Cloud Gardens – Review
Follow Genre: Meditative, Puzzle
Developer: Noio
Publisher: Noio, Coatsink
Platform: PC, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Cloud Gardens – Review

Site Score
Good: Concept, Relaxing, Fun for everyone
Bad: No touchscreen controls
User Score
(0 votes)
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It’s sometimes hard to find original concepts in the gaming industry, as many games often base themselves on other popular releases with a few original touches thrown in the mix. The puzzle genre is no exception to this, as many games in the genre feel very similar to others. This can be a good thing if you’re looking for something that resembles your favorite games, but even so, it’s always nice when a developer tries something completely new. This brings us to the Switch port of Cloud Gardens, a game that was released in 2021 for PC. In this title, you’ll have to create your own sceneries in a world that is seemingly deserted. Watch as the plant life takes over what used to be the human civilization. We were absolutely enamored by this meditative puzzle game.


Cloud Gardens contains no story whatsoever. It is up to you to imagine what happened to the world, as you’ll go from one desolate scene to another. Even without a story, however, we found the atmosphere spot-on and we were actually very much looking forward to seeing what the different stages had in store for us.


The game uses a pixelated low poly style for most of its assets. The sceneries are slightly reminiscent of an old-school PS1 or N64 release, albeit with more details. The retro vibes do not take away from the beautiful sceneries you are able to create. Cloud Gardens has a fair few different biomes in which you can create your own compositions. There is also ample variety in terms of different plants as well as the clutter you can fill the stage with. We often found ourselves just looking at our creations from every possible angle.


Cloud Garden’s soundtrack is very chill and relaxing. You’ll get treated to calm background music that goes hand in hand with the abandoned dioramas you’ll try to revitalize. As a whole, the soundtrack is even quite relaxing to listen to when you’re not even playing the game. We suggest checking out the soundtrack on YouTube to already give you a small idea of what the expect from the game. Other than that, the game has pleasant sound effects. To hear your plants growing is also quite relaxing, and it is also a good indication that you’re making progress.


It’s hard to fully place Cloud Gardens in a specific genre. The game is pretty much a meditative puzzle game in which you create fun artsy compositions in small desolate landscapes. The goal of the game is to reach 100% plant coverage (this does not mean everything has to be covered) in each of the stages. You’ll have to do so by placing different plant seeds, and these will start to grow when you place items within their range. Upon reaching a certain size, the plant(s) will grow new seeds that you can harvest in order to plant more plants. This in turn will allow you to cover more of the stage. The game basically allows you to create your own compositions, which you can then also take screenshots of with different types of filters.

We have no clue as to why the developers would not implement proper touchscreen controls for this Switch port of Cloud Gardens. The game would be perfect to play in handheld mode with touchscreen controls, but instead, you’ll find yourself struggling with the sticks and triggers, while having to deal with horrible camera controls. The game, sadly, does not even have free camera controls, and thus you can only rotate and zoom in and out. More often than not, you’ll misplace the objects you want to put in a specific spot, to then cause a collision with one of your plants and destroy it. While the seed of the destroyed plant will never be lost, you’ll lose precious progress, or perhaps destroy a beautiful composition you had created. As a whole, the awful controls are what hold the game back from getting a perfect score.


Cloud Gardens is an absolute zen-like delight that is only being held back by its clumsy and inaccurate controls. We found ourselves quite enthralled by the game’s setting and the compositions that we were trying to make. The concept of making dystopian art-like composition works, and the gameplay remains entertaining throughout the course of the game’s many levels. For its current price tag, you can’t really go wrong, but if you have no intention of playing this one in handheld mode, we suggest picking up the PC version instead.

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Aspiring ninja.

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