Pocket Oasis is a wispy, ethereal experience about maintaining your perfect calming space
The last few years have, for better or worse, made sure that we've seen a whole lot more of our house than we would have before. Pocket Oasis gives you a short, daily breaks away from your life, and it's a break that many people have probably been looking for for a while.
On the Swiss Games stand at GDC 2022 there were quite a few interesting games, although mostly PC and Console as you might imagine. However, one real standout was Pocket Oasis, which had a sped-up version of itself running on a freestanding monitor.
The pitch was quite simple: Each day you log on and water your plants, tweak the room and space that surrounds them on your digital balcony and generally take a moment to relax. Look after your plants well and they thrive, have enough of them thriving and soon enough you have a veritable oasis, a bastion of quiet peace that you've guided and grown yourself.
I personally love the idea of this. Working from home has been different for me than for most as, luckily, I was already doing it. However, my home has changed a lot over the years, with more plants, succulents and perennials making their way into the house and the garden. There's a lot of evidence that having a few plants around will improve mood and environment, and I don't think there are really many people out there who would even try to deny that.
Growing For EverBut, space is limited, and I certainly don't have a large balcony with a view over Tokyo, London or New York, and I don't have as much access to plants as I'd maybe like. That's where Pocket Oasis comes in. Speaking with the team behind the game, they said that the idea was to have your balcony backdrop, the decorations that go on it, and the plant selection be incredibly varied and wide - with an option to chop and change as you wish. They also said that plant needs were based on real data, and that they had plans to take real-world weather effects into consideration.
Enough about the mechanics of the whole thing though. Pocket Oasis is captivating because it captures the ability to not only customise but to nurture. The plants grow at a slightly accelerated real-world speed, I can't remember how much faster they said it would be running in real-time, it wasn't much, but it was enough that you could yield fruit over months rather than years. It's all in beautiful watercolour art too, and that's every element of it, from the backdrops through to the individual plants. The developer's also said that they had other things in mind that would interconnect players, but it was too early to speculate.
As with many things we saw at GDC, Pocket Oasis is quite a way off the launch date - the trailer embedded in this article is an MVP (Minimum Viable Product), and the expected launch date is Spring/Summer of next year. Hopefully, we'll learn a bit more about it during the wait though.