Have you ever gone for a walk in the middle of the night? This is the premise of Star Sky, a game of exploration on WiiU. Visually it’s very pretty, its two-dimensional visuals are presented beautifully. Your character, a young man, is a completely black silhouette much like Limbo, although his animation is much stiffer than that of Limbo’s young boy. It’s a small complaint however, as you’ll likely be focusing on the background or trying to listen for the telltale music that denotes a nearby event.
Star Sky is meant to be a relaxing and ambient experience focusing on creating a soothing atmosphere rather than intense gameplay. It is similar to an interactive poem. A poem that has several endings and allow you to explore different scenarios. It is important that you take your time and allow yourself to feel the game as you play it.
Events are the entire point of JMJ Interactive’s game, and they cannot all be found in one playthrough. It’s a good thing then that Star Sky is so short, being able to move through the game world in under ten minutes at a time. Holding B on the WiiU’s Gamepad will walk forward and once you hear an event’s melody, releasing B will stop the character’s movement and trigger the event. Will you pick up that flower? Perhaps the girl in the meadow will appreciate it. Or maybe you’ll ignore both and visit the faeries of the forest? Or not, the choice is yours.
At the end of each playthrough, a screen will pop up to tell you which events you witnessed and which ones are still available. To help speed up the process of finding all the events, you can hold A instead of B in order to run forward. You do risk missing events this way, as the event melody will only play in a set area and you can’t turn back if you miss it. Finding everything requires a bit of remembering how to trigger each event and in which order for certain ones, plus there are a couple that can only be activated once a playthrough has already been completed with certain choices. Paths can change depending on your choices, but never really affecting anything other than giving you access to certain events – there’s no real story here, other than any ideas your imagination may conjure up along the way. It isn’t exactly a rewarding experience, but it is a relaxing one.
Star Sky is a very short game, there’s no getting away from that. It’s made for repeat playthroughs but it’s actually possible to see everything the game has to offer in less than an hour, which is pretty poor especially when considering the lack of replay value. Once you’ve seen all the events and completed the game, there really is no reason to play again either.
As a short, exploratory (and possibly experimental) experience, Star Sky works well. Its £3.60 price point on the WiiU eShop makes it an enticing purchase and for anyone wanting to relax for an hour, it’s a decent choice. Just an ultimately forgettable one.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Wii U code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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