A calm creative experience. A sandbox growing game where you shape the evolution of an alien ecosystem. Study the environment and discover what drives it, or just sit back, relax, and see what happens!
User reviews:
Mixed (27 reviews) - 66% of the 27 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 23, 2015

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“A Pixel-Perfect Meditative Garden”
Indie Game Magazine

“Manages to harvest a great deal of depth from these seeds of creativity”

“Essentially a version of 'the game of life' with some significant depth and game elements added on top of it”
Highland Arrow

About This Game


XenoBloom charges you, an inexperienced demi-god, with the care of a fledgling alien biome. Nurture, harvest, evolve, and sculpt. Create your ideal garden world.

Unique to XenoBloom is its use of Cellular Automata to decide if plants live or die; Just watching their behavior can create a trance-like state of wonder.

XenoBloom contains no running, no jumping, no shooting, no loot, no health, and no shields.

What it does have is plants. They grow.

– Nurture strange alien life
– Harvest plants to evolve new life-forms
– Control the rules of selection and survival
– Sculpt your world
– 4 game modes: normal, experimental, observational, ecological
– No fail condition
– Beautiful original soundtrack

*New Features:
- Local Co-Op : Garden with a friend or family member
- Selective Evolution : You choose what will evolve next

System Requirements

    • OS: Vista or later
    • Processor: 2.0 Ghz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 250 MB available space
    • OS: Windows 7+
    • Processor: 2.7 Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 250 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Mixed (27 reviews)
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25 reviews match the filters above ( Mixed)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
44 of 55 people (80%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 25, 2015
Someways an interactive screensaver, for mathematically minded folks it may provide more. Not the most spectacular pixel art but works well for what it is. Worth nothing is the focus on plant-growth, not lifeforms. Fullscreen doesn't appear to be supported either which does reduce immersion. Only a few hints are given and gameplay is left up to experimentation. Draw in cells, fastforward time and watch the dancing pixels on-screen. DNA collected reveals new plants and mutations while power harvested gives the ability to change growth conditions.
Recommendation is based on being something quite unique.
Cannot personally compare it to Earthtongue, not had the chance to play it.

Fullscreen support please. Maybe a time limited demo as well?
XenoBloom might surprise a few people if given the chance.
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80 of 115 people (70%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 23, 2015
XenoBloom does what it sets out to do well. The biggest criticism I have is that it doesn't feel as though it reaches the level of "game." It's more of a proof-of-concept for a ecosystem manager FOR a game, but by itself it's more of a simple simulator than anything. With what Xenobloom offers, you get the notion that Ibology set out to make the next Terraria/Starbound with more complex flora behaviour, finished the flora behaviour code, and decided to publish that.

Ultimately, I think I'd get equal enjoyment out of having Observational Mode as a screensaver.

I'd prefer to give this a neutral review if I could, but I'm required to either recommend the game or not in order to submit the review. Due to feeling as though I've seen all it has to offer in the brief time I played it, I'd have to go with not. If you can spend more than an hour in things like Universe Sandbox, you may still enjoy XenoBloom.
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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 23, 2015
I find this game super relaxing to play and the sound track is amazing. I highly recommend it if you want a game to chill out with and try to keep all the plants alive. There is also a background mode so you could have it running on another screen just doing its thing
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12 of 12 people (100%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 23, 2015
XenoBloom.....well, it is a different game, I'll give it that. I downloaded, played and promptly lost track of time! It seems to be a relaxing type of game, but I wish there was a sort of tutorial to walk you through it. I'll definately be playing it more when I need to waste some time away. Personally, I like it. However, keep in mind that the game won't be for everyone. I'd recommend people to watch a couple of videos on it first before they make their mind up. Me? I'm happy with my purchase of it.
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15 of 18 people (83%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 23, 2015
Xenobloom is a very relaxing and fun game, like all the joy of gardening, but you don't even have to go outside! At first, it seems a little complex, but getting the hang of it isnt too hard, and I find that figuring out everything is very rewarding! For example, some plants won't grow unless you have dirt in the right formation, so its not as easy as just sitting back and letting things grow! It's definitely a game I'd recommend to anyone who liked the old flash game Powder Game, as it definitely rewards experimentation!
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15 of 20 people (75%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 12
When I read "A sandbox growing game where you shape the evolution of an alien ecosystem." I got excited thinking I could observe and influence evolution. This game has very little to do with evolution. It is more about intelligent design.

