PUBLISHER: Prideful Sloth
PLATFORM: PS4 (Also on PC)
PRICE: $19.99 (digital) $29.99 (Disc)
RELEASE DATE: July 18th, 2017
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is the type of game that generally gets overlooked in the vast array of video games released for consoles and PC. In an industry where a new FPS or zombie game comes out weekly, it’s easy to miss those other genres that release throughout the year. Also, where a lot of games claim to be open world – Yonder really embraces that by letting the player literally go anywhere from the start of the game. (Except the final area of the game which requires progressing the story to access)
Yonder is an open world adventure game where you play the game as a either a boy or a girl who was sent away from their home several years ago. The player is lead back to their home island by a compass that your parents left you with. After a violent storm takes out the ship you are traveling on, you wash up on the shore of Gemea. You are given a brief tutorial of the controls and menus in the game, after that the world is yours. You learn that parts of Gemea are covered in a darkness that the residents refer to as Murk.
Yonder not only offers you a story of finding out who you are and why you were sent away, but it also offers you the chance to revive the island by helping the residents through quests, crafting, and finding sprites to clear the Murk. Depending on your playstyle, you can easily beat the game in around 15 hours. If you are a completionist like myself, you can easily spend 30 – 40 hours running around collecting and doing everything. The cel-shaded cartoony art style of the game complements the story immensely. From the weather effects to the adorably cute animals, everything in this game fits so well together.
Yonder’s offering into crafting is fun and is often necessary to complete exploration into territories that you may not be able to access. There are also several farms that you can develop and decorate with items you craft. Housing wild animals that you can tame throughout the island, they will produce various items that you will be able to use in your crafting recipes.
Unfortunately as much as I loved playing this game there are a few things I had issues with. First off being the inventory size, when a game offers crafting, people tend to become hoarders. Since tailoring is one of the crafting types and backpacks are a craftable item, you would think that making a new one would increase your inventory size. Yes you can drop off items to the various chests on your farms, but when you need to craft something for a quest, you have to travel all the way back to the nearest farm to retrieve the ingredients. This makes back-tracking seem tedious and unbearable at times. The other thing about this game that seemed to be underdeveloped or an afterthought is the farming system. Prideful Sloth could have done so much more with this feature of the game. Like being able to farm the land without having to craft a plot first, or allowing you to upgrade the animal pens to hold more than one animal. Changing the look of your farmstead could have been an option also. Lastly, the bulletin board quest system doesn’t allow you to track them like the main story or side quests. These quests are posted on the boards in the various towns across the island, and they usually consist of gathering various items for various residents. It isn’t easy to remember where each and every person on the island is located.
Overall Yonder: The Cloud Chronicles is an enjoyable adventure game that gives you a variety of things to do. It is a nice breath of fresh air in this vast sea of video games. Prideful Sloth has shown us that you can actually enjoy a game that has no violence or fighting in it. The main focus of exploration is something not many games do anymore, throw in some crafting, fishing, farming, questing, and the game offers you so much to do. The story is charming and heartfelt making it a truly spectacular work of art. Prideful Sloth took the chance of sharing their vision with us in an industry that focuses a lot on review scores and critic opinions.
I believe that Yonder: The Cloud Chronicles deserves a solid 8.5/10! I would love to see DLC or an expansion to this game!
A digital copy of the game was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review
Part time employee of a major video game retailer.