Always The Same Blue Sky…
Gameplay 6
Graphics 6
Sound 8

Always The Same Blue Sky is a visual novel about a student who transfers to yet another school, in yet another remote location, but this time things are a little different. This is thanks to the presence of Kira, a girl who lives on the island and attends the same school. Life is a little more interesting and mysterious after Kira offers to show the protagonist around the island in this short visual novel. The game has its flaws, but the price tag is low enough to make it a decent impulse buy.

Gameplay: Not a lot of choices and the game is quite short, but the story is interesting.

Graphics: The sprite artwork is good, but the backgrounds are a little uneven in quality.

Sound: No voice acting, but the soundtrack is quite good

Summary 6.7 Good
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Summary 0.0 Terrible

Always The Same Blue Sky…

Developer: NeoNight | Publisher: NeoNight | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Visual Novel / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Always The Same Blue Sky is a visual novel that opens with the protagonist waking up from a rather disturbing nightmare while in transit to a remote island. It seems that you are transferring to a new school and that constantly moving to remote locations is not a new thing in your life. However, there is someone on this small island that makes life a little more interesting, a mysterious girl named Kira. She is one of your new classmates and quickly volunteers to show you around the island. The majority of the game focuses on the time that your character spends with Kira, which makes it seem like Always The Same Blue Sky is just another typical, slice of life, visual novel, but this is not quite the case.

As far as visual novels go, there are a couple of things we really like about Always The Same Blue Sky, but it also stumbles in a few key areas, which means it is definitely not going to appeal to everyone. First off, you get to pick the name and gender of your character, but apart from about one line of text, this really doesn’t influence the story in any way. The game is also really short and despite the fact that it has two different endings, it won’t take players very long to see and read everything there is. However, the biggest problem with Always The Same Blue Sky is that it feels a little rushed and disjointed. It is clear that the author of this visual novel attempted to streamline the experience by just focusing on key events in the lives of the characters, but it definitely feels like a little too much was trimmed in the process. The transitions between scenes are not always as smooth as we would have liked and it feels like the story just jumps from one event to the other in a rather jarring manner.

While the game only features two characters, both of them are quite interesting, but the story never really fleshes them out in any way, which is a real pity. There are some genuinely baffling things about the protagonist that are mentioned in passing, but then never explained, which is a missed opportunity. Since the story is so short we can’t reveal much without spoiling things, but the final act also feels a bit out of the blue and the tone is completely different from the rest of the game. This is obviously intentional, but with a couple more scenes to establish the characters and make us care about them, it would have had a bigger impact. After completing the story, which can be done in under an hour depending on how fast you read, there is one short “hidden” story to check out and a couple of achievements that require you to replay the game and make different choices. There are not a lot of choices to be made in the game and the ones you choose don’t seem to influence the story too much either, apart from the endings.

Like the story, the visuals and audio of Always The Same Blue Sky is also a bit of a mixed bag. The CG scenes featuring Kira tend to be good and overall the sprite work is also nice, but since the game runs on the RenPy engine, there isn’t much in the way of animations. There isn’t a large amount of locations either and while the backgrounds show some of the interesting parts of the island the art style seem to be a little uneven. It definitely feels like the sprites and backgrounds were handled by different artists and the styles don’t always mesh together so great. This game doesn’t feature any voice acting, but there is quite a decent amount of language options to choose from, which is great if English is not your native language. We quite enjoyed the background music, although it is not available in-game via a jukebox option. Instead, the soundtrack can be purchased outside the game as DLC. From a technical standpoint, there isn’t much to talk about. You can only choose between full screen and window mode, select the text speed and adjust the volume levels of the music and sounds.

Despite all our gripes, Always The Same Blue Sky was an enjoyable enough read and the price is low enough that it doesn’t feel like a rip-off due to the short playtime. On top of that, all the Steam achievements are easy to get, which makes it an appealing choice for those who care about 100% achievements in a game. There are certainly a lot of areas in which the game could have been improved, but for what it is, it really isn’t that bad. If you are looking for a short, but engaging visual novel with a neat little twist and wallet friendly price, then Always The Same Blue Sky won’t disappoint. Just make sure you don’t expect too much from it.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP
  • Processor: 1GHz
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Storage: 635 MB available space
  • OS: OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
  • Processor: 1GHz
  • Storage: 635 MB available space
  • OS: Ubuntu 14.04
  • Processor: 1GHz
  • Storage: 635 MB available space

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