There are 3 tools available to you. Make life happen. Move some dirt. Kill a thing.

I wish I could say something on the gameplay but I had no idea what I was doing most of the time since there is no explanation and most of what I learned was by trial and error while farting out life clouds. It seemed like the yellow power meter allowed you to change conditions in the environment and the purple DNA meter which is filled by killing mature lifeforms which when filled unlocks or "evolves" a new lifeform.
You have no direct control over what you unlock or the specific lifeforms you are seeding so it is difficult to create isolated environments.

None of it matters though. Which "plants" are in the area don't matter except in ecosystem mode. How does sunlight affect each individual organism? I can't tell you and the game won't say much other than unfavourable, tolerable and favourable. Those are the 3 levels of the 9 environmental variables. One of which being love. What does that even mean? What does it influence?

The fact that the game refers to all of the lifeforms as plants inlcuding bacteria and fungi and the lack of understanding of the mechanics of evolution suggests the dev or devs know absolutely nothing of biology.

I don't get it. I don't understand the point of the game. I don't get what I am supposed to do.
If this were being sold as an interactive screensaver as many have described it I could recommend it but it isn't and I can't.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 23, 2015
edit: This review is old and no longer reflects the game. Changes were made (e.g the addition of ecological elements).

Note that much of this review will involve comparisons with EarthTongue since both have very similar concepts.
The tldr version of this review: Xenobloom’s ecosystem is fun to experiment with, without being burdened by frustrating mechanics found in other ecosystem games (& I’m not just referring to Earthtongue), but Xenobloom lacks interactions (both between creatures & their environment) and behaviors which are one of the things make ecosystems interesting. Xenoblooms ability to modify species is cool but could use more options.
I also would have liked the climate/nutrient-availability to influence what flora grew. Whether or not the lack of explanation for a lot of things is good or bad will likely vary between people (I didn’t mind too much).

The currency system for using tools in Xenobloom is better than EarthTongue’s (and other ecosystem games for that matter). In EarthTongue it was “interventions” that the player had to pay a certain amount of each time the player used a tool. The player’s only means of gaining interventions was for them to slowly generate over time. But using tools were so expensive, and gaining interventions took so long, that ecosystems could collapsed before you could even afford to use the tools to maintain the ecosystem; not to mention it made experimenting for fun challenging (which often killed the fun for me).
Xenobloom utilizes a similar system of needing “Power” to use tools, power which also slowly generate over time. Yet, unlike EarthTongue, the player can also obtain “power” from removing soil & flora from the ecosystem or altering the environment to be “less favorable”. This system is much less frustrating, yet at the same time without make it too easy since not waiting means taking away from the ecosystem (at least if your not playing “Experimental mode”).
Xenobloom also allows you to modify the species, something one can’t do in EarthTongue. (However there are only 4 options…)


Probably the main thing which Earthtoungue has much of which Xenobloom is lacking in is species behaviors and interactions. In Earthtongue species, including flora, had many different behaviors and interact with each other and their environment. In Xenobloom they seem to just spawn in areas that are favorable and die when they’re unfavorable, and the only interactions that I could notice was an implied relationship between all flora & microbes, as all flora die without them.
I don’t think the lack of fauna justifies lack of interactions because in real life flora-like-organisms do interact with each other. Certain plants can utilize their roots and surround fungi networks to share nutrients with other plants. Certain plants, that produce toxins to defend against herbivores, can also release chemicals to alert other plants to the herbivores so that they can release their toxins before herbivores feed on them. On a more negative side some plants produce herbicides to kill competing plants and there’s also a plants (such as Indian Pipe and Mistletoe) that steal nutrients from other plants. I could go on about many other examples, including flora that’s not “plants” (e.g Vascular-plant/fungi, Legume/Nitrogen-Fixating-Bacteria, Lichen/Algae & Coral/Zooxanthellae) but back to the review. Then of course there’s how plants impact their environment (e.g producing oxygen, taking in Carbon dioxide and other gases, recycling nutrients from the soil and etc.)

