I never got a chance to play Journey, much to my chagrin, but after experiencing the developer's latest game, Sky: Children of the Light, I'm going to seek it out. Sky has stirred something in me that I haven't felt since playing Gris: a love for beautiful artistic experiences where the focus is on appreciating and exploring the world that the creators have made.
Sky: Children of the Light, recently made available on Android for free after being exclusive to iOS for nigh on a year, has left me speechless. Rather, I can only describe the impression it left me with in simple terms that begin to feel repetitive — this game is beautiful and I'm at a loss for any form of eloquence. I highly encourage everyone to try this game out. I think anyone can find something to love about it.
Sky: Children of the Light
Bottom line: Sky: Children of the Light is, hands-down, one of the most beautiful games on Android, both in terms of art style and scope. It's a relaxing experience designed for everyone to enjoy, regardless of your background. It's well worth an install and despite there being freemium mechanics, Sky: Children of the Light is a gorgeous and memorable experience.
- Stunningly beautiful art style
- Simple and enticing gameplay
- Extensive social features
- Fun premise
- Controller support
- Imprecise control input
- Disappointing in-app purchases
What you'll love about Sky
I think everyone can find something to like about Sky. For more traditional ("hardcore," if you will) gamers like me, I found the exploration the most enticing aspect. While it's not on the level of a metroidvania, Sky encourages you to wander and find hidden spirits in a similar fashion. I really like this aspect, even though I couldn't care less about the social features (and got annoyed when people in-game attempted to befriend me). That's just me — you may feel the opposite. Sometimes, having a friend along to accompany you in an open, vast world is what some people crave. That's one of the beauties of Sky.
Sky: Children of the Light is simply breathtaking.
Similar to Journey, there is no lifebar, no experience gauge, and no combat in this game. Instead, you have energy for your winged cape that is easily replenished, a limited stock of Candles, and a gestures/emotes/spells menu. That's it. Sky doesn't ask much more of you than to go out into its seven realms and find the lost, fallen stars and return them to their constellations. Even for someone like me, this ridiculously simple premise is strangely addicting. I found myself wasting away hours in Sky's beautiful world without a care for the real one. In these trying times, that's what some of us need.
I mentioned social features earlier and that's a key part of this game. You can go it solo like I do, but there is certainly something to be said for walking side-by-side with a friend, even by a loner like me. If you've played Journey, the idea is similar. You can run into others in the world and pair up if you wish.
More than any of this, what sets Sky: Children of the Light apart from other games in the Play Store is, without a doubt, the art style. It's simply breathtaking. Awe struck me in its opening moments as I soared among the clouds. Even many AAA games don't leave such a strong impression on me. It's best if you experience it on your own.
What you'll dislike about Sky
While I have almost nothing but praise for this game, there are a few things worth noting. First, being a free-to-play game, there are microtransactions to purchase Candles, items easily attainable in-game. Thankfully, they're not aggressive, in your face, or even completely necessary, but I know this sort of thing puts some people on edge, myself included. Would I have preferred to pay anywhere between $5-$10 up front to experience what Sky has to offer? Sure, but that's not the road the developers decided to travel.
Otherwise, I'd say Sky has some limitations. For one, it's only compatible with Android 8.0+ devices and it's very rough on your hardware. Both my OnePlus 6 and Pixel 4 XL, powerful phones in their own rights, turned into uncomfortable handwarmers when I played Sky for too long. Using my controller mount solved this issue, but be warned. Sky may not work with your device, whether from an OS standpoint or a horsepower one.
Another point to keep in mind about Sky is the squishy controls. I don't know what it is, but my character does not move the way I input. There's a lag from my controller and a floatiness from the touchscreen controls. It's most noticeable when moving, where there's a delay before the character starts up and then again when stopping, even if I've let off the directional input. It's weird and I hope some future updates resolve it. All in all, I'd say it feels very imprecise, even with a Bluetooth gamepad.
Should you play Sky: Children of the Light?
Yes, you definitely should. Sky: Children of the Light is an incredible game, one that grew on me more and more over time. Its art style is a powerful and awesome statement, one that I encourage you to acknowledge. Sky speaks volumes without uttering a single word once you're in the game.
This sort of mimimalism in game design is definitely appealing, leaving you to find your own conclusions about the world and the story being told. You might have heard the phrase "environmental storytelling" before, but Sky uses its actual environments to tell you its story.
If you can't tell, I really enjoy Sky. Though you might be hesitant to dive in due to the free-to-play nature, I strongly suggest you at least give it a try. While no game will appeal to everyone, as I've stated, I think you'll find something to like about Sky — I know I did.
Gorgeous world, simple gameplay
Sky: Children of the Light
Simplicity at its finest
Sky: Children of the Light finally landed on Android, free and open to everyone. There aren't many words that better describe Sky than beautiful, gorgeous, and stunning. The experience is a relaxing, enticing adventure through the seven realms as you search for lost stars.