Imagine Earth is a real-time world simulation. Your job as a colony manager is to explore and populate distant planets. Build up thriving and profitable colonies on a global scale without destroying your homeworld.
User reviews:
Very Positive (124 reviews) - 83% of the 124 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 20, 2014

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“As a small indie studio we need all the feedback we can get. Adding new features and balancing the game dynamics is a quite complex task within the global simulation of each planet. Additionally the income of early access helps us to stay independent. We want to take the time to evolve this game into a little sensation. Something that has never been played this way before. The first planet colonization and climate survival thriller game.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We plan to release Imagine Earth in late 2016.

There is a new alpha release every 3 to 4 weeks.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“Currently there are three big things left to do:
1. Add more interaction with other (AI) companies and their cities: Trading, taking over, sabotage, ...
2. Make the general gameplay more diverse.
3. Iterate until the whole thing is perfect ;-)”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Please read the feature list in the game's about section.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“No, the release price will be the same.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We need your thoughts, ideas and direct feedback on what you experience during gameplay. To keep you updated about the actual development process we are writing a friday report every week and there's a major update release once a month. The complex interconnections between the buildings are a hell of a balancing job on which your opinion is highly appreciated. Name the features you would be most excited about and let's make this thing a unique experience together.”
Read more

Buy Imagine Earth


Recent updates View all (61)

August 11

Alpha 25 "Colony Score"

After the last release focused on the trading system, this one brings:

  • Terrain tools - temperature, fertility and height
  • Cragginess of terrain
  • Research budget for expansions
  • New UI for technology licenses
  • New rare resource: Corals
  • AI improvements
  • Colony value
  • High score revolution
  • More (see end of post)
The one big thing of this release is the new stats and highscore system that calculates the colony value based on your population, city area, buildings and more.

Terrain tools - temperature, fertility and height

With the tools shown in the image above you can apply regional modifications to the height, temperature, fertility and pollution of every field.

Cragginess of terrain
High terrain and areas around mountains are more craggy and less fertile. In addition we changed terrain texturing. Areas around fertile fields and desserts become more green or brown due to their actual fertility level.

Research budget for expansions

We tried a messed up science point system and now replaced it with a simple district expansion logic that offers fresh research budgets in an easier way than ever before. You can still get these budgets from the space trader and it feels good to have these function sorted out of the mission goal system on the lower right of the UI.

New UI for technology licenses

Constantly repeating reward mechanisms, like those for technology licenses, have a new place in the upper left corner of the screen. The company is supporting the growth your colony if you manage to push up your colony value.

New rare resource: Corals

Another precious resource that you can harvest from the depth of the sea. Corals can be harvested for medical substances. This brings us closer to having a great variety of individual resources that are specially made for trade. Corals are the first rare resource that regrows.

AI improvements

  • AI now puts more effort into building the cities in a way that allows to expand them as much as possible.
  • AI is building a warehouse and harvests rare resources.
  • AI opponents are building spaceports and sell resources to the space merchants.

Colony value

Here's the inconspicuous big move of release 25 because the colony value is an all over indicator for the wealth of your colony.

This colony value now defines how much money you get if sell shares of your colony and how their price is going through the roof in further development. That's possible because every factor is directly converted into capital ( the official currency in all known space so far. )

It has integrate all mayor factors beginning with the population and the worth of your constructions and their productivity. It also includes the size of occupied land, the quality of life and the count of installed upgrades. And at least it substracts emissions and pollution.

High score revolution
The high score ( now colony score ) is also depending on your reached colony value. But you will only get as much score as you have kept your shares own colony shares. If you sold 50% of them for cheap credit you halved your final score as well...

Still worth noticing that reachable scores skyrocketed with this upgrade and your chance to reach one of the first places is better than ever.

Other stuff
  • Meteorites take longer to drop (50 seconds). In addition lasers are now built 50% faster. Thisway, it should be much easier to deal with the meteorite shower on Lorian.
  • It's possible to start building directly from the technology menu
  • New Upgrade graphics for park district and financial district
  • Planet generator makes sure there is enough space between volcanoes, huge mountains, temples and natives
  • Fixed screenshot light problems
  • Streets fade in and out while building or destructing

4 comments Read more

June 30

Alpha 24 "Rare Resources & Trade"

This release comes with the following new content, gameplay features and UI improvements:

  • Rare resources: Gold, Ideon & Meteorite Metal
  • Changed Warehouse storage system
  • Merchant lands on Spaceports
  • New user interface for trade
  • Natives sell ideon treasure maps
  • Reworked Joma and Tuto missions
  • More (see end of post)
We are very happy with the feeling of the new trading system. Making additional money to allow for a fast expansion is a real gameplay changer.

