is a series of Hidden Object Games
published by Boomzap Entertainment. You play as Sophia, a beautiful princess who wakes up from a century of magical sleep to find herself in a mostly empty castle. Your goal is to help Sophia discover who she is, where her family and people are, and what extraordinary destiny lies before her.
There have been five games released in the series so far.
- In The Dreamless Castle, Sophia awakens from her magic slumber in a tower of an apparently empty castle. She must make her way through the various rooms to the exit, and along the way rediscover who she is.
- In Moonfell Wood, the story continues from where the first game ended. Sophia has left the castle where she has been asleep for a hundred years, and must traverse the dark and unfamiliar titular forest in search of the Fairy Queen and the Witch of the Woods, who will help her reach the next stage of her journey.
- In The Goblin Kingdom, Sophia must find a way to reach the eponymous kingdom and see the help of the Goblin King, who is renowned for his wisdom and kindness. Unfortunately, things have gone quite badly awry in the Goblin Kingdom, and she must put an end to the problems before anyone will be in any condition to help her.
- In The Skyward Castle, Sophia at last makes her way to the Skyward Kingdom, which was established by her long-lost parents after she entered her enchanted sleep. The evil wizard Dreadmyre followed the humans to their new home and has unleashed a series of horrors, from which she must save them.
- In The Sunhook Spire, Sophia has become Queen and is anxiously searching for a way to be reunited with her parents. She travels to the legendary titular spire to seek the counsel of the powerful Enchantress who lives there, but Dreadmyre's evil has cursed the spire and Sophia has her work cut out for her if she is to save her allies.
- In The Redleaf Forest, Sophia's journey brings her to the titular forest, where she is to find the centaur who can help her forge the Blade of Courage to defeat Dreadmyre. However, Dreadmyre has other plans, and it's up to Sophia to face off against Dreadmyre again once and for all.
Additionally, Big Fish Games and Boomzap have released a Freemium
spinoff game titled Awakening: Kingdoms
, in which the player serves as the Skyward Kingdom's Royal Steward in Sophia's absence and helps restore and repair the kingdom after the events of The Skyward Castle
. It is not meant to supplant the main games, but to serve as worldbuilding and run concurrent to Sophia's story in The Sunhook Spire
Not to be confused with Fire Emblem Awakening
or Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening
Tropes found in this game series include:
- 100% Adoration Rating: Sophia (like her parents before her) clearly enjoys this from her subjects, all of whom have been waiting patiently for a hundred years for her to come and save them from Dreadmyre.
- 100% Completion: The collector's editions of subsequent games following the first two add a series of unlockable achievements encouraging the player to work toward this.
- And Your Reward Is Interior Decorating: And exterior too. In Kingdoms, you complete tasks to earn coins, light crystals, and resources, many of which are used to repair the damaged castle and other buildings throughout the Skyward Kingdom.
- The Archer: Artwork of Sophia's childhood shows her learning to use a bow and arrows under the tutelage of her father, a skill which becomes vital in Skyward Castle.
- Art Evolution: Sophia is given a older appearance in Sunhook Spire, to emphasize the passage of time since the first game.
- Badass Princess: Princess Sophia, naturally. After she defeats Dreadmyre the first time, she becomes Badass Queen Sophia, though at the cost of her parents remaining comatose.
- Badass in Distress: There are a few instances of Sophia being captured or otherwise endangered during the course of the series. She is an entirely self-rescuing damsel, with only a little help here and there from characters she encounters.
- Baleful Polymorph: The cute hamster Nibbles that you help the mysterious peddler with? He's really King Crookshanks, the Goblin King. His brother Grimble turned him into a hamster in order to usurp the throne. The peddler is actually Cyrus, the Goblin court wizard, who went into hiding with the king until Sophia arrived.
- Barrier Apprentice: In the fifth game, Sophia gradually discovers that the Enchantress once had five apprentices, who had to be turned into the Guardians - djinn stationed throughout the Sunhook Spire to guard the Enchantress and the spire from Dreadmyre's power.
