The award-winning third-person title was a standout of the previous console generation. Its unique blend of an enigmatic art style and traditional 3D platforming and puzzle-like mechanics helped it stand out. What made it unique, however, was the inclusion of a native online mode that allowed real people to meet randomly in the game world. Unable to communicate directly, players could only help each other along with simple in-game emotes.
This iOS launch follows last month’s release of Sky: Children of the Light. Polygon had the chance to preview thatgamecompany’s next effort at this year’s E3 in Los Angeles. From our hands-on demo:
Sky looks and feels quite a bit like Journey, but with more people. Up to 8 players can join a session through their smartphone or tablet. These groups feel big, but not massive; busy but not totally unwieldy. There’s a logic to their size: Chen hopes Sky will be a game entire families play together.
Of course, he clarifies, people can also play alone. Some puzzles require 8 players to cooperate, but Chen recognizes that sometimes collaborating with seven friends can be a bit like “wrangling cats.”
I doubt anybody will want to play alone though. Sky recaptures that beautiful mix of playfulness and performance of its predecessor. I can’t yell over voice chat; instead I must communicate with audible pings and gestures.
Journey for iOS is being sold for $4.99, and players must be logged into Game Center to use its online features.