it fills up as the plants overtake the canvas. In every new canvas you’ll find one of the seeds, most are plain to see, but some are quite well hidden away.
So don’t be afraid to rotate the canvas 360 degrees when you start each new level. You can basically place these seeds wherever you want, the ground, on the wall, on any object you want. But they’ll only grow when you place some manmade objects next to it. The game will give you traffic cones, chairs, signs and even cars to decorate the diorama with. When you place it down, it will emit a green glow in a circular dome. All plants in the that area will get the energy they need to grow. The bigger the object, the bigger dome it’ll create when placed down.
When the plants get big enough, they’ll start growing flowers. If you click on enough of the flowers, you can get a new seed in the bottom right corner. When the purple line fills up, you can get a new seed. When you’ve unlocked a new kind of plant, you can even click on the card behind it and choose which plant you want. Once you’ve chose the plant you want, just click on the seed to receive it. Because a plant will only get energy from an item when it get’s placed down it’s a really good idea to constantly check if there are flowers to click on.
To cover the entire diorama, you sometimes need a lot of plants that are growing all over the place. But you can’t get that when you don’t have any more items to place down. You’ll know how many more batches of items you’ll get by the amount of dots remaining in the lower middle of the screen. If the neon sign isn’t filled up by the time all your batches were used, it’s game over.
An additional tool you’ll receive over time is a sphere of water in the right bottom corner, once filled up you can use it to rain on top of plants and have them grow and sprout flowers. Giving you once again a much needed boost to reaching your objective.
By completing levels, you unlock items and plants that you freely used in the sandbox to make the dioramas you want. You can create your own levels, the plants will grow automatically to their max size and before you know it you have your only little piece of art.
If you want a keepsake of it, just press the space bar and you can easily make a screenshot or even a video of it. The game will automatically save it in your documents, so you can easily share it on your social media.