In addition to this early access release we will also updated the demo version. The old one still has the state of Alpha 18, so it is about time to update it with the changes of the last half year.

Rare Resources: Gold, Ideon & Meteorite Metal
We have added a new category of resources to the game. Rare resources are not consumed by your people. Instead they can be used for trading and since they are precious you can make a lot of money by selling them.

Important: Ideon is now revealed whenever it's rock field becomes part of your territory. You no longer need to mine rocks to find out if there is some Ideon hidden within.

When your warehouse storage is full, the mining process will be paused which is visualized by a fading icon.

Mining gold or other rare resources requires a warehouse. By default a single warehouse can store up to 2,000 resource units (used to be 1,000) which equals 2 trade packages.

You can also upgrade the warehouse with a storage for goods and other resources. Please note that the these upgrades now have to be researched first.

Merchant on Spaceport
Instead of landing somewhere on the planet (forcing you to search him) the merchant now lands on the spaceport. As soon as you have built one, you can open it to see when the next merchant will arrive. In addition you can also pay a bonus to the merchant to make sure he doesn't stop at other planets and comes directly to you.

You can still send up resources on your own by building a spaceship. If you spaceport is blocked by a merchant you can send him away anytime.

Trade User Interface
We have created a new user interface for the trade system. So you no longer need to click through multiple layers in the ring menu to find a resource to buy or sell. The interface gives a complete overview of things you can buy and sell and everything is reachable with a single click.

The same interface is also used when sacrificing at temples or "negotiating" with natives and Xrathul.

Trading with Natives
As soon as you have negotiated a partnership with a native tribe they start to sell native food to you. With the new release the natives now also sell treasure maps that reveal locations of Ideon. This is useful for the Rounos mission, but also important whenever you need to decide on a good spot for the next city landing capsule.

Tuto & Joma Reworked
All the changes describe above need a proper integration and explanation in the game. To assure you understand how to use everything we have modified the Tuto and Joma missions. Especially the latter one is worth playing it again, because there are new goals and things to do.

  • Credits now properly show the list of our crowdfunding supporters again
  • Increased city tax revenue a bit
  • Competition AI is now capable to make more than 7 victory points
  • New graphics for city protection shield
  • Free play and competition: Other companies land with 15 seconds delay
  • New laser cool-down animation
  • Xrathul harvester ships can now be focused by multiple lasers at the same time
  • New icon for negative growth influence on forest
  • Fixed message panel layout

7 comments Read more
See all discussions

Report bugs and leave feedback for this game on the discussion boards


“The demo is quite charming... There's already evidence of a decent game”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“Imagine Earth is a refreshingly streamlined and charming apporach to civilization sims - and one with plenty of room to grow as it wades through Early Access.”

“This environmentally-conscious title may very well prove to generate news in the months to come.”

About This Game

Imagine Earth

Imagine Earth is a real-time world simulation. Your job as a colony manager is to explore and populate distant planets. Build up thriving and profitable colonies on a global scale without destroying your homeworld. Deal with threats like meteorite strikes, twisters and wild fires. Coexist and trade with natives, alien investors and hostile colonies, dig for Ideon crystals, pacify riots and master the perfect balance of production and consumption for many available constructs and technologies.

The Challenge

Raise great cities and satisfy their growing appetite for resources by building power plants, farms and factories. You will soon encounter the conflict between the profit goals of interstellar corporations and the need to preserve the living conditions for your people. As your colony grows it is getting a problematic impact on the planet in terms of exhaust emissions and pollution. The challenge is to deal with whole planetary ecosystems and their natural limitations in fossil resources and environmental resilience. Do research for renewable energy sources and develop sustainable production lines to avoid overgrowth and climate collapse on your new home world. Can you prevent tremendous desolation and lead your colony into wealth and prosperity?


