Platforms: Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 4, Switch

Release Date: February 27th, 2019

Reviewed On: Xbox One S

Developer: Prideful Sloth

Publisher: Merge Games Ltd

Price: $24.99 USD

I recently sat down and played the open-world game Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles. It was a game that was a little bit of a let down but also something I found so enjoyable. Prideful Sloth really created something fun with this game; I just wish the experience had a little more to it.

Story

You, the player, are on a ship set to land on an island called Gemea. This island is mysterious and the crew thinks it didn’t exist. Instead of safely landing on the island, you find yourself shipwrecked and the crew you came with is missing. This is the beginning of a very short story that didn’t take me more than six hours to actually finish. The story ends with you finding out that you were born on the island within the castle. 

Your character was born sick and your parents used a mysterious artifact called the Cloud Catcher to heal you. In doing so, it caused the machine to break and release the Murk. This is when the story gets really weak. Why didn’t someone else fix the machine? Why didn’t your parents get out of the Murk and fix the machine? The story really just seems like an afterthought. Given that this game has been released for multiple platforms, I think the story could have been developed a little further.

Graphics

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is a game that at times can look awful and beautiful in the same moment. The characters that you will interact with and even some of the creatures that are just different colors look like someone watched Grandma’s Boy too many times. Those are the only things in the game that look bad. I can understand though that these characters work with the insane amount of clothing and item options for your character. These were really the only weak visual parts to the game. 

Once you begin to explore the land of Gemea, you begin to see such beautiful colors in the environments around you. The game’s dynamic weather system and day-to-night cycle help to make this one of the finest games you will see. AAA gaame developers should really take a look at this game.

Gameplay

The gameplay in this game is very simple and laid back. The only real difficult part is getting used to fishing. Once you have hooked a fish, a triangle with a line in the middle pops up on your screen. Keep that line in the green and you get the fish. After a few tries you start to pick it up. Everything else in the game will revolve around you grinding for items, finding Sprites, and completing quests. For the first part of my quest I was just going around and exploring the map. As I completed quests I noticed something I was not prepared for. A holiday event had begun and I was given no warning. The game doesn’t let you know when something is going to happen. It sucks that you can miss out on these events without even knowing about them until it is too late.  The lack of combat is actually not missed. This game has plenty to do with all of these quests.

Finding sprites helps to dissolve the Murk surrounding certain areas of the island.  Usually you find a missing cat or treasure chest in these areas. Character models in the game didn’t look that great to me given that the rest of the game is so wonderful to look at.  That being said, I understand changing those characters would ruin a good part of the game. The customization of the characters is fantastic. Players will find so many different outfits that you can really make your character into something cool. The gameplay is styled to be like Harvest Moon or Animal Crossing. The farming is less of a hassle than Harvest Moon and the game fails to really bring the island together like with events we see in Animal Crossing.

Audio 

The game’s audio is very simple. Don’t expect any voice acting or use of noises that seem out-of-place. Instead, the game features a soothing soundtrack that instantly relaxes the soul. It became difficult at times to continue in certain areas because I didn’t want the music to stop.  The noises of nature are a nice touch that helped me get into the game. I don’t have much else to say about the music or any audio other than you will miss out on some relaxing music if you need to play that Heavy Metal playlist on Spotify when you play a game.

Verdict

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is a mixed bag of success and failure. The game succeeds at getting you immersed into the world and feeling relaxed. Going through the main story I didn’t feel rushed or annoyed. Yet the game fails at giving me a reason to play through the main story. Once I finished it I unlocked an area that didn’t really do anything and I felt that the ball was dropped. I would love to see a sequel with a little more story and some structure so players don’t miss out on anything. Overall, I had a great time and even though the game had a few small issues in my opinion I will defiantly recommend this game.

Game was provided from the developer.