The cozy MMO I've waited 4 years to play on PC finally has a Steam demo

Sky Children of the Light - a player in a blue hat and cape flies away from a temple in the sky
(Image credit: Thatgamecompany)

I have patience for most things to arrive on PC in due time, but Sky: Children of the Light, the online flying and platform puzzling game from Journey studio Thatgamecompany was not one of them. I've been playing the tiny MMO-alike game for two years on my Nintendo Switch because the online goblin in me just couldn't wait. Sky: CotL still doesn't have an official release date on PC, but it is participating in the Steam Next Fest so you can try it out, or migrate your existing account, right now.

Sky is pretty derivative of the things that everyone loved about Journey: minimalist storytelling, emergent friendships with strangers, and the pure joy of flying about and sand surfing to emotional orchestral music. Honestly, I'm still a bit shocked that it all actually gels in a live service game with season pass events but dammit it really does. It's everything cozy about Journey but slightly more online.

Most of Sky is spent in its six main realms finding spirits, solving flying and platforming puzzles, and rounding up nearby strangers to unlock secret areas and shortcuts together. Oh, and collecting fashion and emotes—the one true motivation in any live service game. On the regular, Sky kicks off new seasons of content with new areas to explore, so the game has expanded its map area quite a bit in the time I've played. There's going to be a lot of exploring for new players to do and on the occasions where you just can't solve a secret, I recommend the well-tended player wiki that's got a permanently open tab on my phone.

Sky's developer Thatgamecompany says that progress in the Steam Next Fest version of the game will be tied to your account and carry over to the game's full launch on PC. If you've already got an account, you can link it to Steam to continue from where you left off on other platforms. I had to reinstall the Google Play version of the game to use it as a bridge to link my Nintendo Switch and Steam accounts together as there's no direct Nintendo Account to Steam account connection available, but I was able to continue playing my account on PC with only that minor fuss. Thatgamecompany is also tracking known issues with the PC demo on its support site.

The current PC version is approachable enough, though players will likely be looking for expanded graphics and control options. Right now I can swap between keyboard and mouse or gamepad controls, but not remap keys. There isn't actually a resolution choice either, just fullscreen or windowed, graphics profiles from "simple" to "max," and my choice of three possible max FPS settings. It's enough to be getting on with in a demo, but I know others will be hoping for more.

We knew back in 2019 that Sky would be arriving on PC eventually. At the time I was only hoping that it would take fewer than the seven years between Journey's PlayStation and PC launches. We're about four years out from Sky's first betas on iOS to today's Steam demo, so I've got hope that we'll see the official launch sooner than later. The demo is available as part of the Steam Next Fest which runs until October 16.

I'll save the rest of my praise for its proper PC launch, but for now I'll put the rest of the cozy gamers on notice: Along with Palia and Book of Travels, this is going to be the third member of my cozy MMO trifecta.

Lauren Morton
Associate Editor

Lauren started writing for PC Gamer as a freelancer in 2017 while chasing the Dark Souls fashion police and accepted her role as Associate Editor and Chief Minecraft Liker in 2021. She originally started her career in game development and is still fascinated by how games tick in the modding and speedrunning scenes. She likes long books, longer RPGs, multiplayer cryptids, and can't stop playing co-op crafting games.