  • Play on a globe instead of a map
  • Campaign with 6 missions and planets introduces into the gameplay
  • Goals guide you through the expansion of your colony
  • Development of over 30 colony buildings with individual upgrades
  • Global simulation of local pollution and worldwide emissions
  • Disasters: Chemical spills, oil slicks, radioactive contamination, wild fires, tornadoes, volcanoes, dying forest and growing deserts
  • Melting polar caps will raise sea levels and flood your coasts in case of global warming
  • Sandbox mode to generate and edit your own planets
  • Competition and Free Play mode let you build your colony in a race against AI players or for yourself.

Climate Change

Climate change is apparently a very underestimated threat in computer games. The idea behind Imagine Earth is to put the most serious background of latest human history into a thrilling and motivating game flow. In that context the game is an experimental world simulation or a climate survival thriller. It directs this quest to the player. What would your civilization end up like and what could you do if you were in charge and no one else around to blame? Imagine Earth offers the biggest possible freedom of choice to the player so he can find his own answers and development strategies.

“Your decisions will most likely lead into states where you have to rethink your whole way of playing!” - Jens Isensee, Design & Graphics

“Exploring the balance between growth and sustainability is the key to success in this game.” - Martin Wahnschaffe, Design & Code

„Oh, and don't let the cutesy graphics and streamlined interface fool you; Imagine Earth can be a most demanding beast.“ – Gnome,

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP Service Pack 3, Windows 7/8/10
    • Processor: 2 GHz or multiple cores with 1,5 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 10 Graphics card with 1GB dedicated memory
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Very Positive (124 reviews)
Review Type

Purchase Type


Display As:

(what is this?)
84 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
15.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: September 2
Nice planetary colonization simulation.

Balance needs a revamp, later missions are suddenly very hard on Normal Difficulty.

Keep an eye on it, either there will be more content, or it will get cheaper. Then you can try it out too. ;-)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
5.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: September 18
Really cool little game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 8 people (25%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: September 22
Not worth its price. Very basic game that will remind you of an old board game, games that are equally as boring. Weird controls and strange gameplay. Features ok visuals for the planets, but the characters look like they are from some cheesy cartoon. Overall, this game is overpriced and just plain weird.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
104 of 110 people (95%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
35.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: May 5, 2015
I purchased this game some time ago and have waited a long time to review it, due in part to some issues I had with it, but also because I wanted to be fair, considering that it is an early access game. So with that being said, my review:

So I was flipping through the steam games and I came across this game called "Imagine Earth" in the simulation section, I saw that it had a demo and decided to try it. At the time the demo only had a missions available, a simple interface and not a lot in the way of content... but I was hooked.

It reminded me why I like simulation games in the first place, giving me all the things I enjoy with the bonus of playing God to a newly created world to work with. I could feel the nostalgia of Sim Earth I played as a kid. So I jumped right in after playing the demo and purchased early access to the game.

Playing the early access version it was immediately apparent the game was slightly different than the demo that been made available, which is okay considering that demos are just that, demonstrations of what the game will look like. But one thing was clear, this was no simulation game.

What I got instead was a game that seemed more like a puzzle where your decisions didn't really matter more than getting the right pieces in the right order before you run out of time. I had many issues with the game, all of which I made clear by submitting emails to the developers who were very receptive and seemed opened to the community ideas.

Lorian the third world in the game gave me excruciating torment, where it seemed the developers were more interested in creating a game of torture than a game of fun, and it became discouraging to play over and over, failure after failure. So I took a break, quit playing altogether in the hopes some of the issues I had with it would be solved eventually.

So after months I decided to try the game again, and I am so glad that I did. All of the issues that I had originally had have disappeared. What was once an overly complicated puzzle of torture, had become a relaxing simulation/strategy game that was less scripted with super hard puzzle nonsense and although still difficult seems less locked into "their" pre-defined way to win strategy I sometimes felt when playing. Even when I failed a couple of times, I saw different ways to get to where I wanted and ultimately finished the things that were once overly difficult to beat.

The developers have clearly taken the community recommendations and made the game a lot more playable and fun, and that's why I felt like it was time to review this game for them.

