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Video Game / Sky

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A game about giving
Sky: Children of the Light (a.k.a. thatnextgame, a.k.a. "the game about giving", a.k.a thatskygame, a.k.a Sky) is a 2019 game from thatgamecompany, creators of flOw, Flower, and Journey, released on iOS and Apple TV. It is a Coop Multiplayer exploration game where you assume the role of a Descendant, a flying cloaked humanoid who travels across a fantasy world set on top of the clouds.

See also the reveal teaser and the Q&A with Jenova Chen, as well as the official website. Gameplay video #1, #2, #3.

The game contains examples of following tropes:

  • After the End: Like Flower and Journey before it, Sky has the players explore the ruins of a fallen precursor civilization.
  • Bubbly Clouds: The game is set in a desolate abandoned kingdom built upon the (surprisingly solid) cloud tops.
  • Character Customization: Players are able to customize the Descendants' hairstyles (the key art alone depicts long hair, pigtails, a cowlick, and a braid), robe colors, pants, mask, and instrument/tool (piano, chair, harp, etc.)
  • Coop Multiplayer: Friends can hold your hand and lead you around the level. Some sections require multiple people to open doors.
  • Easter Egg:
    • If you and seven other players use the butterfly catcher expression next to the gavestone in the 8-player area of Daylight Prairie, then you can summon a rideable dog named Oreo!
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    • See that flame icon next to the wall in the Vault? Try tapping on it. Suprise! You found the entrance to The Office!
    • Go to Sanctuary Islands (from the big hole in the clouds in the Birds' Nest area), and travel to the bells near the Sanctuary Guide. See those rocks behind the bell structure? Using the pouting stomp emote, you can cause the bells to ring!
  • Emote Animation: The players’ primary method of communication. Emotes are earned from spirits who teach them to the players. Some emotes are required to activate doors or other such things in the world.
  • From Bad to Worse: The Season of Prophecy introduced 4 trials, each difficult in their own way but very much worse than the one before them, in order:
    • Trial of Water, set in an arctic area where you have to time your jumps, run to elevated areas and light check points before the icey cold water catches you.
    • Trial of Earth, set on a floating island in a void where your patience and quick reflexes are tested against floating, spinning rocks, especially the last area before the meditation shrine.
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    • Trial of Air, same as before, except the wind is now your enemy, and the platforms now move routinely.
    • Trial of Fire, set in a pitch black void where you have to avoid Darkness Worms that blend in with your surroundings and scare the living daylights out of you as they extinguish your character's fire and reset you back to your last save point.
  • Flight: Flight powers are recharged with light and collecting winged lights increases flight.
  • Flying Seafood Special: Flying manta rays share the skies of the game with birds.
  • Holding Hands: Befriending other players allows hand-holding.
  • In a Single Bound: While not airborne, the Descendant seems to move in extremely long leaps similar to how someone would move in a low-gravity environment.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to Journey. The developers describe the world of Sky as "whimsical", whereas Journey's story was very much a cautionary tale.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • At first, Sky appears to be a heartwarming game about befriending other descendants and collecting spirits with cute expressions and outfits, and leveling up using the Children of Light you find in random places. after finishing the Valley of Triumph elder cutscene, the player descends a snow mountain before flying towards an opening in the orange clouds, before they fade into a sickly green and the player enters a level full of crab-like creatures that become agitated when spotting you before dealing damage, and dragon-like creatures appropriately called the Dark Dragons (or Krill) who cause you to lose your winged light if you happen to enter their spotlight and don’t find a place to hide in five seconds. The first one you encounter even kills the flying manta that’s been guiding you. There are also hints about a war and a ruthless king, with about 3 looming statues of him in the final stage before you encounter the Elder. Welcome to Golden Wasteland.
    • The Whiplash happens again in the Vault of Knowledge, which is very calm compared to Golden Wasteland. And then Eye of Eden, which does this twice (from the dangerous rock-filled landscape where you'll eventually die to the Gainax Ending that is Orbit).
    • The Mood Whiplash appears for a third time in the Elemental Trials. Think the previous trials were easy? The Trial of Fire subverts your expectations. After meditating, you arrive at what looks like a black hole, and now, you have to constantly light up candles on the floor to stay alive, not to mention the Darkness Worms that float around in a set path, who don't notice you but will immediately cause a One-Hit Kill if contact is made.
  • One-Word Title: It's about a kingdom that is set on top of clouds - also called Sky.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The Dark Dragons look NOTHING like traditional dragons - the closest thing to one of them is the Chinese Dragon. In fact, they look more like krill.
  • The Power of Friendship: The Central Theme of the game is "giving", and your goal is apparently to heal the post-apocalyptic landscape with the power of generosity and compassion.
  • Treehouse of Fun: The entire Season of Assembly is dedicated to helping the Scouts build one.
  • Tropical Island Adventure: You can travel to Sanctuary Island, a tropical haven full of waterfalls, floating jellyfish and a quest giver with a mission for you.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Journey, from similar character designs and co-op mechanics, to the familiar visual elements like the light bubbles that accompany chirping.


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