Gathering Sky

PC, iOs, Android

As you guide your growing flock of birds through the open sky, a musical score—composed by Dren McDonald and recorded at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music—changes fluidly as the birds interact with the world. Gathering Sky is less a video game and more an experience, with a score—a mix of orchestral music, natural soundscapes and vocals—that is an emotional driving force behind the gameplay. When the flutes pick up tempo, you'll find the flock bobbing through the air responding to your hand unconsciously dancing with the controls. String and wind instruments while riding wind gusts make for an astonishing adventure, and ominous music darkens raging storm clouds. It's freeing, soaring above the beautifully painted landscape—an abstract depiction of the bird's eye view—while becoming lost in the clouds is surprisingly claustrophobic and isolating. A single playthrough will clock in under 30 minutes, but younger gamers, or those seeking a meditative release, will find plenty of reasons to continue Gathering Sky.