Sunlight Review – A Moment of Calm in a Sea of Chaos
While many of us find ourselves in a lost place right now, Sunlight aims to connect your mind to a more peaceful existence in this calming walking simulator.
If there was ever a time to calm the mind and allow yourself a moment of clarity, it’s now. Relaxing games have become a high priority for many during the global pandemic where escapism is a must rather than a need. And, thanks to games like Animal Crossing: New Horizon, players have been able to dive into another world and live out a care-free existence. Krillbite Studios offers a place where wellbeing is key in their short atmospheric title, Sunlight.
If you’re like me and find yourself overcome with stress and anxiety due to the current state of the world, then having a place to go to ease your troubled mind is like slipping into a hot bath after a long, hard day. Sunlight does just that. From the very first moment, a tranquil voice, akin to David Attenborough’s, guides you into a hand-painted forest. There you’re asked to relax, and with its ambient, choral score, you find yourself completely immersed within seconds.
As you very slowly move around the forest, trees develop and bloom right in front of your eyes. That’s not all though, they also tell you stories. With each tree you come across, you’ll find a different voice in a different accent from American to Scottish, whispering a personal and captivating tale that revolves around humanity and nature. Krillbite has done a wonderful job here at implementing a surreal and abstract woods. Throughout, the forest comes to life with little pockets of flowers that you wander over to pick up. These allow the narrative to continue on as you journey through the vast woodland.
While I wish that more on the artistic side could have been worked into environments like birds or woodland animals, I do love the game’s visual approach in how it tells the story. What I enjoyed most about Sunlight is Krillbite’s choice of audio. In parts, it’s like walking around a gigantic cathedral as a choir is singing of Tchaikovsky’s “Hymn of the Cherubim” sung by Norway’s Kammerkoret Aurum choir and feeling the overwhelming sensation that brings. In other areas of the forest, just closing my eyes and listening to the rustling of the trees is a delightful, meditative experience. I would certainly recommend wearing a decent pair of headphones to allow yourself to really capture the sound around you and experience getting lost for a short time.
The style of gameplay in Krillbite’s Sunlight may come as a surprise to players who have played their other titles like the horror-based Among the Sleep. This time, the studio has crafted a game that looks to ease the mind rather than startle it. Instead of having something to interact with, Sunlight’s gameplay is solely based upon wandering, listening, and picking some flowers. The sole purpose of Sunlight is to place the player into a relaxed state of mind, to forget what’s going on around them, and to allow themselves to become mindful. Of course, this won’t suit everyone’s taste but Krillbite has achieved what they have set out to do in this short, 30-minute experience, and for $3.59, you really can’t go wrong here.
Sunlight will certainly be beneficial to players who enjoy games like Flower and are looking for a meditation-like place where they can get away from it all for a while. This game would also be a great place for players to return to as a quick-fix to relax. That said, I think to keep Sunlight impactful and interesting over a longer haul, updating the stories would be needed. Overall, Sunlight is worth the short time it takes to complete and makes for the ultimate respite if you need somewhere to restore your thoughts. Even without the visuals, the music and story combined are enough to create a perfect nest that embodies calm, meditation, and awareness of your body. Given the world we live in right now, Sunlight couldn’t have come at a better time.