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Journey gets a surprise iOS release

Journey joins Sky: Children of the Light, released on iOS by thatgamecompany in July

The main character in Journey, trailing its signature scarf, runs up a ramp towards a narrow ruin over a dusty landscape on PlayStation 4. thatgamecompany/SCEA
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Journey, the serene multiplayer adventure first released in 2012 for the PlayStation 3, is now available on iOS. The mobile version was announced today on Twitter by thatgamecompany’s Jenova Chen.

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.

Journey is also available on PlayStation 4 and on PC via the Epic Games Store.

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.