I think Xenoblooms lack of interactions is a negative thing because ecosystems are “interactions between organisms and their environment.’ Lacking interactions doesn’t really make it much of an ecosystem.

I think it’s odd that there’s an ability to alter nutrient availability and climate, yet it directly doesn’t impact what grows but rather the amount and location of microbes that the plants need. I would have liked nutrient needs & climate tolerances were factors in what could grow (and perhaps even be an option in the plant editor).
I also imagine some people might be put off by how a lot of things aren’t explained. But for others it might add to the charm of exploration.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 26, 2015
An easy to learn but hard to master puzzle game about growing plants in a confined space where each plant has it's own little preference on space, type of soil, environment and even how close to other plants they are. The game allows you to place and remove dirt and alter the plants traits to try to get as much bio mass as possible.
For only 5 bucks it's a pretty fun way to pass the time until some of the bigger games hit the digital store.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: September 24, 2015
Xenobloom is possibly one of the most calming, intriguing and fun games out on Steam! Initially I wasn't sure how much I would like a desktop terrarium-style game, however with it's combination of zen soundtrack, random events and multitudes of evolutions of life it's kept me addicted!

If you're looking for something relaxing that will keep your attention more then you may want it to, 5$ is a fricken steal for the amount of content offered in Xenobloom.

So check it out!
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 28, 2015
TLDR; cool game, would recommend, a little confusing with lack of explination.

its a very interesting game. you never intend to spend lots of time on it, but time flys. im actually left hoping the dev continues to update the game and adds some more to it. i do really appreciate the minimalist approach (atleast thats how i feel its taken) the only real critisism i have for the game is the lack of detail on contextual menues. example, there are different behaivors for your plants, friendly, hearty, and solitary, and im not too certain what each one means for each plant, or some form of explination as to what radiation or carbon or nitrogen do for you.
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Recently Posted
3.6 hrs
Posted: October 13
Not just sculpting....
But lurk into the silence of nature and feel the cycle of life.
Maybe we can control some parts of nature in most time, but they are not all of them, after all.
The world in this game it gave me silence, beauty, colors, and back to silence at the end, as a lesson.
The cycle, so real and peaceful.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.1 hrs
Posted: August 26
Fun stuff, well worth the money!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Yuki Tsukihana
1.4 hrs
Posted: May 23
Interesting concept, but lackluster execution. I'd call it more of an experience than a game. The limitations are really only what you set for yourself. There's not a lot of content, and the space you have to play in is very small. It's not bad, but I don't think it's worth $5.
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0.8 hrs
Posted: April 22
Good for about 15 minutes of entertainment before you become bored with the endless attrition based gameplay.
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Sid Meier's Alvie
1.0 hrs
Posted: April 4
More of a toy than a game, but certainly an interesting toy. Nerds familiar with Conway's Game of Life will find it more immediately gratifying but ultimately just flipping switches randomly is just as valid a way to play. I don't see myself putting many hours into this but it's an interesting enough little concept that I found it worth the cheap price.
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1.9 hrs
Posted: March 6
Dont buy it.

i really wanted to like this game, but there is really nothing there. gets boring so fast that can be hardly a game itself. it can be a bit fun if you are under some mind altering drug effect, i suppose... but, eh...

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~* BiZZ Keryear *~
0.1 hrs
Posted: March 6
It is broken beyond repair, and the developer needs in average 6 month for a shoddy reply.
Advice is ... if you have made the mistake to buy it ... get a refund asap.
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A developer has responded on Mar 10 @ 1:42pm
(view response)
0.4 hrs
Posted: February 29
Subanutica Update:
Adds tons of neat feataures that it didn't especially need, but neglects co-op.

Xenobloom Update:
Adds the last thing anybody thought it would need, co-op
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8.8 hrs
Posted: January 13
Thumbs up for letting you play with cellular automata (not the main feature of the game, really).

For all the rest, watch the intro video, it says what it is :-)
I now know I'm not so much a fan of that.
Oh and its bugfree, some rarity worth noting too.

I consider it more like a proof of concept for a living/evolving biome than a game as such, so that's my thumbs down.
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