This Precious Land

 (This will be a short article, as I'm currently writing two fairly large articles in the meantime. Stay tuned.)

Every now and again a game comes along and promises that you will waste hours of your life playing them and accomplish absolutely nothing. These types of games are generally known as 'Sandbox games", and are a good way to waste a rainy day, granted that you have the ability to waste vast thatches of time guilt-free. This Precious Land takes this idea, and adds a challenging twist, that requires you to earn the ability to place things on your plot of land. Go grab a coffee, and a clove cigarette, and join the revolution.

Let's just say that smoke isn't there because that girl is hot.

This Precious Land (PC)
Developed & Published by: Ishisoft
Released on: Apr, 22 2012

This Precious Land is a sandbox/construction/puzzle game about cultivating trees. The game takes place on a 6x6 grid, where you can place patches of dirt. Now, the most enjoyable part of this game is figuring it out yourself,, so if you want to get the full experience, I recommend you stop reading and play this immediately first. If you don't really care, or are having any trouble, than read ahead, cheater: Placing two patches of dirt adjacent to each other will create grass, placing dirt adjacent to grass, and another tile of dirt will grow a tile of small trees, combining multiple small tiles in addition to grass will create larger trees, and so forth.

Trees are actually prokaryotic, and reproduce this way in real life.

In order to create larger trees, you have to strategically place fresh dirt adjacent to certain tiles. Once placed, the new dirt will "absorb" adjacent tiles in order from smallest to large, following the hierarchy of 
dirt > grass > three small pines > five arboreals > Big Fucking Oak. I'm not sure why the species change, and how five trees become one, but then again, I'm not a dendrologist. Creating bigger trees not only yields a larger tree, but frees up plots of land with which to make more trees You can only advance one step up, so in order to create a larger tree, you need to have a sequentially smaller tree adjacent to the spot you plan on putting your next tile. And grass. You always need grass. lol, that picture's resolution was 420x300.

 "The trouble with the maples (And they're quite convinced they're right) They say the oaks are just too loftyAnd they grab up all the light!"

When you manage to cultivate a big tree, you will receive some kind of shiny currency which can be used to purchase pre-fab tiles at an extraordinarily high price. These extra tiles are sometimes necessary in order to maximize your land; sometimes you'll box yourself in, and the only way to not end up with useless dead-tiles, is to strategically drop some ready-made trees in there, and see what happens.

It is also possible, by right-clicking on a mdeium, or large tree, the cut it down, which yields lumber. As far as I could tell, the lumber doesn't serves any function, but cutting down medium-sized trees is a good way to clear up some land in case you've boxed yourself in, so to speak. If you are greedy, cutting down a large tree will yield you more currency, in addition to the scratch you received for creating it in the first place. Of course, this kind of corporate-thinking will leave a tree-stump, a permanent reminder of both how cold and heartless you are, as well as how ugly your land looks now.


Once you're done maximizing your land, you can then purchase purely aesthetic tiles, such as ponds and stones, to give your garden that zen vibe, which is the presumably 'goal' of this 'game'; to create something that looks nice. There is no wrong way to build a garden, unless you deliberately try to make every tile barren, and even then, if you do it, you still technically accomplished your goal, so kudos.

One looks like vegetation the other looks like a Q*Bert board. I'll let you sort them out.

Come relieve some stress, and build magic trees by Downloading TPL from LudumDare.com

Then paint a wizard on your van.

Far out.


  1. Tut tut tut, someone didn't experiment enough. Let me put this as vaguely and as smugly I can while still remaining helpful... What makes trees grow?

  2. I love how this game was seen as a gem yet the full tiles weren't unlocked. Still so much to be done!