“Don’t be ashamed to weep; ’tis right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees, and fruit cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also.” – Brian Jacques
Sunlight is a short but captivating walking simulator and exploration game. Players can make their way through a luscious forest whilst listening to the many voices of the trees.
Developer: Krillbite Studio
Released: 14th January 2021
Gameplay and Narrative
Sunlight sees players wander through a procedurally generated, open-world forest whilst the trees tell an engaging and abstract story. The game prompts the player to forget their worries and mindfully engage in the current moment. The nature of the dialogue is somewhat philosophical and makes for a thought-provoking narrative experience with a message about the environment and trees in particular.
Time passes in the game and the bright sunlit daytime changes to evening, it is at this point that flowers are illuminated and the player can choose which one to pick and add the small bouquet they are creating. This all builds to the game’s unexpectedly poignant ending in which the player finally delivers their floral gift.
The game’s styling is without a doubt the highlight of the experience. The expressionistic, hand-drawn art has an impressionist style and was inspired by artists such as Edvard Munch and Claude Monet. It portrays the forest in a soft and dreamlike way with colour palettes shifting from vibrant and fresh to warmer, muted colours depending on the time of day.
Sunlight’s 3D sound design is incredible. The trees speak as one yet their many unique voices, all with their own distinct sounds, fade and get louder as the player moves. This helps place the player firmly within the environment and creates a real sense of immersion. The haunting music, composed by Tchaikovsky and performed by the award-winning choir Kammerkoret Aurum, is utterly beautiful and mesmerising with the many choir voices reflecting those of the trees.
Overall, Sunlight is a pensive and mindful experience that is sure to make players think. The game proves to be quite meaningful despite its short playtime of around 30 minutes and is well worth the low investment in terms of both time and price. Its focus is the environmental message and as an added bonus any copies bought on Steam will result in a tree being planted making it even easier to recommend.
If you’d like more games about the environment you might like the following article:
6 Nature Themed Games to Play this Earth Day!