CORONAVIRUS CHRONICLES: #PLAYAPARTTOGETHER

JOANNE PANG WRITES – COVID-19 continues to spread amongst communities, and Hong Kong’s zero-case streak has been reset now to over 100 cases daily. The government urges citizens to stay at home unless necessary; but for the gamers out there who want to play with their friends, what can be done?

Introducing “Sky: Children of the Light,” a fun and beautiful social-adventure game that debuted in 2019. Since then, this game has won Apple’s Best iPhone Game of the Year in 2019 and the 2020 Apple Design Award—and that’s only two of their 11 celebrations and achievements so far. Developed by ThatGameCompany, the creators wished to depict the different stages of life by letting players explore them; for instance, the first realm, “Isle of Dawn,” represents birth. At the same time, players will meet various lost spirits throughout this world full of openness and nothingness by self-exploration, thus reliving their memories to understand the world of “Sky” and return them to the stars.

The game is known for its landscapes, from the bright sunny skyscapes of Daylight Prairie to the haunting beauty of the Golden Wastelands, each of them a different mood to accompany the stage of life they represent. Along with the beautifully written score reminiscent of Hayao Miyazaki films, one can explore all the detailed offerings with the game’s viewing function, providing a 360-degree view of the surroundings. One can also collect fashion and cosmetic items such as capes—your flying device—even hairstyles and masks! Not to mention the carry-on objects such as chat tables (people tend not to use them to chat, but to glitch) or the various instruments that one can play!

The beautiful caves of the game’s new location, Sanctuary Islands.

If you think it will be lonely lost in the realms, behold the “social aspect” of this game. You will get to meet many different players who are also exploring the same realm as you and gift them with a candle (that’s your in-game currency) that will allow you to become friends! You can high-five each other, play-fight, hug to express gratitude, and best of all, hold hands. You can lead each other around, so it is especially useful to find a veteran player to show you all the neat tricks and locations. Other than random people in-game, Sky allows you to share QR codes with players you connect with in chat communities such as Discord or Reddit, or even with close friends if you’re trying to introduce them to the game. Although you can communicate with the chat function in game, if the chat system is down, then you have to rely on the emotes you collect in game to express where you want to go and what you want to do!

Me and my friends casually chatting about an event while running the realms.

Hold hands and take flight within the realms of the kingdom of Sky, restore the fallen lights and  learn about the importance of friendship and compassion through this story of life. Last but not least, enjoy this opportunity to play apart “together” with your friends and cherished ones.

Sky: Children of the Light is now available for free on iOS and Android, coming this summer to Nintendo Switch.

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