Sky: Children of the Light is the Best Game Ever

Hannah Elstro, MVC writer and photographer

Sky: Children of the Light may be the best game ever created. Okay, that may be coming on a bit strong, but only as strong as my feelings for the game are. Sky: Children of the Light, aka Sky, is a masterpiece of a game that encapsulates everything a game should be, and I cannot wait to see what the developers come up with next.

Sky is a free to download and play online game, available on iOS devices, Android devices, and Nintendo Switches. The only version where purchase is necessary to get the game is the Nintendo Switch version, although players can gain resources through microtransactions on all versions. 

Sky was developed by Thatgamecompany, and is described as an “open world social indie adventure game.” This basically just means that the game focuses heavily on social aspects, is an adventure game where players can go wherever they like, and is created by a smaller game developer. 

Sky was chosen as Apples’ Iphone game of the year in 2019, and had reached over 100 million downloads by May of 2021 after having only been released a little over a year on Android devices and almost two years on Iphone devices.

The content of Sky is just as amazing as the game itself. The main story of Sky revolves around the restoration of a kingdom that has fallen to darkness. The player can help save the kingdom by returning the spirits to it; these spirits, which each guide the player on a short story, give the player what is known as a “winged light.” In the game, the players have capes, which gives players the ability to fly, and these winged lights will give the player the ability to fly for longer periods of time, depending on how much winged light the player has. These spirits are found throughout the seven levels. 

Each level is its own little world, complete with hidden storylines, unique terrain, quests, and other such aspects. For example, the Valley of Triumph is a village complete with a few working shops where the player can race in tournaments, and a different level, The Hidden Forest, is literally a forest with hidden structures and other interesting side quests throughout. 

As the story develops more through the levels, the player progresses into the heart of the storm that decimated the kingdom, and giant monsters lunge at players caught in their spotlights to steal their winged light. The gameplay is amazing, and perfect for those who like a story with some action to it. 

The first several levels of the game are completely non-violent, but it is important to not confuse non-violent with boring. Although these levels are just an introduction, they are anything but boring; they are peaceful, but fun to explore, helped by the fact that in those levels there are several interesting and fun hidden storylines and side quests to discover. In later levels, the game is fun and heart-pounding for a different reason, with some action and stakes.

The quality of the game is both amazing and has improved drastically. I discovered the game when it was still in its beta version, and can confidently say that the game has grown a lot. The main thing I wished for in the beginning levels was more, and boy did I get it. There was so much more to discover and areas to find and side quests to complete in the first levels, and it was so much more fun because of all the new little things.

Although the story is still mainly the same, the main storyline is a relatively small part of the game. Just look at play time: only about five hours to complete the story, but almost 60 hours to fully complete the game. The real fun comes from the side quests, events, and finding hidden places. It is apparent through all the little things, all the hidden places, all the details, that Sky is the brainchild of a developing company that truly cares about the quality of the games they are making. 

Content in Sky is constantly updating; there are different seasons, traveling spirits with their own questlines for the player to fulfill, and an ever-changing list of accessories available. By the time one has finished, there are already more things to do, creating this almost loop where a player never gets bored or completes everything. This only helps keep the game interesting, and I do not see that as a downside.

The mechanics for Sky can be broken into two categories: gameplay aspects and social aspects. For the social aspects, players gain emoticons that express a variety of emotion and actions, which can become very niche and unique, but in a fun way, after about 30 of them or so. They can also chat with other players by either befriending them with in-game currency known as candles, which are free, or by sitting on a bench with them. Emoticons can be seen by all, and there are a few places where several players will need to do an action to access the area. The actual players of Sky are also extremely nice, from what I have experienced; the fanbase is helpful to new players, leaves nice messages around to help players recharge on light, and are willing to help other players unlock areas. 

For the gameplay aspects of the mechanics, there is flying, jumping, walking, and sliding. Each has their own animation, which I like, and flying can even change its animation between vertical and horizontal. 