I wholeheartedly recommend this game now, for its addictive playstyle that will keep you happy for hours on end. While the game is still unfinished, it’s very much where it needs to be now, and playing it no longer feels like an exercise in futility but rather an actual game that is fun to play. I'm excited to see more and cannot wait to see how this one ends.

For the people that like extra-long drawn out games, this one might not be for you, as the game only has a few missions, but it almost doesn't matter because the addictive nature of it will keep you coming back for more. I hope to see expansions or additions to the game after it is released because what they have here opens so many other possibilities. Certainly you will be left wanting for more, and there doesn't seem to be any reason why the devs couldn't keep adding on to the game.

For the people that love simulation, strategy, space games, this game is FOR YOU! For everyone else that loves fun quirky games, you'll want to play this game too. Beautiful, charming, and challenging. Highly recommended!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
120 of 163 people (74%) found this review helpful
100 people found this review funny
8.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 4, 2015
-Started game
-Thought that the ecosystem would last for ever
-Incredibley wealthy and big due to exploiting planet
-Global warming
-Lost nine million people in five minutes
-Let world burn so I didn't need to pay for the survivors
-Floods end
-Only remaining colony is me
-Starts again

-8/8 would cause climate collapse again

So yeah, I LOVE this game, But the lag when the world is ending is one of the few issues for me. Also, a bit of diplomacy and war would be nice. But yeah, LOVE IT.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
49 of 55 people (89%) found this review helpful
7.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 24, 2015
Short story: I like the game but it is pricey for what it is, but if you're a fan of the genre.

The Good:

The game demonstrates just how simple a fun city manager needs to be.
It's generally a capitalist game where you play the balancing act of profits vs catastrophe!
Somewhat interesting research/upgrade items.
Music is pleasant.
I like the triangular grid, it feels inferior but at least it's refreshing.
Fun, simple, little game.

The Bad:

Suspension of disbelief: Why are we colonising planets and still burning coal? Or need a side-task often to do with population in order to get new research points? It may sound like nitpicking but the oddity of the game's reasoning is sticking out like a thorn.
Price: I still find it a bit pricey for what the game offers.

The Verdict: ★★★☆☆

A good little game, with a little more promised for the future. It's playable and enjoyable at this stage.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
49 of 58 people (84%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
11.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: October 26, 2015
Imagine Earth or: The game "Reus" wants to be

Imagine Earth is best described as a mixture of puzzle, strategy and management simulation. Even though with a educational mandate, as it's main feature is the fragility of planets. As the title implies this game throws a shadow on the future of our earth. But first things first.

What is: In this game you are the jr. vice president of Imagine Earth, Ltd., a coorporation that colonizes distant planets for big profits. The game comes with a nice campaign, introducing you to likeable characters that guide you through your first steps. Expect to fail in the second mission anyways. Even though the tutorial is very well designed and gives a good guidance, the game itself remains a challenge.
You start of every new colony by placing your first town centre on the planet. Soon enough new colonists will move in and develop a demand for food, energy and goods.
By the games triangular grid, every building has - yes, that's right - three sides. And as you place buildings next to each other they possibly gain benefits or detriments from each other. So in this way Imagine Earth actually resembles "Reus". For example, you can increase the energy output of biomass plants by placing them next to forests or farms. But your inhabitants will become unhappy if you build coal plants next to their houses. Since building space is limited, conflicts are inevitable and part of the challenge arises from the task to place your buildings in the most productive and proficient way.
What's else: On the other hand there are different types or tiles of terrain. So you want to place your farms on fertile land or your gas plants on top of gas resources to maximize outcomes. This task gets significant harder by the fact that all your buildings create pollution, eventually triggering a greenhouse effect on your planet. Fertile land turns into desert, tornados and volcanoes arise and ultimatly your facing meltdown of the polar caps, rising global water level. To cut a long story short, if you don't take care of your planet, it will want to get rid of you.
[/b]]The graphics[/b] are a bit toony, which I personally enjoy very much. The planets themself looking like beautiful blue marbles that I - personally - feel a bit sad for, if my false management destroys them.
The Music itself is not extraordinarily remarkable but fits the pace of the game very good. (The speed of the music actually changes with the set game speed - mindblown!)
The story is also not quite thrilling but gives enough motivation to play through the campaign which I perceived mostly as a tutorial introducing my to new elements. Once your done with the rather short campaign, there is sandbox mode, challenge mode and a free play mode. You can play on planets, that are procedural created according to player set parameters - for instance like in Tropico where you can choose size of the map, the amount of resources, etc... - what makes the game a good value.
(It seems that there is the idea of exchanging planets with your friends, competing for highscorse, but I can not confirm this.)
The controls are very simple and easy to pick up right away. One click opens the menu, one click lets you choose, one click places the building.