- Bittersweet Ending: In Skyward Castle, Sophia defeats Dreadmyre and ascends to the throne, but her parents have been left comatose because their battle with Dreadmyre sapped their spirits.
- In Sunhook Spire, she manages to save the Spire from Grimble's attack and the Enchantress is able to save her parents' spirits from their prison, but the moment is fleeting as the King and Queen fade away - but not before promising Sophia that they'll see her again and that they are proud of her. This only strengthens her resolve to truly defeat Grimble and Dreadmyre once and for all.
- Brainwashed: Captain Ironhoof, the sky pirate who captures Sophia at the end of Skyward Castle's epilogue, is actually under the influence of a curse that Grimble cast over him. Once released from the effects, the captain apologizes and thanks Sophia for freeing him when she destroys the amulet casting the curse.
- The Enchantress herself falls under Grimble's curse, as Sophia waking her from the coma leaves her extremely weakened and susceptible to attack. She gets better.
- The clockwork dragon that Grimble comes to possess is also under his magic. When freed, he provides Sophia with a ride to the Redleaf Forest in the epilogue.
- Turns out Grimble himself was cursed and brainwashed by Dreadmyre himself. In this case, it's Laser-Guided Karma because Grimble's petty greed made him an easy target for Dreadmyre.
- Breath Weapon: Sunhook Spire introduces special dragon altars that give the pocket dragon new powers through her breath, changing her color in the process.
- Call Back: In the playable epilogue of Redleaf Forest, Sophia's daughter Andreia recreates Sophia's adventures throughout the castle.
- The Chosen One: It was prophesied that a human born without magic would be the one to defeat the evil Dreadmyre. When Sophia was a child, the decision was made to put her in a magical sleep until it was time for her to defeat Dreadmyre.
- Dark Is Evil: Dreadmyre, obviously.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The Witch of the Woods is dressed in dark robes, but she is definitely on the side of good.
- The dark-robed and shady looking peddler is actually the Goblin Kingdom's Court Mage, and he's been subtly aiding Sophia because he's in hiding from Grimble with the real king.
- Digital Distribution: Via Big Fish Games, among others.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: In Skyward Castle, Sophia learns that every year on the Winter Solstice, the people of the Skyward Kingdom release enchanted lanterns. Her parents devised this celebration to help the princess find her way back to them, much like another king and queen used lanterns to commemorate their missing daughter.
- Dressing as the Enemy: Goblin!Sophia drugs a guard and steals his armor so she can sneak into the Goblin court.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: Played straight until the end of the fourth game, in which she becomes Queen.
- Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: Some of the puzzles and scenes, particularly in Dreamless Castle, feature gemstones quite prominently.
- Evil Sorcerer: Dreadmyre. His attack on the human kingdom when Sophia was a child is what prompted the humans to leave the magical realm. Turns out he's an evil spirit who killed and possessed the human kingdom's court wizard, whose name was Thomas Dreadmyre. The ghost of the real Thomas appears to Sophia and reveals the way to defeat Dreadmyre.
- Fairy Companion: Mira is assigned by the Fairy Queen to guide Sophia through Dreamless Castle and Moonfell Wood. Ran the fairy owl then takes her place in subsequent games.
- Fantastic Racism: The dwarves blame the loss of their queen on the centaurs, resulting in a long and bloody feud. Only Prince Gillel of the dwarves and the centaur blacksmith appear to believe that peace can be possible.
- Feathered Fiend: Averted by the cockatrice, which is needed to defeat the basilisk.
- Featureless Protagonist: Averted by the main series, but played straight in Kingdoms, since the steward you're playing is supposed to literally be yourself. In the bonus chapter of The Redleaf Forest, your avatar is blank as you are the newest nanny to Sophia's daughter.
- Five Races: Only four have been shown: Humans, Fairies, Gnomes, and Dwarves. It's shown that before Dreadmyre attacked the realm, all the races shared the world in harmony. Fauns, goblins, centaurs, and other fantastical creatures are also shown to live in this world. It's only after Dreadmyre's attack that the humans fled to the sky, and the centaurs and dwarves that mainly inhabit the Redleaf Forest have been feuding since.
