Aug 14, 2017Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is a hard game to classify. It’s an open world adventure game but one without many of the usual elements. There is no combat or violence, no character progression such as levelling, and very few, if any, puzzles. It has touches of a lot of other games other games: Zelda, Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing to name only a few, but for the most part it’s itsYonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is a hard game to classify. It’s an open world adventure game but one without many of the usual elements. There is no combat or violence, no character progression such as levelling, and very few, if any, puzzles. It has touches of a lot of other games other games: Zelda, Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing to name only a few, but for the most part it’s its own thing. It’s a serene, meditative experience where everything is tied to exploring the world around you. It’s also surprisingly great.
Developed by Aussie studio, Prideful Sloth, Yonder begins with your nameless character shipwrecked on the isle of Gemea, your long lost birthplace which has since fallen prey to a dark substance called ‘murk’. Within the first few minutes, you’re charged with finding creatures called sprites to help you with clearing the murk from the land. You’re then turned loose into the game’s rich open world to do pretty much whatever you like. Yonder’s gameplay is tied almost entirely to exploration. There are no enemies to defeat, no levels to gain and your only real obstacles are environmental ones. You can spend your time how you choose, wandering the island looking for more sprites, doing quests for the island’s inhabitants or gathering materials for crafting. Early on in the game, you unlock a farm that you can build and manage, gathering up animals and planting crops in order to produce more materials for crafting and trade. There is no pressure or urgency to anything you do which is strangely relaxing. The game relies on a sense of discovery to keep you playing, constantly rewarding your exploration with new crafting materials, collectibles or quests.
Any game like this is going to succeed or fail based on its setting and Yonder doesn’t disappoint. The island of Gemea is simply gorgeous, divided into distinctive areas that are full of bright colours and cartoonish details. It’s deceptively simple at first glance, particularly with its somewhat plain character models, but the world is full of beautiful vistas, strange animals and seemingly endless little secrets to uncover. There is a day night cycle that moves quite quickly and as the days and years progress, seasons change altering the scenery, with muted colours and falling snow during winter and bright sunny days in summer. From a visual design point of view, Yonder really stands out.
To some people Yonder’s leisurely pace will feel a little like busywork. It’s a peaceful game and one designed to be tackled slowly and steadily, to soak in the world rather than the tasks themselves. Admittedly, it can get a little frustrating when you realise you have to hike all the way back across the world to fetch something and that’s probably my only issue with the game: even with a few allocated fast travel spots to unlock, you still do an awful lot of walking from one spot to the next. The game’s sense of discovery does really well to combat this though and each time I found myself grumbling about yet another five minute trek back to town, I would discover something new that would send me off on a tangent, on a new voyage of discovery.
Yonder isn’t a game to play if you’re after excitement, rather it’s a calm and gentle experience. It might be a little slow for some, but that’s part of what makes it unique. It’s the gaming equivalent of lazing by the pool on a summers day with a drink in hand. It’s a charming little sandbox worthy of playing around in and if you give it the chance to get its hooks into you, you won’t regret the time spent with it.… Expand
Jul 25, 2017Yonder is a relaxing and beautiful game. If you don't like to be relaxed, or you don't like beauty or cute things, then this game isn't for you.
Yonder isn’t aiming to take you on an epic journey filled with conflict or drama. It isn’t trying to overhaul its genre with new mechanics or gameplay. Instead, it’s a beautiful, easy going and relaxing experience. One in which you’re free toYonder is a relaxing and beautiful game. If you don't like to be relaxed, or you don't like beauty or cute things, then this game isn't for you.
Yonder isn’t aiming to take you on an epic journey filled with conflict or drama. It isn’t trying to overhaul its genre with new mechanics or gameplay. Instead, it’s a beautiful, easy going and relaxing experience. One in which you’re free to collect flowers and cats, explore the various gorgeous environments, or run a farm. All at your own leisure.
Following a quick ship wreck and some rushed story scenes explaining a thing called ‘Murk’, which is a strange mist infecting the land, you’re dumped on the islands of Gemea. A deceptively large world, which features diverse environments from deserts to dense forests and snowy mountains. From there on, you’re free to wander and explore to your heart’s content. Which was exactly what I did.
Yonder if anything, is beautiful. I spent the first half an hour just wandering around, taking in the gorgeous artstyle and environments on display. Seriously, just watching a sunrise or sunset is a treat. There are breathtaking landscapes galore, intricate trees and foliage around every corner and areas which just sparkle in the sun and moonlight.
The Australian developer Prideful Sloth’s debut title, coming to PS4 and Steam for the time being, is not just for show though. It features a range of activities for you to fill your time. Fishing, farming, taming cute animals, crafting and learning trades such as being a brewer or carpenter. And a gazillion collectibles, most notably cats. Who will purr loudly when they are nearby.
