ABC Home | Radio | Television | News | More Subjects… | Shop

How to Play

How to play Catchment detox.

Our quick tutorial gives a step by step lesson on how to undertake activities and check on their impact in Catchment Detox. There's also info on what you can do to conserve water and invest in research.

Plus, some tips on how to increase your score!

Play Game

STEP 1. Starting your game

[step 1 image]

Take a look around the catchment to see the lie of the land, and where the rivers run.

There are three sub-maps - use the mini map navigator to toggle between the three sub-maps. 

ABC Catchment Detox

STEP 2. Choose or remove activities

[step 2 image]

Click on the map for information about potential activities on each square.

To add a new activity, simply choose one from the list. Activities are greyed out when you don’t have enough money to start them, or you’re lacking a pre-requisite such as irrigation pipes or a dam or weir. Once you’ve met those criteria you’ll be able to start them. 

ABC Catchment Detox

Step 3. Deciding on activities

[step 3 image]

Information is provided so you can compare the economic and environmental pros and cons of different activities.

Some bring in more money, but use a lot of water. Others provide a big environmental benefit, but not much income. You get to decide what activities to undertake. You can start or remove as many activities as you like (until you run out of money!)

ABC Catchment Detox

Step 4. Dealing with environmental problems

[step 4 image]

There are a number of ways you can deal with environmental problems in Catchment Detox.

Restore natural habitat, plant trees or create national parks on squares affected by salinity – these will gradually lower the salinity level. Choosing environmentally friendly agriculture will also help with environmental problems.

ABC Catchment Detox

Step 5. Next Turn

[step 5 image]

To see the impacts of your decisions, click Next Turn.

Each turn equals one year. You have 100 turns to play the game and you can add or remove as many activities (or none at all) as you like before clicking 'Next Turn’ again.

ABC Catchment Detox

Step 6. The impact of your decisions – Available Cash

[step 6 image]

Check the Available Cash to see how much money was made last turn – this is what you’ve got to spend adding or removing new activities.

If your Available Cash is low, planting forests and then logging them can provide a quick financial boost. Alternatively, if your Available Cash is high you should think about investing in research to improve the productivity and sustainability of your catchment.

ABC Catchment Detox

STEP 7. Environmental Health

[step 7 image]

Keep an eye on the Environmental Health score to see how your decisions have affected the environment.

Biodiversity, Water Quality and Water for the Environment make up the Environmental Health score. Some activities are better for the environment than others. Choosing ‘environmentally-friendly’ options for activities, planting trees or creating national parks has a positive impact on your Environmental Health score.

ABC Catchment Detox

STEP 8. Water Status

[step 8 image]

Check your Water Status to see if there is enough water in the catchment for your needs.

If your activities need more water than is available, the Water Status will be Terrible so it’s a good idea to implement Level 3 Water Restrictions immediately. Building dams and weirs means you’re less susceptible to rainfall variation, but watch out for their environmental health impact!

ABC Catchment Detox

STEP 9. Food, Population & City Size

[step 9 image]

It’s also a good idea to keep track of how much food you’re producing.

If it’s not 100% you will be penalised financially (as you’ll need to import food). Population & City Size also tell you how well you’re doing. The aim is to grow your population and expand your city, but not to the detriment of your environment.

ABC Catchment Detox

STEP 10. Overall Score

[step 10 image]

Your Score tells you how you are going at creating an economically successful, but environmentally friendly river catchment.

This is what will be recorded on the High Scores page.

ABC Catchment Detox

STEP 11. Get Creative

[step 11 image]

What sort of river catchment do you want to create?

One with lots of national parks and campgrounds? One with a lot of industry? Or one with a number of resorts along the ocean front? It’s totally up to you!

ABC Catchment Detox

Step 12. Play the game now

[step 12 image]

Are you up to the challenge? Could you build a thriving and sustainable economy? 

Go on, what are you waiting for? Start playing Catchment Detox.

ABC Catchment Detox