Little over 6 months ago I reviewed Star Sky. An interesting ‘game’ that was more about sweet little experiences and intrigue rather than focusing on gameplay. It wasn’t particularly well received by everyone, but I enjoyed it for what it was and recommended it to those who were aware of what they were getting. Now the sequel has arrived. How does Star Sky 2 stack up against the original? First, if you’re not familiar with the original, be sure to read our older review for a catch up.
Star Sky 2 boasts exactly the same type of gameplay as the original. You can only walk forwards with the B button and sprint with the A button, there’s no walking backwards. That’s practically the only interaction you have in regards to input. Your silhouetted character walks along a moonlit plain with chirping insects being the only sound. That is until you stumble across one of the many ‘events’ spread through the sections of the game. Hearing a glowing twinkle means there’s an event to be witnessed. If you fulfil the requirements of it then you will be able to trigger it. If not, nothing will happen, try again later.
Triggering the events is where the puzzle aspect of the game comes in. Triggering an event earlier in the walk can help activate other events further up the field, likewise carrying one of the few items with you to an event can allow it to be seen or not. It’s really very interesting to experiment with different events in each walk through to find new ones.
One of the issues with the original is that if you were walking and accidentally missed an event you wanted, you needed to go all the way through to the end and play through the whole thing again just to get back. The developer has learned from this and while you can’t walk backwards, there are paths in the game that allow you to go to previous sections which is very useful.
A standout addition to the sequel is that there are two walks to take: One with the man who walks right and another with a woman who walks left. They have completely different paths and experiences from each other but the most interesting part is that they can effect each others walks. As a small example, in the man’s walk he can activate a volcano that will subsequently appear in the woman’s walk. In turn, the only way the volcano can be deactivated is in the woman’s walk. This is one of the aspects that gives Star Sky 2 a more puzzle-like experience.
One play through will only be a few minutes long and you can’t see all the events in one play through. You have to play through multiple times for both the man and the woman in order to experience everything. Seeing them all will take a couple of hours at most so it’s not a lengthy game, although I would say it’s longer than the original.
One of the very few aspects I’d say the original did better on was the endings. They were quirky, weird, funny and even heart warming at times. Unfortunately Star Sky 2’s endings aren’t as nice as they always end in in practically the same way as you walk into a cabin. Yes, there’s a small differing event before that but they don’t compare with the original game’s.
Another is that the story and background are overall less intriguing this time around. There’s less mystery and sweetness, partly due to the endings, but also because there is less interaction with other people than before. Considering the least important part of Star Sky 2, it’s not really a problem I guess.
There’s a hint system in place which I think is mistakenly pre-activated. My advice is to immediately turn it off before playing the game as it kind of makes the run through much less mysterious. After you’ve played the game for a while and are stuck on the last few events then maybe switch it on. Definitely don’t have it on right at the beginning.
While still very simplistic, I think it’s visually superior to it its predecessor that’s to more variety in the colours and landscapes. The music and environmental noises, while stock, suit the game perfectly.
Overall, Star Sky 2 is a superior game to the original. That being said you still need to be aware of what to expect from the game before buying it. It’s incredibly laidback, simple and only minimally involved. It’s more puzzle-like than before and the addition of a two different, yet interacting, routes for the man and the women make it even more interesting to play. Couple that with tweaks such as being able to backtrack without needing to play through the whole thing, means it’s an improved sequel and the one to go for.
– Different, interacting walks
– Can revisit areas!
– Nice, sweet, simple (if that’s your thing)
– Endings aren’t all that interesting