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Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles

Posted by GG Goblin On August - 2 - 2017

Let’s take a moment and just calm down.

 
Prideful Sloth’s Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles on PC and PS4 is a game that quite obviously takes some influence from certain Zelda games. There is one point early on in the game that instantly reminded me of Breath of the Wild, but there are other little references throughout. There is also a healthy nod in the direction of Harvest Moon, making Yonder a very interesting proposition – a gorgeous open world adventure with crafting, collecting and a dash of farming.

 
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Players begin by creating their character from a small selection of customisation options. Then comes the cut scene that introduces the story. For whatever reason, the players’ character was sent away from their island home of Gemea, and now they are on a ship, heading back to the island of their birth. However, a storm whips up out of nowhere and the player finds themselves ship wrecked. Luckily they were shipwrecked at their destination anyway, but they discover that the island is being plagued by some kind of poisonous cloud known as Murk, and the player will have to help dispel the Murk by finding magical creatures known as Sprites.

 
This is the driving force behind the game, but it doesn’t drive very convincingly. Quests following the main story will take the player from one location to the next, introducing them to new places and new mechanics, but much like the rest of the game, it is very laid back. The story itself is not very compelling, but it doesn’t really matter as it is the charming gameplay that really takes centre stage.

 
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It will not take long before most players cast aside whatever main story quest they are doing in favour of some exploration. There is no danger to the player in Gemea – no monsters that will leap out of bushes to attack, you can’t drown as the game just throws you back onto the shore, and if you fall from a great height, your character will whip out a parasol in mid fall and float safely to the ground. So this means that the player can tackle the game at a leisurely pace, doing what they want, when they want. While it will be necessary to head back to the main quests from time to time, just to move things along, it is perfectly okay to take a break and wander off to explore whatever you can see in the distance.

 
There isn’t a huge amount to do in Yonder, but what is there is quite lovely. The inhabitants of the island are quite lovely, but they all have problems that they need the player to help with. These are mostly fetch quests of one sort or another, but it is easy to gather a nice selection of missions and then head out into the wild and slowly tick them off. There is also the clearing of the Murk, which requires different numbers of Sprites so may well lead to the player hunting for these magical creatures, which can open up routes to other places. You can indulge in a spot of fishing, or even set up your own farms and fill them with the cutest animals that you have ever seen, which need to be tempted to come back and live on your farm.

 
Then there is the crafting that makes up a large part of the game. Players can gather materials, but will need recipes to craft most items, and these can be found from the master crafters that can be found throughout the game. It is not just a matter of finding them though, as they will likely also have their own missions for the player to complete before giving them the plans. Either way, there is quite a lot to craft in the game, with some tricky items requiring materials from all different parts of Gemea.

 
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However, the trading system can help with those hard to find materials, or even the end product if the player is feeling a little lazy. There is no money in the game, but everything that the player owns comes with a financial value. Players are able to approach the various traders that can be found throughout the game and then exchange goods for their equivalent value in goods, and most things are available from one trader or another. Also, crafted items are worth more than the sum of their parts, making crafting even more important.

 
So, you have some missions to complete and a few things to do, but it really is the world of Gemea that is the star of the show. Considering the indie status of the game, Yonder is an incredibly well polished title. The cartoony art style, lends itself well to some beautiful, varied landscapes that come to life with day/night cycles, weather and even seasons. The inhabitants of Gemea may not be that interesting, but they all look good, and the wildlife is some of the best in-game wildlife I have ever seen. Simply put, Yonder is a sight to behold.

 
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However, the laid back nature of Yonder will not satiate the many adrenaline-fueled gamers out there. But for those who are looking for something a little more sedate, something that is oozing charm and cuteness that can be enjoyed for what it is, then Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is the answer.

 

 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 



 

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