You think you know Candyland? Think again. Travel to a sugar-spun, crunchtastic candy kingdom in Skights, Joilly's all-naturally-flavored free, browser-based episodic visual novel about magic powers, mysterious cutlery, and even a little bit of amore. Long ago, in the kingdom of Sugaria, the three lands of Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry were peacefully ruled by the Cherry family... until the Cherry Princess managed to tick off a trio of fairies and get herself cursed. Whoops. A thousand years have passed since then, and the Cherry family has faded into myth. One day, however, a trio of girls, one from each land, find themselves blessed with tiny, magical utensils that grant them mystical abilities... and a sweet wardrobe upgrade. Join ordinary gardener Vanilla Vanessa, highborn noble girl Chocolate Cassandra, and forest-dwelling rogue Strawberry Sam as they embark on adventure and seek their destiny. Currently, this visual novel series consists of four chapters, with one introductory chapter introducing the girls, and three following chapters that are each from a different girl's point of view. But an assortment of branching paths means that Skights still has plenty of tale to tell already.
Skights spins a tale of a sweet, charming world that's hard not to like. The beautiful backgrounds and charming character portraits set a lovely scene, and the worldbuilding done in the story helps really establish the sweets-based fantasy kingdom the game takes place in. The three lead characters, Nessie, Cassie, and Sam, are all distinctly characterized, and each one lends their own personality and point of view to the story they're taking place in. None of them feels like simply a player stand-in. Skights also handles the topic of player choice well: Although the episodes don't always contain many choice points, each one has a fairly dramatic effect on the scenes that play out after. Certain characters will treat the protagonists in an entirely different fashion based on your choices, and the game has several paths, making you feel as if your decisions really impact the story. Unfortunately, some of the paths do lead to "Game Overs," and it's not always clear which paths will lead to your untimely demise, which can be quite frustrating if they happen midway through a chapter. The game has no mid-chapter save points, meaning you'll have to redo the entire chapter if you suddenly die. And disappointingly, the prose itself is somewhat lacking. There are a number of typos, and the dialogue is occasionally stilted. Some of the routes contain small plot holes or inadequately-explained plot devices. The overall story and characters are good, but the writing feels as if it could have used a good editor before being published to the Internet. The forthcoming installments means the series still has some time to really work on its polish, though. For now, Skights offers a beefy free visual novel experience with characters and plot that make you eager to learn more.