Terra nil demo preview

Terra Nil Demo Preview

Terra Nil Demo Preview


Terra Nil is an upcoming open-ended strategy game from the developers at Free Lives and is yet another notch on game publishers Devolver Digital’s extremely large belt.

The game itself is like SimCity in reverse. The world map is a post-apocalyptic wasteland with nothing but rock and dust as far as the eye can see. It’s your job, not to create a metropolis, but to rejuvenate the flora and fauna. You achieve this in several stages including, cultivating biodiversity, fixing the climate, and even recycling the buildings you created in the process.


The task sounds simple: Create life where there is none. And to be honest, at first play the game also feels very simple. First, you create power, scrub some toxins from the air, irrigate and voilà, greenery! However, like most things in life and gaming nothing is ever that simple…

Traverse the planet, restoring different geographical regions, each with their own unique challenges, flora and fauna

Devolver Digital

As the game progresses into biodiversity and climate control, things become more and more challenging. Resource management is critical, as is optimizing the space on your map. With each move, you attempt to fill every inch, careful to ensure you are creating the right environmental balance.

Map management plays a huge part in the game. Each item you place on the map affects a different number of tiles. For example, once a set of tiles has been designated for greenery by irrigating it, it is locked that way. Items can not be deleted, moved, or removed which means every single tile space you waste will likely come back to haunt you later.

Graphics / Style

Graphically, the game isn’t aiming for realism. Instead, it falls somewhere between cartoon/comic graphics and watercolour. Items you place on the map have a strong black outline making them pop out from the natural colour palette of their surroundings.

The clean and minimal interface keeps the focus squarely on the evolving map and thank goodness because it’s a real joy to watch your world unfold turning from a lifeless rock to a flourishing paradise.


Terra Nil is an absolute delight to play. From the peaceful soundtrack to the way the map tiles flip and unfold to reveal colour and life after each successful move. The game is legitimately relaxing yet still manages to challenge the player enough to keep it engaging.


There is no set release date at this stage but a Terra Nil demo is available now as part of Steam Next Fest.

To see more projects from Devolver Digital or Free Lives click the links to check out our previous coverage.

Joel Nitschke

Written by Joel Nitschke

I went to the store to get more fire, to start the war.