Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles might be the debut title from developer Prideful Sloth, but it shines with polish and brilliance. Taking influence from a number of titles, this game develops them into a refined and enjoyable experience. With a number of systems that work together to give you freedom and choice, Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is full of opportunities to create your own story.
Set on the magical island of Gemea, the player character starts their journey by becoming shipwrecked after setting out to travel to the island. Once you get back on your feet you soon find that you are tasked with restoring the island to it’s former state of glory. Your main goal in Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is to travel across the land and clear the evil murk that has covered the land. To do this you need to find and collect the many Sprites that are hidden around the land. By using these you can remove the murk that has covered the land and slowly make the island inhabitants happy. This task also opens up new routes, locations and even quests that you can then undertake.
Controlling your character throughout their adventure is easy and straightforward. Though movement can feel odd at first due to your character needing to walk around to turn rather than snapping, you do get used to it. Jumping is the only other issue as sometimes you will find yourself pushed off what you're trying to jump onto but it never ruins the fun. One of the best elements within the movement of Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is how falling is handled. You see, when moving into dark areas or when night sets in your character pulls out a lantern to give you some vision. When you start to fall for too long you pull out an umbrella, which has a lantern on it as well, and slowly float to the ground.
The world is a living one where the seasons change, the sun sets and animals sleep. You will find that as the day and night cycle plays out and the seasons come and go that the colour palette changes and impacts the mood of the world. From the warm, bright colours of spring to the cold and soft ones of winter. Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is always beautiful and every frame is a work of art. The style of the world is by far the strongest element of the title with its stunning colours, lighting and design. Additionally, can I just point out that the draw distance is so impressive and the skylines are full of detail. No matter where you find yourself on the island of Gemea you will always be able to see landmarks that make each region feel unique and different.
Following the main storyline will see you complete a number of quests to advance through the world and rebuild key landmarks. The fun doesn't stop there though as you will find a good number of side quests that you can undertake to further the story and restoration of the world. Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles also includes farming and crafting as two core gameplay mechanics. The farming lets you build a number of farms in different regions that can be managed by you or a stablehand. Animals, plants, trees and fruit can all be grown and raised at your farms and the resources from them are then yours to keep. As the game uses trading as its main method of currency exchange, these farms are a good source of additional resources and materials.
The crafting system is also a solid mechanic that works with your farms and gathered resources to build and trade. The crafting is split into a number of different disciplines such as tailoring, cooking and construction and each one has a guild associated with it. These guilds allow you to develop your skills for each crafting discipline and learn new recipes. Every material in the game can be used in some form or another so it all ties back together into a core focus on exploring the world and using it to help you, the inhabitants and the world itself return to glory.
It is worth noting that in this title you won’t find combat or even a failure state such as death. The only expectation is that if you put your head below water you will get teleported back to the land. What does this mean? It means that the journey you go on is relaxed, calm and is not pressured at all. You set the pace and you set the goal within this world. With no need to race to the end of the story and with each action having a reaction, Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is full of gameplay systems to explore and enjoy however you want to.
Set within a dynamic and vibrant world that changes with the seasons, Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is a stunning and fantastic game. If you visit for the story or the wildlife, you will find yourself staying for all that this title has to offer. With a number of quests and different gameplay mechanics working together to build a world of mystery and wonder. Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is easily one of this years best surprises and I highly recommend it to anyone.
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles (Reviewed on Windows)
This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is a stunning and fantastic game. If you visit for the story or the wildlife, you will find yourself staying for all that this title has to offer. With a number of quests and different gameplay mechanics working together to build a world of mystery and wonder. This title is easily one of this years best surprises and I highly recommend it to anyone.