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Fly into the open world of “Sky: Children of the Light”

(Photo courtesy of: Apple Developer) “Character discovering part of the expansive world of this cross-platform game.”

Emma Nichols
Connector Contributor

Developed by Thatgamecompany, “Sky: Children of the Light” (2019) is a free-to-play world exploration game. Players can access it on mobile, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch, with a PC release date to be announced. As a loose continuation of the developer’s previous game, “Journey”, which won Game of the Year Award in 2012, “Sky” expands on the multiplayer puzzle-solving mechanic in combination with world exploration.

Throughout the game, players take on the role of helping lost spirits move on from their lingering regrets by interacting with them and reminiscing about their lives. The actual story is very simple without much guidance, allowing players to have more freedom to experience the world of “Sky” at their own leisure.

There are six major realms that are available to explore in the base game, and each location has its own associated color and theme. This aspect, along with the beautiful soundtrack that interacts with the story and the player’s movements, makes each area have its own unique personality and atmosphere.

The gameplay in “Sky” is relatively simple: players can jump, walk, and fly through immersive environments. They interact with their surroundings using a candle to light up dark areas, make friends with other players, or burn away debris. There is also in-game currency used to buy cosmetics for the player’s character, which can be obtained for free while playing.

Other than the maps offered in the base game, there are also event areas called “seasons” that the players can visit and explore. Each of these locations has a separate event and storyline unrelated to the main game but still provides a valuable experience. Every season takes on a central theme: community connection, overcoming grief, or environmental restoration, to name just a few of the storylines.

The story in these events is told in a way that combines hard-hitting topics with heartwarming interaction, allowing the player to fully engross themselves in their environment. Players can fly around these maps to their hearts’ desire and be immersed in engaging storytelling, as well as obtain new cosmetics to customize their character. While not the most important part of the game, unlocking new outfits and hairstyles interests many of the fanbase.

In addition to detailed world-building and a beautiful soundtrack, one major thing to note about “Sky” is the ability to communicate with other players through non-traditional means. While most multiplayer games allow players to talk through text, “Sky” only offers that feature after becoming friends in-game. Instead, players have to rely on emotes they can collect through helping spirits in addition to a call feature to grab other people’s attention. And if that doesn’t work, players can lead each other around the realms by holding hands.

Though daunting at first, this minimalistic design choice allows for more free-form expression and communication that transcends language barriers. It helps the fanbase engage with each other in safer spaces while showcasing more of the individual personality of the players themselves. In combination with the small server size—which is up to seven players at once in one server—the connection between players feels more personal as they work together to explore the realm.

Due to the developer’s passion for player interaction, making the game accessible to everyone was very important. With constant updates and the addition of free new content, “Sky” maintains an active player base worldwide.

The actual gameplay is very simple, making it easy to learn for someone who has never played video games before. The game’s servers are also international—meaning that players can meet and make new friends from across the world. No need to worry about language barriers, either; the game has a built-in translator for other player’s messages, making it easy to communicate. In addition to being published on multiple devices, the game is cross-platform, connecting players together no matter what device they are playing on.

All of these harmonious aspects of Sky create a unique and inclusive gaming experience that is suited for all types of people. Whether someone has played 20 games or none, “Sky” is an experience that just cannot be overlooked.

Grade: A

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