- Floating Continent: After Dreadmyre's attack, the humans retreated to Skyward Kingdom in the clouds. The bonus chapter of Goblin Kingdom shows Sophia gaining a winged unicorn to access the Skyward Kingdom, which is the setting of the fourth game.
- Flower Motif: Dreamless Castle incorporates flowers into many of its puzzles as well as its decor. The dress Sophia wears even has a white rose ornamenting the bodice.
- Friend to All Living Things: Sophia. She befriends and adopts the little pocket dragon in Moonfell Wood by feeding her. The griffin and the winged unicorn who allow Sophia to travel to the other kingdoms also take a liking to her after she feeds them, and in the unicorn's case, she heals his injured wing.
- Ghost Kingdom: The original human kingdom, where Sophia awakens in Dreamless Castle, is this in the sense that she is the only human left in it. It's been so long since humans were seen there that some of the goblins she encounters don't even believe in her existence anymore.
- Girl in the Tower: Dreamless Castle opens with Sophia waking up in her room, located inside a tower in the castle.
- The Good King: Sophia's father, and the Goblin King. Unfortunately, King Crookshank's weaselly brother Grimble turned him into a hamster in order to usurp the throne.
- Good Morning, Crono: Dreamless Castle begins with Sophia waking up from her enchanted sleep.
- Gotta Catch 'Em All: Kingdoms has various collectibles scattered around which can be found during the course of completing objectives; most of them are given as bonuses in hidden object scenes. Collecting all of a particular kind of object (e.g. a certain group of flowers) nets prizes such as extra coin or supplies.
- Hello, Insert Name Here: In Kingdoms, you have a squabbit (squirrel/rabbit hybrid) as your hint assistant. Its default name is "Buddy," but you can change it to anything you like.
- In-Series Nickname: Sophia is sometimes called "the light in the dark." Ran addresses her as "Milady", and after the events of Skyward Castle, she is called the "Skyward Queen". Dreadmyre, conversely, is sometimes called "the dark in the light."
- Lady of Black Magic: The Witch of the Woods in Moonfell Wood is said to be fearsome and powerful, which is true - but she's firmly on the side of good. She held off Dreadmyre's attack long enough for the humans to flee the kingdom, and then she and the other forest guardians kept an eye on the sleeping Sophia until she woke.
- Lady of War: The Sequel Hook of Skyward Castle reveals that Sophia has become this. Now Queen Sophia, she commands a huge army as she searches for a cure for her parents. She's on this quest when her ship is attacked by sky pirates, leading to the events of Sunhook Spire.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: When Sophia first awakens, she has no memory whatsoever - she doesn't even know her own name. The memory loss is an apparent side effect of the magic spell which put her in the enchanted dreamless sleep. As she progresses through the castle to make her way out into the world, she slowly starts to remember things as she finds pictures, statuary, and other hints about her remarkable past.
- Light is Good: Sophia is referred to as "the light in the dark," while Dreadmyre is "the dark in the light."
- Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: The first two games are available in Vanilla Edition versions only, but starting with Goblin Kingdom, the games have also been released as these. They contain bonus gameplay and other assorted goodies.
- Magical Negro: The Enchantress in Sunhook Spire is literally a powerful enchantress who happens to be black. Played with in that her race is not mentioned at all, and while she is a powerful being in her own right, she does not guide Sophia along her journey in the game as she is trapped in a magical coma. She put herself in that state in order to use her magic to protect the spire, and only provides help in the very last chapter of the game.
- Magitek: The world of the games runs on a combination of magic, energy crystals, and basic industrial-age technology.
- Meaningful Name: Sophia means "wisdom." There are repeated references to her being expected to rule over her people with wisdom and kindness; a final magical message left by her parents explicitly states this.
- Missing Mom/Disappeared Dad: Sophia finally finds her parents in Skyward Castle. Unfortunately, they're trapped in a magical coma and have no idea she's there.
