I played Cloudpunk quite a bit. I own a copy on PS4 and Nintendo Switch, and I just bought a third copy to play on my Steam Deck. And in as much as I enjoyed the story of Rania, a courier caught up in terrorist activities and sociopolitical intrigue, it was really the backdrop of that game, the city of Nivalis, that was the true star. Even though Cloudpunk had a rigid, minimalist voxel art style, Nivalis still had intrigue and glamor to spare.

So with the recent reveal of developer Ion Lands’ follow-up to Cloudpunk, simply titled Nivalis, I am curious to see how they expand on this new iteration of their expertly crafted cyberpunk metropolis. Nivalis will set itself apart from Cloudpunk by removing the player from the highways and byways of hovercraft fast lanes, and instead planting you in the city, letting you establish a business, which you can then grow from the ground up.

The visuals look a lot more polished, as opposed to the rigid, blocky aesthetic of Cloudpunk. That isn’t to say you should expect Night City levels of fidelity here; the environments are still using a voxel-art style, after all, just one with much more detail. Compared to Cloudpunk, though, Nivalis looks like it is making huge strides in the character and asset model department. Gone are the sharp angles and blocky outlines; the new character models are now smooth and more akin to Sims instead of big boxy-headed walking aberrations.


And although there looks to be leisure and side activities, with plenty of things to see and do while wandering Nivalis, the emphasis here seems to be mainly on starting a café or food stand and growing that business into grander and loftier goals and locations. You can even grow the food you will use in your cuisine on your way to becoming a Nivalis business magnate.

I must admit, this isn’t quite the avenue I was expecting — or perhaps even hoping — when I had originally heard the Ion Lands was going to further expand on the world of Cloudpunk. But this is interesting nonetheless, and any chance to spend more time in Nivalis is welcome in my book.

There is no release date yet for Nivalis, but you can check out the new dev-focused Tokyo Gameshow featurette below, and also head over to Steam to add it to your wishlist.

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