Revive a planet with Terranova: a new environmental space game

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Here at Games.com - The Blog! we are always scouring through Facebook looking for what could be the next great undiscovered game. Today, we unearthed a true gem in Terranova, an environmentally friendly space game where you can save your planet from biohazardous threats. This game is developed by Atakama Labs and is being promoted by Playdom (who are also hosting the game's official forums). Launched just two days ago, this game is one to keep an eye on.

In Terranova, you play a little astronaut who has been charged with reviving and tending to a hazardous planet. Your goal is to clean up and remove waste, plant new life, explore undiscovered lands, and make the planet a better place. Right away, you'll notice that the game looks beautiful. The art is a fun vector style with a very stylized environment, and the avatars are highly customizable and adorable. The game walks you through a precise tutorial that shows you the basics of zapping harmful hazards, planting, watering, and growing flowers and vegetation, and cleaning up and recycling garbage. This isn't a simple farming game by any means.

For those who have played FrontierVille, you'll notice some similarities. Mostly around the questing system. Terranova keeps players entertained with a seemingly endless list of things to do. From planting flowers with pollen, then placing a beehive near them in order to attract honey, to finding boards in order to rebuild bridges - there is plenty to do in this game. Instead of giving you one simple map like farming games do, there is tons of exploration that can be done through clicking on portals on the ground or using the interactive minimap to travel from place to place. Not all areas are unlocked from the start however, you need to unlock them by buying tools or tasking part in tasks in order to gain access to new places.
Terranova uses the familiar energy mechanic that FrontierVille, Treasure Isle, and other games are using nowadays. A major difference is that as a player, you can regenerate your own energy using machines that will replenish all of your energy periodically. There are other machines too that will gain you benefits, such as Water Pods that allow you to collect more water in order to keep your plants growing, or filters for rivers that have become polluted. Advanced players will run into Genelabs that allow you to discover rare plants.

A strength of Terranova is the decorating aspect of the game. With so many areas to explore and the ability to freeform decorate, players can really make their planet their own. There is a huge opportunity for true creativity here in this game. When you visit a neighbor's planet, you can navigate through all of the areas that they have customized. There is an endless amount of creativity and things to do in this game.

If we had to find a fault, it might be that there is TOO much to do. An easily evident gameloop isn't immediately apparent to the player, much the same as FrontierVille and Playdom's new game Fanglies. It's very cute, much more complex than most social games, a new theme that hasn't been done well yet, and has a ton of potential - but it might not grow as fast as the simpler games. The micromanagement aspects actually remind us a bit of MyTribe, which had an environmental feel to it as well.

So far, we're loving the game. There are only 8,000 players enjoying it so far, and it appears to be plagued by some resetting glitches - but it's definitely a top contender out of the new and up-and-comings.

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