Regrow the world in Terra Nil, a reverse city builder from Free Lives

The most pleasant post-apocalypse you could imagine.

Free Live’s latest title, Terra Til, is a far cry from the audacious 2D action shooter known as Broforce that helped the studio make its name. Instead of blowing up absolutely everything, Terra Nil is about reconstructing ecosystems and rejuvenating the planet.

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The environment and climate change are hot topics right now. So, Free Lives and publisher Devolver Digital are tapping into a necessary conversation in a way that’s easily digestible for gamers (and everyone really).


The hand-painted art style is charming, and the music showcased in the trailer has a tranquil quality to it. I feel at peace just watching vegetation thriving and the animals returning. If the gameplay is as soothing as the trailer, Terra Nil is going to be quite the oasis among the chaos of many games.

Restore the planet to its former glory

Terra Nil is open-ended, and you need to progress through multiple phases of restoration. Starting with the water system, you need to purify the soil to make it fertile for plants to grow. Then you need to cultivate biodiversity, fix the climate (not as difficult without humans around), and reintroduce wildlife.

As you progress, you’ll traverse the planet and repeat the restoration process in different geographical locations. Each one presents unique challenges to the player, as well as different types of fauna, flora, and weather patterns. The maps are procedurally generated in layout and palette. Even within one region, no two playthroughs will ever be the same.

Terra Nil has no release date yet, but you can already add it to your Steam wishlist. However, there will be a playable demo available on June 16. The demo is one of the hundreds coming out as part of the Steam Next Fest. If you can’t wait for that, you can play the original, pixel art version of Terra Nil right now. It’s available for download from

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Logan Broadley
Logan is an enthusiastic player of games (sometimes too enthusiastic according to his wife at 2 AM), and a video game reviewer, esports writer and gaming news writer. Originally from South Africa, he started out as a writer in advertising agencies, but has since moved on to a much higher calling: video games.