After Sky: Children of the Light enchants iOS players, it lands on our Switch and Android devices. The spiritual successor to Journey had seduced us when it was released, but is it still worth it on Nintendo’s transportable? Answer this test.
A practically identical switch version
On iOS, Sky wasn’t necessarily a graphics standard, this Switch version suffers from the same pitfalls. However, it is possible to change the graphics mode on the fly without having to reload the game, which is very convenient. The graphics mode aims at 30 FPS and refines the models slightly, while the performance mode aims at 60 FPS and reduces the resolution. Difficult to recommend, because the visual gain is visible in the docked graphics mode, but the frame rate lacks stability. The performance mode is not immune to a one-off break-in, but overall it is much smoother. The choice is at the discretion of the player.
Let’s not forget, however, that Sky: Children of the Light is a game that is all about contemplation. Fast camera movements are practically non-existent, so that frame rate drops are much less annoying than with other titles.
From a purely visual point of view, the title does not show any textures or models of unbelievable finesse, but the excellent artistic direction is enough to enchant. It is a pleasure to be able to enjoy it on the big screen, especially when flying over seas of stormy clouds. Despite the submerged technology, we are regularly blown away by the panoramas and the impressive cloud fields. The controller support is also a clear plus, with which you can enjoy this adventure under very good conditions. Our hero reacts with the finger and the eye and the well thought-out shortcuts enable quick communication with other players.
Read the review from 07/28/2019 by MrDeriv
A social journey
A few minutes are enough to know that you are laying your fingers on an experiment thatgamecompany has come up with. Its artistic note is immediately reminiscent of Journey, as do the flowing movements or the dreamlike soundtrack. But Sky: Children of the Light is more than a simple emotional walk, above all a game, with goals, secrets to uncover and a progression system that invites the player to venture further and further in his different levels.
Remember the unfamiliar silhouettes crossed across your slides in Journey. Other anonymous gamers who, like you, shared part of the road for a while without an excess of information on his mate’s identity. Summarized in a few basic interactions like little melodies or the implicit language of movement, it didn’t take much to say much and create a real, certainly ephemeral connection between two strangers. Sky takes this idea for itself and puts it at the top of its concept. You will meet dozens of other players during your explorations and communicate with them through small melodies, emotes, gifts and much more direct dialogue. by sitting as a duo on a bench in order to exchange freely in writing.
The sum of these exchanges quickly creates a feeling of empathy at any time, a positive atmosphere in which mutual help is fostered by several rewards.. Up to eight players can spontaneously come together with the idea of helping each other; Just walk up to another character and tap on it to automatically follow them. Far from having the uncomfortable feeling of dragging a ball behind you, you enjoy helping others because cooperation is so pleasant and useful in certain situations.
But what are we doing in Sky: Children of the Light? The player embodies a child of light, a small creature wrapped in clarity with a cloak on his back. The latter is reminiscent of the Journey scarf as you can fly into the sky with it. But freedom of movement is much more important here than in the previous game of the studio. Your task is to restore the light through the seven dream worlds of this land floating in the sky.. Each zone, distinguished from the previous one by a unique and captivating visual atmosphere, is separated from the other worlds by a dense sea of clouds that can be traversed with the grace of a bird. Thanks to a simple and intuitive operation, which is designed for touch control, you can feel how you grow wings from the first minutes of the adventure. The left thumb emulates a virtual stick, while the right thumb is used to rotate the camera or interact with the environment.
Simple in appearance and without great challenges, our exploration of these magical moors aims to find the traces of the ancestral spirits lost in the dark, in order to lead them into different constellations in which they can find peace. This quest gradually expands a goal bar, in which each stage unlocks new rewards such as emotes, customization options or new melodies of social interactions. As a being of light, you have the opportunity to reactivate certain torches on your route or to collect candles that you need to improve your ability to move. A bright energy bar at the top of the screen represents both your health bar and your ability to fly for a limited time
And this is where Sky: Children of the Light surprises the most, in this ability to show oneself much deeper than it seems at first glance. Because if it is possible to complete the adventure in just over four hours without worrying too much about its benefits, such an approach will deprive you of the most interesting element of the title: exploring and discovering secrets. Light a fire, find stars, ring bells, these diverse interactions that are spread over the worlds give the player more opportunities to move and interact with his colleagues. Not everything is offered from the first steps in an environment, some elements are carefully hidden, others require more advanced platform sequences, and some require two players to work together to unravel their secrets. Don’t expect high-end puzzles though, most of them simply require flipping switches or collecting a certain number of ghosts on the levels.. The result, however, is a pleasant sense of progress that is never forced or artificially restricted by the restrictive mechanisms that are characteristic of many free mobile experiences.
A real free-to-play game?
And yes, Sky: Children of the Light remains a game that is free to download on iOS. We could then fear a progression model that is constrained by different paywalls. And yet we went through the entire title without even feeling the need to heat up the credit card in order to accelerate our progress. The game features microtransactions in the form of candle purchases and other adventure passes that unlock exclusive rewards. These currencies are largely identical to those that the player collects as the game progresses and are used to personalize various aspects of his appearance such as his cloak, hairstyle, face or even get new emotes. The cash shop is therefore not intrusive and in no way favors buyers over free-to-play players.
Nice, free and generous
After each level end or disconnection, the player returns to a kind of central HUB, which is equipped with several places of social interaction and direct portals to the worlds he has already visited. When everything is designed for ease of use, the title sometimes reaches the limits of its mobile support. The graphics benefit from an admirable rendering for the support: colorful, illuminated and animated with great care, it is a true spiritual successor to Journey that presents itself to our eyes with the same sequences of magnificent slides in full of grandiose allure of tableaux vivants. The title will have no trouble showing itself credibly when it launches on consoles and PC (as announced by the studio this week), a medium on which it should suffer less from the few frame rate drops that our 2018 iPad has appeared.
The other problem with mobile support concerns the controls, which are simple and intuitive, but not very suitable for motion sequences that require a minimum of precision.. While we would have liked the controllers to help make the most of the experience, the “casual” challenge the adventure offers doesn’t suffer unduly from this lack of maneuverability. A final word about the game’s soundtrack, composed by Vincent Diamante, an artist who is already working on Flower and spoils us with captivating symphonies that are always adapted to the magic of the moment.
- Magnificent surroundings to visit
- A constant charm
- Interactions between players, at the heart of the experience
- A real feeling of progress
- Soundtrack that perfectly rounds off the picture
- Low-key and fully optional microtransactions
- Enjoy the adventure on the big screen
- Basic puzzle
- Not always very smooth, regardless of the graphics mode
Just as recommendable as on the mobile phone, the Switch version of Sky: Children of the Light gains magic as soon as the console is placed in the dock. You can enjoy the excellent art direction on the big screen and enjoy the joystick controls. The clouds as far as the eye can see are impressive and make you want to get lost. This free-to-play has not lost its luster and deserves your full attention, especially if you loved Journey like us.
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By iGamesNews, Journalist igamesnews.com