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Sunlight is a hand-painted hike from the creator of Among The Sleep

Sometimes, after scaring yourself silly with a spooky game or flick, there's nothing better than decompressing with a bit of fresh air. Among The Sleep developers Krillbite must certainly think so at least, pivoting hard away from horror with Sunlight's woodland hike.

Announced earlier this week, the developer's latest leaves the infantile horror of their previous work behind to take a tranquil stroll through the woods. Sunlight's forest is composed of whispering trees whose voices harmonise to form a kind of guiding choir, directing you through a "atmospheric and meditative" 30-minute story.

Strikingly, the entire thing was hand-painted in virtual reality using Quill. While I see less of it on my feed these days, I've always adored the kind of ethereal, fuzzy three-dimensional works of VR artists like Liz Edwards—an almost impressionist style resulting from the strange process of painting a scene from inside the canvas. My first thought on coming across these 3D illustrations is to want to step inside them. On that front, Sunlight already has me excited.

(Okay, so Krillbite cites The Scream artist Edvard Munch as a key inspiration, but I reckon Sunlight skews closer to the broad strokes Claude Monet's works. Hey, maybe that high school art class wasn't a total waste?)

Sunlight is also curiously pitched as something of an indirect sequel to The Plan, the studio's free 2013 side-project about an insect's existential crisis. The short hike will stumble on Steam this January 14 for £4/€4/$4.

Natalie Clayton

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time—and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and having herself developed critically acclaimed small games like Can Androids Pray, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She's also played for a competitive Splatoon team, and unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.