Castles In The Sky, the debut game from indie studio The Tall Trees, doesn’t look like much. Its little pixellated window is like a peek into a giftbox you might find in an Edinburgh gift shop. A miniature boy is holding a little balloon as if framed on the wall of a childhood bedroom. The premise of this game is small too. In Jack’s email to me he’d tell me ‘It’s a videogame picture-book about a little boy who decides to leave the earth far below, and goes off exploring in the wide blue sky’. A picture book, I thought. I expected a pleasant story. I expected not much in the way of the trappings of videogame canon: that world we come from where a health bar happens, or where a collectible might demand our attention. Sullenly, I ran the game, and expected to like it, but not think anything further of it. But sitting down in an armchair just after dinner, I experienced the unlikely: what it is like to be proven wrong.
Read the rest of this entry »
RPS Feature A Bedtime Story