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Screenshot of the current version
GenreLife simulation
Latest releaseVersion 8
Release dateAugust 9, 2007
DeveloperJason Rohrer
Code licensePublic domain
Media licensePublic domain
Cultivation is a free game. This means that the source code is available to be studied, modified, and distributed. Most projects look for help with testing, documentation, graphics, etc., as well.

Cultivation is a 2D life simulation game created by Jason Rohrer. The game was a Slamdance Guerilla Gamemaker Competition 2007 finalist.[1] The game has been released into the public domain.[2] The source code is available on the homepage so it is free software. All game content is generated procedurally at runtime. The latest version of the game is version 8 released on August 9th, 2007. It uses the GLUT library.


The player is a gardener in a community of gardeners. The player (and the other gardeners) possess some seeds, of which there may be several kinds, depending on how much humidity they need.

After a seed is planted, it needs to be watered once or twice before the plant blooms and produces fruits. The fruits can be eaten, or given as gifts to other gardeners (which makes the relationship between them better).

Each gardener has 3 colour parameters, which lessen with time, and the gardener will die of starvation unless they eat fruits of that colour. Eating a fruit gives a seed to plant.

Gardeners over time, like any other organisms, age. Eventually they will die of old age. To continue the game, a player must have an offspring to assume control over after the gardener he/she is currently controlling dies. In order to get offspring, a gardener must give one other gardener seeds. Once the affection is high enough, it become possible to mate. After mating, each partner have an offspring.

When the gardener you control dies, you moved on to the offspring, and then their offspring. If you reach the most recent generation and failed to breed, you will not have an offspring to move on to. When your gardener die without an offspring, the game is effectively over.

Conflicts arise from land use issues and harvesting resources that others have planted, leading to a tragedy of the commons. Eventually, it leads gardeners to poison the land in retaliation. This poses a threat to the population since as the land gets poisoned, there is less land available for farming. Less land for farming mean the island can't support as many gardeners. If enough land are poisoned, then it cannot support any population of gardeners.


The Linux game tome gave the game 4 out of 5 stars based on 4 ratings as of October 10th, 2009.[3] Great Games Experiment gave the game 3.3 out of 5 stars based on 6 ratings as of October 15th, 2009.[4]

Game Tunnel gave the game a combined score of 4.5 out of 10 based on 4 reviewers.[5] Game Tunnel reviewers either thought the game was "incomperhesable" or it was not much of a game.

Version history[edit]

Version Date
5[6] 2006-10-13
6[6] 2006-11-26
7[6] 2006-12-27
8[6] 2007-08-09


External links[edit]