Sky: Children of Light in the test: What good is the Free2Play adventure for Switch?

Sky: Children of Light in the test: What good is the Free2Play adventure for Switch?


We spoke to the head of the team, Jenova Chen, in an interview some time ago about the design philosophy behind the award-winning works of indie studio Thatgamecompany. We also looked at the Switch version of the Free2play title, lit many candles and told you whether a trip into the picturesque world of Sky is worthwhile for you.

Table of contents

1 A pixel fairy tale 2 The social component 3 For children? Recommended editorial content At this point you will find external content from [PLATTFORM]. To protect your personal data, external integrations are only displayed if you confirm this by clicking on "Load all external content": Load all external content I consent to external content being displayed to me. This means that personal data is transmitted to third-party platforms. Read more about our privacy policy . External content More on this in our data protection declaration.

A pixel fairy tale

First a short test: Are you interested in games, especially cracking high scores and defeating opponents, stringing together complex combos or a verbose, cinematic story? If you answer one or more of these points unequivocally in the affirmative, you can probably save yourself the (albeit free) download of Sky. As with all of the studio's works, the focus is more on interpersonal relationships than on competition. Yes, there is a story, but no, it is not bombastically staged. The beauty of Sky is related to its simplicity.

If you light the candles of other players you meet, you will recognize their appearance - before they are just gray shadows that all look the same. Source: PC Games This also applies to the optics; although no technical standards are set here, the game is beautiful. Wind caresses meadows of flowers like in Flower, with your fluttering coat you rush through the sky like in Journey. Memories of Ghibli movies and Zelda in his best moments inevitably come back to Sky. Occasional jerks cloud the picture a little, but not massively. In keeping with the look, the background music is a real treat for the ears. We don't want to waste too many words about the why of the trip, just this: It motivates to explore the paradisiacal landscapes and save spirits in the process. The moves are manageable, your figure can run, jump, fly - longer, higher and further depending on the coat upgrade -, light candles, leave messages and communicate with gestures.

The social component

In moments like this, Sky feels great despite the simple gameplay. The temple in the background is initially the destination of your journey. Source: PC Games Sky consists on the one hand of the story, this part of the adventure delivers around three to four hours of typical Thatgamecompany entertainment with less demanding gameplay, but still good entertainment value. There is the possibility of spending even more time in the Kingdom of Heaven after the main storyline is over, and that's where the Free2play aspect literally and clearly comes into play. Unlocking the various cosmetic items takes a very, very long time, and the prices in the in-game shop for additional outfits, the seasons content or simply candles, with which you can buy all kinds of things in the game, are sometimes high. It is possible to get to certain resources a little more comfortably through friendships with other players and in theory Sky can be completed without spending money, but somehow the facets don't quite fit together - on the one hand there is a wonderful, meditative gaming experience, on the other the option to buy virtual candles for 50 euros.

For children?

We look for spirits in the world and redeem them. They show gratitude by teaching us gestures. Source: PC Games Also in another aspect, Sky seems a little Janus-faced: In terms of community, it is actually - at least according to our experience - very child-friendly. Rarely have we read so much positive and friendly texts in a game that offers the possibility to leave messages. We didn't encounter any offensive content at all, so Sky has a lot ahead of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. In our opinion, the title is not necessarily recommended for very young players, and not only because of the steep prices for in-game content confused even us old hands. At the latest when it comes to communication, younger semesters are likely to be completely overwhelmed, because there is sometimes the language barrier (you can only chat while sitting on benches, as long as a candle is lit and another player is also sitting there, or when you make friends). In summary: You can tell Sky that a realignment was made during the development and Free 2 play was included, because between these puzzle pieces there is noticeably friction again and again it is initially free to see whether one is willing to pay for additives. And the story part is supported by the strengths of the studio.

My opinion

By Katharina Pache

Chief Editor

[email protected] Two hearts beat in my chest. Jenova Chen has already explained the Free2play problem in an interview, but even if the reasons for the decision are understandable, I still find the shop to be a flaw. However, Sky has to be granted that it remains comparatively fair. If you just want to experience adventure and don't value a complete collection of gestures, magic and accessories, you don't need to spend any money. I can imagine that it is nice to hang around after the four hours when you are playing with friends. Unfortunately, I cannot confirm this because nobody wanted to accept my friend request! And I have to say: I've been gambling for a few years now, but some features are very cryptic, for example I checked online what the candles are all about. Despite the criticism, I had nice hours with Sky, and it may be "just" a moment of awe when you sail through a golden wreath of clouds into the deep blue sky, accompanied by thousands of birds. Sky: Children of Light (NSW) 7/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - Pros & Cons Picturesque video game fairy tale in the Journey game Main story does not require any money Great background music Very nice style Friendly community Great prices for in-game currency A lot is explained poorly or not at all jerks occasionally, clipping errors More Pros & Cons ... Conclusion Basically a nice indie adventure, which suffers from the Free2play concept

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