Sky: Children of the Light is one of the prettiest games I've played in years, and almost certainly the most charming I've played on a mobile device. The esteemed devs at thatgamecompany, who created cult classics like Flower and Journey, have truly outdone themselves this time.
But Sky is a very different game from its predecessors for a number of reasons, chief among them being that it is not only a mobile exclusive (iOS only at the time of writing, but coming to Android very soon), but it is free to play.
Well, thatgamecompany needs to pay the bills, and by launching the game as a free to play title, they've reconciled the fact that they will need to add microtransactions. And they are here, but to the developer's credit, you can easily, entirely ignore them, and never even glance at the store. Wonderful.
But they are there. Why? Well, that's what we will answer. Sky: Children of the Light plays out similarly to Journey in a lot of ways, but if you can't imagine Journey with microtransactions, we can't blame you. Here is what thatgamecompany is asking of you in Sky: Children of the Light…
Money money money
If you do ever look at the shop, you'll quickly find out that microtransactions go from as little as 0.99p, up to £48.99 in GBP. That's somehow better than a lot of mobile titles, as I'm sure you'll be fully aware.
While you don't really need to ever buy anything from the store, purchasing candles can make it easier to upgrade your expressions and unlock new items.
In order to inject payment options without forcing players into them, thatgamecompany has made microtransactions solely cosmetic, and given each spirit you come across a unique progression tree, which will require candles and hearts.
You can progress through the tree to unlock new clothing, new facial expressions, haircuts, and much more. You can make your avatar into a better representation of yourself, basically, but all of this is optional.