- No mention is made of who Andreia's father is or if Sophia ever married in Redleaf Forest's epilogue
- Muggle Born of Mages: The King and Queen are extremely strong and powerful magic users, and it's implied from the narration that all of the humans have the ability to wield magic as well. Sophia does not have any magic of her own and has to rely on her brains and wits.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Dreadmyre. It's a twist, though, in that the original Dreadmyre - Thomas Dreadmyre, the royal magician as noted above - was a really nice guy.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: The pocket dragon in Sunhook Spire is placed on various altars that give her new elemental abilities, which of course are necessary to solve specific puzzles. Once she receives new powers, she apparently has no access to her old powers, so the new powers are only given when the old ones are no longer needed.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: You know that magical coma that the Enchantress was in? She put herself in that state in order to enact the Spire's barrier. Sophia waking her up breaks the barrier, allowing Grimble to attack. The Enchantress is also extremely weakened from her coma, which leaves her susceptible to being possessed by Grimble's curse.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Ran the owl and the pocket dragon are Sophia's constant companions.
- Kingdoms gives the player one in the form of Linea, another owl.
- No Name Given: The pocket dragon's name has yet to be revealed, although one of the devs hinted on the forums at Big Fish Games that she may receive a name in future installments.
- Also, Sophia's parents' names have not been given.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Ran's actual name is Randolph.
- Sophia is often addressed or referred to as "Skyward Queen" rather than by her actual name by characters in Sunhook Spire.
- Our Dragons Are Different: The only one we meet fits in Sophia's pocket!
- Our Genies Are Different: The Djinn that protect the spire while the Enchantress is comatose are actually her apprentices.
- Parental Abandonment: In order to save their people from Dreadmyre, the King and Queen of the human kingdom literally packed up all of their subjects and moved them to a realm in the sky - leaving behind their only child. It gets explained that they did this because Sophia was the prophesied Chosen One who could defeat Dreadmyre, so as long as she stayed in the original kingdom it was incorrectly believed that he wouldn't seek out the other humans. The princess would meanwhile be kept safe under the protection of the Fairy Queen, the Witch of the Woods, the goblins in the castle, and the other forest guardians until she was old enough to confront Dreadmyre.
- Pet Interface: Ran the owl helps provide exposition and hints, while the pocket dragon helps by lighting or melting things. In the fifth game, the dragon also becomes able to blow powerful winds, freeze things, and perform additional elemental actions.
- Since Ran is off with Sophia during the events of Kingdoms, Linea the owl teaches you how to play the game and provides you with some of your quests, while a squabbit is your hint button.
- Pocket-Sized Dragon: The little dragon in Moonfell Wood follows Sophia around. She's built into the inventory in following games.
- Power Crystal: Light crystals are the energy source fueling the lift in the Sunhook Spire. In Kingdoms they are used to purchase building upgrades and also to speed up the reconstruction time on various buildings.
- Princesses Prefer Pink: Throughout the games, Sophia wears either dark or light pink clothing.
- Proud Merchant Race: The Goblins. They are friendly and helpful to Sophia but only for the right price or if she helps them with a task first. The Goblin Kingdom maximizes this to the hilt as Sophia needs to gather bolgins, the Goblin currency, in order to acquire needed items.
- Psychological Torment Zone: In the bonus chapter of Sunhook Spire, Dreadmyre inflicts this on Sophia by dragging her into a twisted version of her previous adventures in order to try to break her.
- Red-Headed Hero: The captain of the royal guard, who is only identified as 'the captain' in Skyward Castle. In Kingdoms his name is revealed to be Captain Greg, and he helps the player with the reconstruction of the realm.
- Really 700 Years Old: Sophia and her parents are a full century older than they appear. In fact, this is true of all of the residents of the human kingdom, as they were trapped in stasis while the princess was in her magic slumber (see Time Stands Still, below).
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The basilisk unleashed by Dreadmyre turns people into stone.
- Averted with the pocket dragon. She's mostly harmless and fiercely loyal to Sophia.
