Biome is an upcoming environmental toy from the trio of developers that make up the fledgling studio known as Knick Knack. All angular polygons and electric greens and blues, Biome lets you “explore and transform the world as you play, unbound by goals or directives," as described on the website.
Alternatively, you can: “Touch and prod it constantly or do nothing and let it evolve freely," and “Discover secrets buried beneath aeons of soil and life. Share them with others or keep them to yourself."
That may sound broadly similar to David O’Reilly’s own procedural puzzle box, Mountain ($0.99), but Biome offers fewer inscrutable aphorisms and more direct action. Here’s how the game works, in the developers’ own words: “Touching the world moves time forward and changes the direction of the world. This allows you to transform the world from ocean to desert over a few thousand years, watching as the terrains shift and the sun and moon flash overhead."
So-called god games usually work by letting you micro-manage each aspect of the world you govern, but Biome seems like it strikes a more restrained pose, allowing you to gently push and prod at underground lakes and nascent mountain ranges while still keeping a few procedural secrets in reserve. Or you could just pull up your omniscient throne and watch the cosmic machinery of time tick and tock until your Biome blows away into solar dust.
For now, Biome is roughly projected for release next year. In the meantime, though, be sure to check out the game’s development blog, which houses wallpapers, some “experimental" biomes that may or may not make the final game, and some really nice landscape photography for inspiration.