Sky: Children of the Light
Sky: Children of the Light is a breathtaking upcoming game from Journey and Flower developer, thatgamecompany. I’d signed up for beta access months ago but only got my invitation this past week. I’ve since spent about two hours in this gorgeous world and thought I’d share some of my early impressions.
First off, the game is free. There is an in-game shop, but it’s empty at the moment, so I’m not sure what exactly they’ll charge for. The game encourages friendship and teamwork, so hopefully it will keep that innocence and not get muddied with tasteless in-app purchases. There isn’t a whole lot of guidance, but the game does explain that you move via the left side of the screen and pan the camera using the right side. There’s also a jump button that also allows you to fly if you’ve collected enough fire energy.
Fire actually plays a big part in the game. You light candles as you make your way around this 3D world, and can share a candle with other players. You can even join hands with them and follow them around. Some puzzles can’t be completed alone, so it is important to make friends. I also learned in my second hour with the game, that water drains my flame. I was all excited to run in the rain and then all of a sudden I was powerless. Considering the earlier part of the game felt very easy, I was actually impressed to see that there are dangers and consequences, even if there might not be any actual death. I even struggled a bit with one platforming section where I had to jump from jellyfish to jellyfish up to a doorway that was too high to fly to on my own.
I’m also starting to understand the world a bit, but much of it is still cryptic. You rescue souls, which then lead you to some sort of gods, who each have different expressions they can teach you. There are also constellations to complete, and I think I’m going to have to go back and look for things I may have missed while still learning how things work. In any case, it’s a lovely world to explore, and sliding around in the sand and flying through the clouds among strange bird-like creatures. I’m looking forward to playing more and seeing what I can discover.
I am a little disappointed that the game isn’t full-screen on iPad, especially since it’s being designed specifically for mobile. And the cutscenes are even more widescreen, so they only take up a small sliver of my iPad screen. It’s a shame, because the visuals are spectacular and I want to get lost in them, but it always feels like I just have a small window into the world. Still, it’s a small price to pay for a game like this on my mobile devices. And it even has iCloud sync so you can switch back and forth between devices.
I highly recommend picking up Sky: Children of the Light when it releases on July 11th. You can also pre-order it now, since it’s free, and it will just download automatically when it’s available.