Not all gamers are the same. Some want to hack and slash their way to glory while other just want to have a casual gaming experience. Some gamers want a deep story, expansive world, crafting, quests, but don’t want to have to deal with a violent fighting system. Yonder : The Cloud Catcher Chronicles from Prideful Sloth and Merge Games LTD offers you the big open world with none of the fear of death.
You play as a young character that is heading off in search of their homeland, Gemea, on a ship with a few other crew members. You are in possession of a magical compass that always points the way to your destination. As you get close, lightening hits your ship and you sink. After a short cut scene that explains a few things, you awaken, unharmed, in a cave ready to set out on your adventure.
You must explore the land, gather resources, find sprites (mystical creatures only you can see that will help you rid the land of murk), join guilds, craft items, farm, and build a better land. Everything is done at your own pace, so there is no worry of not completing a task on time or doing things out of order. Days will pass, seasons will change, and the land will change with it opening up new opportunities for you to explore and create. The islands inhabitants will even help you on your journey if you talk with them.
As you explore the island you will find multiple towns, each with a different specialty and guild. You are able to join each guild and learn to craft all sorts of items that will aid you bettering the island. By the end of your adventure you will be making food, clothing, farm buildings, bridges, fireworks, and a whole lot more. Best of all, you can gather all the supplies you need right on the island. If you don’t want to take the time to gather them, you can always trade for them with other islanders if they have a surplus.
There are only a few actual shops on the island where you can exchange coins for goods, and they are for cosmetic items. Everything else is done through bartering. Some items have a fixed price, like fruit and fish, but craftable items vary from town to town. You won’t get a good price on cloth in the town with the tailors guild. Luckily, residents will tell you what towns are short on and where you can make the best deals.
Crafting is a simple endeavor. Just go to the guild tab and select the item you wish to make and press a button. As long as you have all the required materials you will make the item. The materials are listed on the right side of the screen, so you can easily see what is required. You can either craft what you don’t have or barter with a trader if you have some extra supplies. Once you play for a while, you can trade for most supplies you need, making crafting a lot quicker. Soon you will have new clothes, better buildings, and better quality items to trade with the locals.
Besides crafting and exploring you will also have the chance to build and tend farms in each region of the island. There are a wide variety of animals on the island and you can adopt them all if you want. To do this, all you have to do is have a proper sized pen on your farm, find one of the animals, give them their favorite food, and have them follow you back to your farm. This can be a bit of a journey for some, but it is worth it. Each animal, once adopted, will give you specific crafting materials. You can either take care of your farm yourself or hire one of the townsfolk to do it for you.
The graphics are very colorful, and each of the over half a dozen regions of the island are fairly unique. There are a large number of animals, but many of them are the same, just with a different color scheme. The music beautifully enhances the gameplay experience. You will want to make sure you play with the sound on because you will also have to find 55 cats throughout the island, and the meows will help guide you too them.
Yonder : The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is out now on XB1, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Steam. You can add it to your collection for about $30. There is at least 15-20 hours’ worth of story, not including all of the optional side missions. The game offers a lot of content for casual players that are looking to experience an epic adventure or those that are looking to introduce someone new to the genre.