Flaws: As much as I enjoy Imagine Earth, there are two downsides. Even though the planets look beautiful, they feel a bit sterile, as streets stay empty, for example. Where are your 1.5 billion inhabitants? Building big cities is fun and the realy look cool as large skyscrapers emerge, but there is now life in the game. There are neither people or cars (like in Anno, where you get the impression of a busy citylife), nor animals roaming on the map.
The other minor flaw is, that you cant buy 5 buildings in a row, as you have to open the menu, select the building and place it for every building. Which I find a little unpractical and thus ironic in a game, that focus on maximizing efficiency.

Sum of us: This game is what I expected when I first got my hands on "Reus". If you were, like me, disappointed by Reus - even though solely based on your own false expectations - then this game is for you. If you like building simulations and management games, this game also is for you. If you are still sceptical, the free demo is for you.

Imagine Earth is charming, challenging, a good value and a game of plain fun.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
30 of 32 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
15.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: November 7, 2015
The game combines resource management, technology planning, and careful positioning at a real-time strategy game pace. It is easy to pick up the basics, but definitely takes skill to get good at it.

The gameplay is great, despite the graphics not being the best on the market. Considering this is an indy title, it really needs to get more attention as a great addition to a difficult-to-please genre of players.

Look at the negative comments for the game - none of them complain about gameplay. Its all taste-based comments or something that's not an issue like expecting world-class graphics from an indy team. The negative comments don't complain about the gameplay, because the game is fun and challenging.

Would love to see how this game ends up at release. Fantastic game so far - This could become a benchmarking game for the genre.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
26 of 26 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 6, 2015
Interesting game. You have to balance the intensity of each resource, you may need energy, food, money; but also you may break the balance of the planet so you will need to invest in ecologic projects... The different types of city districts bring variety.

I miss units to do stuff, may be exploration as well, because the resources and the map of the game is known from the begining.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
48 of 66 people (73%) found this review helpful
9.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: April 2, 2014
As of today's posting (4/2/14), the game is still under development. Still, I'm having a lot of fun with the game thus far. While you're waiting for the review, feel free to check out these Alpha gameplay videos to see how it plays:
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Recently Posted
0.3 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 19
Nice game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
20.1 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 15
This game needs to be cheaper. For the amount you spend it is a little lacking in replayability, the campaign is good enough, but thats where it ended for me...other people may find it good enough to replay, but not me. So I guess I was spoiled by the job that Civilization creators do time and time again, and was expecting a game with the level of detail and complexity that civ usually has. O well, at least it wasn't a horrible it on sale if u are going to get it though, or get someone to buy it for u, that's probably better, ya do that.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.9 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 9
Overall: I was expecting alot more, and I got bored within an hour, older game but had alot of potential which was not used in my opinion.

-Cool Idea
-Decent Graphics

-Boring really fast
-Lack of content

Verdict: Perhaps get it when it is on sale, but otherwise don't.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
90.9 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 8
Fantastic game! :)
I have enjoyed playing it immensely, although it is quite hard. You need to balance your colony growth with ecological situation, watch out for competition and natural disasers. And the climate tends to collapse before I manage to finish building my cities.
I look forward to more missions and more stuff. :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
46.5 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 5
So far it has been a good ride. Game still needs more definition. Objectives well laid out but balance isn't that great. Hopefully introduction of new worlds and objectives as the game is further developed. There should also be a manual/quick start/quick referrence guide. A 5 minute read to get up to speed vs learn as you go would be a tremendous help for beginners.

If you enjoy progression type games (build/upgrade) then this is a good choice and would recommend. If you are more casual, then this isn't for you .... yet.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
12.7 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: July 17
Good game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
13.1 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: July 11
this game is a great game and has alot of potential. but it crashes some times but it saves.
Helpful? Yes No Funny