Inverse Recommends

The Kindest MMO Ever Launches on Steam Today

A kinder way to play online.

screenshot from Sky Children of the Light

Launching a massively multiplayer online role-playing game is a daunting prospect these days, with behemoths like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy 14 dominating the genre. But while similar games have a hard time finding a foothold, there may be a chance for an altogether different kind of MMORPG to make its mark. Today, a gentler MMO from the developer of a nearly universally acclaimed adventure lands on PC, where it may find an audience in players looking for a new way to play together online.

First launched on iOS in 2019, Sky: Children of the Light comes to Steam after staggered releases on Android, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation. In that time, Sky has garnered multiple awards, and been nominated for best mobile game at The Game Awards, the New York Game Awards, and the DICE Awards. It’s also gained a devoted audience thanks to its unique twist on social interaction in games, who’ve helped raise money for charities including Doctors without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) and The Trevor Project through in-game fundraisers.

Sky: Children of the Light arrives to make PC gaming a little kinder today.

That generous spirit of giving among its players feels like more than a coincidence. Sky is a game built around altruism, designed to get players to willingly help each other out rather than competing. But as opposed to other cooperative games, you’re not necessarily collaborating on some grand quests or even directly speaking to each other. The story of Sky centers around rescuing lost spirits in an idyllic floating world, but it’s far more about the small interactions you have with other players than it is about that larger narrative.

Players can never actually send messages to each other. Instead, they can communicate through a series of expressive emotes with fantastic animations, like a joyful double high-five. It’s up to players to determine how to work together, whether it’s by signaling with those motions or simply holding hands and flying away together.

That may remind you of another game, 2012’s Journey, also made by thatgamecompany. The silent social aspects of Sky feel like a direct evolution from Journey’s all-time-great trick of matching you up with other players to work together without sharing a word. Journey’s focus on flowing movement and breathtaking environments also finds its way into Sky.

Sky’s sense of freedom in movement is matched only by Journey, by the same developer.


Rather than fighting off monsters, progress in Sky is all about exploration. Its beautiful, peaceful world is full of secrets — with spirits found in hidden coves or released by solving puzzles. As you scour the world in your lighthearted search, even movement itself is joyful. You’ll hop, skip, and fly through Sky’s seven landscapes, with themes ranging from verdant fields to foggy forests. Sky is technically playable alone, but the full effect really requires you to work with someone else, whether they’re a friend or a stranger. With a partner, just seeing what there is to discover while gesturing wildly at each other is captivating.

With the release of Sky on PC, a whole new audience has a chance to join in on the vast social experiment. It’s been five years since the game’s initial iOS launch, but its Steam release lands in a very different world. The same year as Sky’s debut, Kind Words launched on PC, bringing a similarly compassionate form of social gameplay, but one based entirely on words instead of on actions. Its popularity was enough to get it a sequel, which suggests that the audience for a kinder sort of online experience may be growing.

A closer comparison may be 2023’s KarmaZoo. Like in Sky, players in KarmaZoo can only communicate in small gestures as they work to solve platforming puzzles together. Against a seemingly endless tide of harassment and toxicity in online spaces, these few games could provide a needed oasis for players looking to actually feel better after playing games with other people (a wild idea, I know).

Exploring the beautiful world of Sky is much better with friends.


Sky technically launches in Early Access, but PC players are getting the complete game that’s available on other platforms. The Early Access period is meant to add more features like integration with Steam’s friends list. It also lands just in time for Sky’s Season of Nesting, starting April 15, which unlocks customizable player housing, which seems like a great addition to an MMO all about spending time with people and collecting new cosmetic options while you do it.

You can play Sky: Children of the Light for free, though it does have some fairly pricey cosmetic microtransactions if you’re in the mood to throw money at it. Either way, the latest release of this unique approach to these massive games is worth checking out if you haven’t tried it yet. It’s not going to be the most exciting multiplayer game you’ve ever played, but you won’t find a kinder space in any online game — especially not one that looks this good.

Sky: Children of the Light is available for free on iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, and PC.

Related Tags