Ravenskye City presents a wonderful, floating world of mystery
Ravenwood Fair was a great game. It took familiar game concepts and tweaked them until they fit comfortably into its mysterious fantasy world. Ravenskye City simply makes the experience even better. There’s more story, better visuals, and an enhanced sense of discovery as you uncover the ruins of an ancient, forgotten city. It doesn’t stray too far from the formula, but instead offers a more refined and enjoyable experience.
As the name suggests, the game takes place in a city in the sky after your airship crashes into a mysterious floating island. As it turns out, the island was actually once home to a magnificent city. But now it’s all in ruins. Buildings have been left to crumble while invasive vines have covered virtually every surface. Along with your gang of adventurers, you’ll spend the game restoring the city and learning more about its history.
The mechanics of doing this are largely the same as in Ravenskye City‘s predecessor. You’ll cut down vines and clear away rocks, battle strange monsters that appear, and purchase buildings and decorations. Whereas in Ravenwood Fair seemingly random buildings could be discovered amongst the wild forest, in Ravenskye City this sense of discovery feels much more organic. You’ll come across ancient ruins, some of which have magical properties, while others reveal yet more of the story.
It constantly feels as though you’re about to discover something new and interesting. Whether it’s an ancient statue or a blocked-off gate, the sense of mystery is very strong and compelling. This goes hand-in-hand with the more fleshed out story, as well. You can still speak with other characters, and while the dialog is still relatively concise, it’s more in-depth this time around. You’ll also discover ancient scrolls and tablets that reveal more about the once great city in the sky.
This sense of wonder is carried on to the visuals, which are even better this time around. Not only is the art crisper and more detailed, but there’s a significant amount of animation. Characters will dance and move on their own, and certain decorations simply move with the breeze. It really helps make the world feel more alive.
The only real complaint is that the game sticks so closely to the original. Even the sense of discovery is quite similar to what’s found in Ravenwood‘s expansion Ravenstone Mine. The gameplay and structure are largely identical, which also means that Ravenskye has inherited one rather annoying feature. Not only are you unable to see which items a building requires before buying it, but a large percentage require items that need to be gifted from friends. If you don’t have a lot of fellow players — or don’t feel like buying a lot of virtual currency — you’ll be left with quite a few unfinished structures littered about the city.
But considering how enjoyable Ravenwood Fair was, the similarities aren’t all that much of a hindrance. Especially considering how well Ravenskye City builds off of the original, presenting a more lush, fully realized world to explore and plenty of intriguing secrets to discover. It’s quite possibly the best time you can have crash landing on a mysterious floating island.