You’ll be tasked with completing a variety of missions too, from finding out who stole a lamington, to various fetch quests. Which as you could imagine, grew old incredibly fast. Although, where Yonder shines most is when its mechanics are focused around exploration, as its exquisite world steals the show.Yonder2The Murk, which covers parts of the world and stops you progressing to new areas, forces you to explore the regions you already have access to in order to find ‘Sprites’. Little fairy like beings which allow you to clear the Murk. It is a smart mechanic which led to me exploring the many nooks and corners each region had hidden throughout.
Overall, Yonder aims to be a nice and playful time. The characters and models are simple but cute, like a child’s playset. How characters talk is quite friendly and often silly. Even the font seems somewhat childishly friendly. None of these are negatives, just observations of the developer’s obvious aim of creating an easy going experience. One which will definitely appeal to younger audiences, as well as older ones looking for a calming game to wind down to after a long day.Yonder3
As if to emphasise this more, the first chance I had to jump off a ledge my customisable character pulled out an umbrella to glide down with. It was only at that point I realized I didn’t have health. In fact, there aren’t any enemies in the game to fight at all.
Yonder avoids conflict wherever possible. If you go too deep into water, you spawn back to safety. Animals you come across, such as buffalo or foxes, actively avoid you, through turning their bums in your direction (unless you have the right food). It is cute and honestly adorable. All and all, it creates a refreshingly pleasant game.
Populating the variety of towns there are plenty of people to talk to. Some pop up continuously throughout your journeys, giving you facts on the land or about cute animals inhabiting the world. Some will be quest givers, many you’ll be able to hire as hands on your farms or be able to trade various items with.
Overall though, the characters I encountered in my journeys felt one dimensional and empty. You can’t develop actual friendships through story lines or dialogue. They often felt more like filler and lacked character. Which is disappointing, considering the world has so much. Yonder4The small quirks and sometimes silly dialogue of the characters will most likely be enough depth for some. But I felt mostly unattached to my quest givers, who felt just that. More points of contact for quests if I ever became bored of exploring.
Despite these faults the story, gameplay and world comes together in the main objective of the game, which is to repair the Cloud Catcher. You’ll need to traverse the many environments, talk to and collect items from people from all walks of life and complete some of the most unique missions of the game.
Albeit still lacking the finesse and character to make this an incredible game, there were moments which made me feel like I was going on an exciting adventure towards the end. One which required me to have truly explored and understood the world to complete it.… Expand
Jul 19, 2017Yonder is a game that doesn't add anything new to a game that we have seen before, but it maximizes every element that is involved in a RPG that is quirky, stylistic and above all else, fun. Yonder feels like a mesh between Zelda mixed with VIVA PINATA, and to those of you who dont know, viva pinata was a base building game that involved pinata pets (horrible example i know). Yonder Isn'tYonder is a game that doesn't add anything new to a game that we have seen before, but it maximizes every element that is involved in a RPG that is quirky, stylistic and above all else, fun. Yonder feels like a mesh between Zelda mixed with VIVA PINATA, and to those of you who dont know, viva pinata was a base building game that involved pinata pets (horrible example i know). Yonder Isn't a game that stands out as one of the greatest games ever made, but for the price and the entertainment, as well as the content within, it is certainly worth trying it for yourself.… Expand
Jul 23, 2017This is an extremely beautiful and relaxing game for all ages. Don't listen to all those douchebags unfairly downrating the game. Hate train galore. It also seems people were having wrong expectations. Watch some let's plays on it, don't believe the haters.
Sep 16, 2017Yonder should be celebrated for defying current gamer expectations and bringing a unique gaming experience that brought a smile to my face the whole time I played it.
This game drew me in due for several reasons. I am a sucker for a crafting and exploring game, and Yonder definitely delivered this. I had no qualms whatsoever with no combat, and please please do not add it any in updatesYonder should be celebrated for defying current gamer expectations and bringing a unique gaming experience that brought a smile to my face the whole time I played it.
This game drew me in due for several reasons. I am a sucker for a crafting and exploring game, and Yonder definitely delivered this. I had no qualms whatsoever with no combat, and please please do not add it any in updates - it will diminish the charm and enjoyable nature of Yonder.
The questing, world design and graphic design was spot on and more of these elements are always welcome. Even the story I enjoyed and never felt like it was too shallow or too deep for this type of game what - was presented fit the bill perfectly.
Crafting, exploring and trading were all elements that Prideful Sloth achieved well, however, the farm building seemed to lack just a little in terms of variety of things to build/do at them. It may have been understandable if you only had one farm (as I initially thought), but there are SIX farms that are quite large and I didn't feel i had enough incentive in terms of building variety to warrant investing the time to develop these six different locations - as much as I wanted to. Maybe if there were unique buildings for each region (hint hint ;) ) that I had to do some quests for and then craft it would make this an almost perfect game for this genre.
I did experience only one real bug/glitch that did bring me out of the Yonder experience involving the quests on the noticeboards. One time I completed a request and received the reward, only for the same request to disappear and then reappear in my quest log - however this second time it had no location guide (I was still in front of the villager that I delivered the items to) and even though I had several of the require items it stated I had 0 and no way of getting rid if this quest. After quitting and reloading the game, it disappeared - but was still slightly frustrating.
