It’s easy to envy the ways birds can fly in the open air with the peaceful quiet of up above without the need for jetliners. Gathering Sky is a new iPad game that lets you guide a flock of birds through the air, and simply relax while doing it. The game doesn’t give you missions, time constraints, score bonuses, or even a guide. Gathering Sky is simply about exploration as you tap and drag your finger around the screen, and the birds follow.
There are tons of games in the App Store with many popular entries provide twitch based high score challenges, so it’s nice to see a change of pace. Gathering Sky seems to be the antithesis of current iOS games, and does so by embracing it’s theme. Everything is designed to give you the feeling of a bird in flight as you simply soar and explore. There’s neat artful landscapes to look down upon, and there’s an even better soundtrack to get lost in. Gathering Sky is more like a relaxation app than a game, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s great to play with a pair of headphones, a quiet room, and some time to spare.
The game begins with a single bird, and as you’re flying around you will discover birds to add to your flock. As you’re flying around, you will come across wind currents to streamline your flight to new locations. There are also occasional floating orbs to collect, and as you move through the six environments, you will come across new obstacles like attacking enemy birds. The game is made highly accessible with the one touch control scheme, allowing anyone to start it up and simply journey around the sky. There are level transitions, and the game does a great job of timing up the soundtrack with each level break. The one obvious drawback is that the game is on the short side with the whole experience coming in at under an hour. Also, it can be a bit bland at times, when you’re aimlessly floating around, but that is also part of the allure.
Gathering Sky ($2.99, iPad) is more of a relaxation experience than a game, and with proper expectations, it’s worth picking up.