CW: climate crisis 

Many game designers (myself included) have fallen down the rabbit hole of ecology then dreamed of huge tycoon games addressing these themes, not only for educational purposes, but also to create positive imaginaries. The problem is, these games are very hard to make: ecosystem data are massive, and we are more used to designing "expand and exploit" mechanics than "limit yourself".

All day, I’ll answer this toot with recommendations of games that achieved to do it despite that.

CW: climate crisis 

1st recommendation: Democratic Socialism Simulator by Paolo Perdicini.

A naive way to talk about ecology would be to code an engine simulating every parameter. But DSS does the opposite, adopting the Reigns formula (with a few extra subsystems). Because it’s a narrative game, feedbacks are gauges and storylets that tell you what’s going on, which makes the game very accessible. It’s fun and optimistic (maybe too much, especially with climate warming).

CW: climate crisis 

2nd recommendation: The Climat Game, by Financial Times.

What is it, an interactive fiction? A quizz? A disguised paper arguing for green capitalism and technocentrism? I don’t know, but it’s beautiful, well made, and probably the most accessible game of my thread.

Web browser and free:

CW: climate crisis 

3rd recommendation: Terra Nil, by Free Lives.

Terra Nil isn’t out, and yet has already released a prototype (which I played), and a commercial demo (which I haven’t tried yet). The game defines itself as a reverse city builder, and I’ll add that it has strong solar punk vibes, for better or for worse. Not really scientific, but definitely fun.

Recommended by @marty_TrollPurse.


CW: climate crisis 

4th (and last for today) recommendation: Half Earth Socialism, by… a bunch of people 😀

This is it. The environmentalist game designer’s fantasy. The massive Excel sheet turned into a world simulation. It’s rough and harsh. Sometimes, you won’t even know if you’re facing a bug or a feature. But I’m completely obsessed with this game despite its ability to trigger my ecoanxiety. Will you save the world?

Web browser, free:

(feel free to send me your recommendations, I’ll add them to this thread! ✌️ )

climate crisis 

Following a suggestion by @nartagnan: what hashtag would you use to gather all the games revolving around the environment and climate?


I really liked playing Terra Nil.

Thanks @Yakkafo for this thread.
Could you use a #ecologames hastag so it easier for some of us to follow every day ?

CW: climate crisis 

@Yakkafo terra nil focuses on rebuilding an ecosystem. They have a good talk about it on the Devolver Digital Forkcast as well (podcast but I don’t remember the episode number).

@marty_TrollPurse Thank you for the recommendation, I remember to have really enjoyed their first demo. I will add it to my thread 👍

CW: climate crisis 

@Yakkafo This is very fascinating, thanks for sharing! Also thank you for the climate crisis cw. people don't seem to have a cw for that usually

CW: climate crisis 

@ouchyzapgun I'm really into these topics but, when I'm just scrolling down, my ecoanxiety sometimes gets suddenly triggered by new data or bad news... I believe I'm not the only one in this position ^^

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