- Requisite Royal Regalia: One of the final puzzles in Dreamless Castle requires Sophia to "crown yourself." She has to put a tiara on a statue of herself.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Pretty nearly every animal Sophia encounters, but particular mention in the main games must be given to her pet pocket dragon, Ran the owl, and Nibbles the hamster. Kingdoms adds the equally adorable squabbit and Linea the owl.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: The King and Queen of the human kingdom sealed themselves in a time bubble fighting Dreadmyre. Their daughter Sophia is likewise industrious, and the Goblin King (that is, the real one) is highly regarded by his people for actively caring for their realm. The Fairy Queen also qualifies.
- Samus Is a Girl: Word of God states that the pocket dragon is female.
- Scenery Porn: These games are beautiful.
- Sequel Hook: Each game ends on one of these, hinting at what is to come in the next game.
- Shout-Out: Captain Jackdaw, the ship's captain/castle navigator in Skyward Castle is very, very obviously an Expy of Captain Jack Sparrow.
- Significant Anagram: More amusing than significant, really. The currency unit of the Goblin Kingdom is the bolgin, which is an anagram of the word goblin.
- Sky Pirate: Sophia's captain friend in Skyward Castle looks like one, but isn't really. However, in the playable epilogue of the collector's edition of the game, she's taken prisoner by a bunch of them.
- Captain Ironhoof, their leader, is actually under a curse by Grimble, causing him to order Sophia's capture in the first place.
- Slipping a Mickey: The peddler sells Sophia a sleeping potion to sneak into a guard's drink so she can steal his armor.
- Socialization Bonus: In Kingdoms, some of the achievements can only be unlocked by getting other players to be your friends.
- So Proud of You: Sophia's final message from her parents in Sunhook Spire is exactly this.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Is the Goblin King called Crookshank or Crookshanks? The games are a bit inconsistent on this.
- Suddenly Voiced: Beginning with Skyward Castle, voices are given to Ran and any characters that Sophia meets. Sophia herself is heard for the first time in The Redleaf Forest.
- Taken for Granite: The humans and the Faun in Skyward Castle were turned into stone by Dreadmyre unleashing a basilisk on the kingdom prior to Sophia's arrival.
- And before his attack on the human kingdom, he turned the dwarf queen to stone, setting off the feud between the centaurs and dwarves.
- Taking the Bullet: The clockwork dragon is killed by the Ogre while valiantly battling it to save Sophia and the blacksmith. Prince Gillel takes the brunt of Grimble's curse when he aims it at Sophia. He gets better.
- Time Stands Still: Skyward Castle reveals that the human kingdom became stuck like this when Dreadmyre attacked, turning the people into stone and trapping the King and Queen in a time bubble with him.
- Time Skip: The bonus chapter epilogue of The Redleaf Forest takes place at least ten years later as Sophia now has a little girl of her own, Andreia. The player is the newest nanny for the little princess. Ran now sports a pair of glasses, and the pocket dragon is now a full-sized dragon with her own offspring.
- Transformation Sequence: A small one happens in a cutscene as Sophia's boat nears the Goblin Kingdom and she takes a disguise potion given to her by the Gnomes. It temporarily turns her into a Goblin so she can sneak back into the Goblin court and confront the King without problems. She reverts back to her normal form after getting inside the castle.
- Unlockable Content: In the collector's editions, completing the main game unlocks the Playable Epilogue and things like music and screensavers, as well as additional mini-games like Sophia had to play in the main game.
- Un-Sorcerer: Sophia's lack of magic in a world where all the humans have some degree of magic allows her to be unaffected by magical attacks and bypass the magical barrier of the Sunhook Spire.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The bonus chapter of The Redleaf Forest reveals that Sophia has a daughter of her own, Andreia. King Crookshanks forgave his brother and Grimble is one of his advisers. The centaurs and dwarves ended their feud when the dwarf queen returned, and peace and prosperity have flourished throughout the land.
- Winged Unicorn: Sophia's feathered friend and means of transportation to the Skyward Kingdom.
- X Meets Y: Kingdoms is a fantasy city-building game where you earn coins, collectibles, and experience points by completing hidden object puzzles, meaning that it's rather a lot like the Awakening series meets Majesty.