The graphics and audio for this game are another reason why Sky is so amazing. The graphics are gorgeous, with breathtaking views and beautiful landscapes in each level. Flying only accentuates the beauty, and each level offers a new layer of beauty. 

The avatars are adorable, as are the spirits, and this game tops my charts for graphic design. So many games focus on the realistic quality, but Sky focuses on making everything as breathtaking as they can within their stylistic approach, which only makes it all the more beautiful. 

The developers also did not slack off when it came to audio, either; there was an entire event which was solely based around music in the game. This was what was known as the “Aurora Concert,” due to the fact that the artist Aurora was the one who sang for them, or “The Musical Voyage.” Their songs are also very thematically appropriate for each of the levels, and I feel the developers did a good job choosing songs that do not get too boring despite listening to them for a long time. The sounds that the player makes when walking and sliding and doing other in-game activities are also very nice, and were mild enough sounds that it did not grate on my ears even after a while of playing.

However, I do have a few gripes about the game. One has to do with merchandise, which can be purchased on their official shop, Thatskyshop. Although the prices are high, the quality is as well, and certain pieces of their merchandise comes with a STAR tag on it, which unlocks in-game features. Although I love that the merchandise has this feature, I do really wish there was a lower costing one without it, because even with wanting to support the developer I could not justify spending over $30 on a 1.5 inch pin, even if it did have an in-game feature attached. 

My second gripe is that the game burns battery power on a phone ridiculously fast and takes up a lot of storage. Even that, though, is just a result of its amazing graphics and gameplay. Honestly, I am surprised they even managed to get it to work on a phone at all, with how complex the game is. Plus, there is somewhat of a workaround for the burning battery thing: changing the quality of the graphics, under settings, should make it burn through battery power at least a little slower. Be warned, though, if the device being played on is older the battery may overheat if the game is played too long due to being a full videogame that is basically up to par with games that have entire systems dedicated to playing them.

Next is the actual tutorial; although the game tries to help in the beginning, it does have a bit of a learning curve, as not a ton of instruction is given as to what to do. My last complaint is that, although I love the complexity of the levels, it can be very difficult to find certain parts of the map. For example, in my favorite level, the Valley of Triumph, I spent over two hours looking for one spirit because there are at least seven different areas it could have been in, and I had to resort to the fan wikipedia after a while because I was so fed up with trying to figure out where it was. 

Despite these flaws, though, the game more than makes up for them in amazing gameplay, beautiful graphics, no cost to play, and all the little details that they constantly release.

If it has not already become obvious, this game is probably the first, and maybe only, game I have ever loved. Besides Minecraft, I rarely played any sort of games, especially mobile games, but Sky: Children of the Light has completely changed my view on them forever. It is a breathtaking game, both visually and audibly, with little to no cost; amazing, quality gameplay; and an even better fanbase. If one has a phone or computer, this game is a must-have, and I would encourage everyone to download it even just to try it.

In-game Spirits can be found throughout the levels, and by clicking on the fire icon, their spark can be lit with the player’s candle. After the spark is lit, the player will be guided through the Spirits’ story of what they did in that location.
This section of The Hidden Forest has a stream of butterflies that leads the player to a giant castle, the final destination of The Hidden Forest.
This is a map, in which different areas of each level are revealed. In order to show the place on the map, a player must find a specific stone and sit down by it.
A look into a seperate area in The Hidden Forest showcasing the game’s graphics.
Winged, flying creatures in the game are made of light, and are able to help players recharge their light.
The sitting down icon appears next to a stone, and only in a few select places. If a player clicks the sitting down icon, they will either start a quest for a Spirit or get a new section unlocked on the map.
Winged light takes the form of glowing white beings in the game. These beings can be found all throughout levels, and if the player collects a certain amount they will gain the ability to fly for longer periods of time.
The game’s beautiful graphics are on display as clouds hang over a rest area and forest, creating a beautiful silhouette.
In the game, players can light one another’s candles, which can recharge their light, which is a bit like reviving them.