Cultivate an alien garden on this sunless world


A dark, distant planet is slowly coming to life with a colorful ecosystem of flora and fauna. Will you tend it?

In Earthtongue: The Hungry Fungus you play as a researcher observing a world with no sun. Thanks to strange rain of nutrients that fall from the sky, however, an ecosystem is taking shape on the formerly barren world, and you can influence it by dropping bugs and fungi on the surface, changing the weather, or terraforming the surface. If the ground where your spores and insects land is friendly enough—or becomes friendly enough, with your help—you'll eventually learn enough about the species to catalogue it your research journal.

Time unfolds slowly in your digital vivarium; this is a game about watching and nudging. You can sprinkle in brilliant pink stalks that spread like wildfire or plants with gaping, carnivorous mouths, and see what happens when you parachute rhino beetles and slugs into their midst. How you tend this alien garden is up to you: carefully experiment and tweak to manicure it into your own specific vision, or just toss in different elements and let Darwinian principles work it out.

Created by Eric Hornby, Earthtongue is available on Windows and Mac for $5, although there's also an option to pay by art. It is what it sounds like: if you don't have the cash, you can create an original work of art (which can include music, poetry, etc) about Earthtongue—something that takes a minimum of 30 minutes—and submit it for a Steam key. There's already a Tumblr gallery of the fan art people have submitted as payment, which is worth a look all on its own.

Rhino beetle fan art by Ainsley Yeager

Rhino beetle fan art by Ainsley Yeager