Another noticeboard issue had me accepting a request, and the request checkpoint always being the notice board in the cooking village. After noticing it happened every time, i just did the request my own way. On a side note, I really liked the lack of hand holding with quests and how it made me think for myself - so rare these days!
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my time on Gemea, and hope the developers (fellow Aussies!) have some updates or an expansion in the works so that I can return.… Expand
Jul 20, 2017Superficial and Empty. The "No Man's Sky" of RPG Farming Sims.
I enjoyed my first hour, keeping an open mind throughout, and I wanted so bad to love this game. But I am tired of making excuses to justify my wasted evening and my wasted money. Art style is cute and original (outside of the obvious BOTW influence), but the plot is mediocre and unoriginal. Farming is boring andSuperficial and Empty. The "No Man's Sky" of RPG Farming Sims.
I enjoyed my first hour, keeping an open mind throughout, and I wanted so bad to love this game. But I am tired of making excuses to justify my wasted evening and my wasted money.
Art style is cute and original (outside of the obvious BOTW influence), but the plot is mediocre and unoriginal.
Farming is boring and automated. The animals go from adorable to unnecessary, quick.
Crafting is unrewarding. Items lack interesting descriptions to enhance the experience, leaving a mass of rather useless junk filling up your backpack.
Your backpack's carrying capacity is unclear until you are far away from a chest and unable to store the items, as opposed to Stardew Valley, which is always clear. This is due to the expectation that a scrolling menu (rather than a fixed menu) can imply a very large or endless capacity.
I rather like the bartering system as opposed to a coin-centric model. However, items are shown to equal a certain amount of money, even though actual money is never used, resulting in a strange inconsistency.
Finding Sprites in Yonder (including the prototypical two sentence "you found me" snarky comment) is a not so subtle riff off of finding Kokiri in BOTW (except without the fun/unique/challenging/charming puzzles that come with BOTW).
Yonder's Murk (the purple fog) is clearly another not so subtle riff off of BOTW's Malice (the purple goo).
MC does not sleep, eat, run out of energy, etc, rendering the chef path another useless edition to the game.
MC does not have a house or a central hub, which would have aided in a feeling of commitment to the land and community.
NPCs lack depth and add nothing to the main quest line, who are only there to trigger sidequest after boring sidequest of grinding for useless resources that you probably already have in your bloated backpack.
And there are the recipe quests: Bring me this item, but, first, here is the recipe for the item, and, also, here are the ingredients to craft the item. Make the item. Give me item. (ಠ_ಠ) Thanks.ヽ(ಠ_ಠ)ノ
The most frustrating part about this game is its unfulfilled potential, and it has so much potential!
There is more to say, but I'm just one person. There are extensive reviews on Steam that are very helpful. Please read the reviews before purchase. It may save you your evening and your money.… Expand
Jul 22, 2017Good, but it could be better, the graphics are very beautiful and pleasant, and the gameplay is attractive to a certain extent, however the game does not support its mechanics and its history, after a certain time everything is very superficial and tiring, And the gameplay is becoming more and more repetitive, plus a case of untapped potential
May 23, 2019I honestly wasn't expecting much on this game and didn't even bother picking it up until someone said how good it is, and they were right. The art style is quite charming and relaxing and very well done. It definetly feels like a game Nintendo would develop focusing on more simple but attractive art style. The gameplay is quite good and everything is set out easily enough. There is a fewI honestly wasn't expecting much on this game and didn't even bother picking it up until someone said how good it is, and they were right. The art style is quite charming and relaxing and very well done. It definetly feels like a game Nintendo would develop focusing on more simple but attractive art style. The gameplay is quite good and everything is set out easily enough. There is a few things I would have liked to have seen in terms of making the world feel more alive but nothing that was too upsetting however.
This game makes a perfect chill out game. A game you can go to, to just relax and explore a lovely island. I am going to be watching Prideful Sloth (the developers) closely for their next game after finding this gem… Expand
Apr 24, 2019Yonder is an artwork that immerses you in this relaxing and beautiful world. If you don't know what to play and just want to have a good time this is the perfect game since is completely free of stress. Yonder makes you enjoy the world for it's good design too (the lightning effects are amazing, the environment, the seasons of the year, even the night and day cycle).
Playstation Official Magazine AustraliaFeb 8, 2018Looks like Zelda, totally isn’t. What you’ve got here is a farming concern which deserves to be spoken in the same breath as Harvest Moon. [September 2017, p71]
Sep 21, 2017Obviously, there are some people that probably won’t enjoy Yonder too much. If you want action and adventure, of course, it’ll probably bore you, and if you want a fast-paced story, you’re not going to find that here. But if you’re just looking for a delightful game that allows you to explore to your heart’s contest, Yonder is exactly what you’re looking for.
Playstation Official Magazine UKAug 24, 2017Simple quests, a lack of tutorials, and little-to-no backstory makes Yonder feel unpolished, in direct contrast to its whimsically charming setting. [Sept 2017, p.84]