Imagine Earth Review (PS5) | Push Square


Have you ever dared to dream of a better world? Imagine Earth makes one possible, but the road to paradise is far from straight. This planetary city builder offers a charming aesthetic with deceptively difficult gameplay that’s sure to delight players who want a less cosy experience.

Marrying its environmentalist themes with the struggles of growing interstellar colonies is a strength of Imagine Earth. You need to grow your population to earn money and technology, but that increases the demand for resources and leads to pollution and climate change. It’s a satisfying gameplay loop that means you can never truly sit back and relax during the campaign missions, which are all varied in setting and purpose.

The game can be overwhelming at times. Missions will frequently throw several new mechanics at you without giving you much time to learn their ins and outs before moving right on to the next one. Frustratingly, dialogue can also start when you’re in a build or trade menu, meaning you don’t get a rest unless you fully pause.

These issues are further amplified by a series of minor bugs, such as UI elements appearing outside the edge of the screen, the game’s phenomenal music randomly stopping, and one complete game crash. The dialogue is also fairly forgettable and the 2D character models veer into the uncanny due to their poor lip-syncing.

Despite these irritations, the core of the game remains satisfying and feature dense. There’s a large tech tree, friendly aliens to trade with, nasty ones to fight, and a government system that hammers home the sustainability message at the heart of the experience.

The tiny planets you’ll be building on are all adorable in their design. Vibrant and varied, figuring out the best layout for your cities, and resource gathering is a rewarding challenge. Keep residential districts together and factories away and you’ll have a happy population.

Imagine Earth is good, but it never becomes great. Still, the varied missions, challenging and deep mechanics, and gorgeous visuals make it a worthwhile city builder for fans of the genre.

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