Published on August 6th, 2017 | by Chris Ramirez, Editor
Yonder The Cloud Catcher Chronicles Review
Editor’s note: A game code was provided for the purpose of review
I am simply blown away with Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles.
It is not often where I come across a game where I simply get lost into. Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles follows a ship wrecked sailor who is discovering the mysterious of the island they crashed onto. The character creator is simple selection of prebuilt features, hair, and body built. First impressions was nothing impressive.
Yonder quickly introduces you to spirits. Spirits are little creatures that are needed to clear the mysterious “muck.” What makes Yonder such a wonderful experience, is the lack of forced narrative. Once in The Grasslands and the basic mechanics are gained through first couple of quest, you are free to explore the island. Areas are blocked by the “muck” in which you can clear by finding sprits throughout the island and completing certain quests. In essences, the game is an open world experience filled with fetch quest.
I was amazed on how beautiful the environment are. Each terrain is completely different from one another. The day and night cycle and weather system is breathtaking. The weather mechanic is follows the basic seasons and the environment changes accordingly. For example, rivers and streams dry in the spring and rise in the winter. Watching the sun rises is soothing and relaxing. Coupled with an amazing soundtrack, you cannot help but fall in love with the game.
There are no enemies or health bar. You “upgrade” your character through completing more quest and discover more about the world. Coupled with the whimsical art style, Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is a relaxing storybook experience. You are open to explore majority of the island with a few spirits found. The narrative comes from dairies found in destroyed buildings/farms. The pacing of the game is so well done that the game gradually introduce you into the deeper mechanics and upgradable options. For example, there is an entire clothing crafting system where you can change your characters hair, shirt, pants, and fun accessories. Special clothing can be bought using found accent currency including crazy facial hair.
In addition, there is a mastery system in which you can master crafting food, farming buildings/items, items from stone, cloths, potions and more. The more you master in each category, the more items you can crafty from material collected throughout your journey. Again, Prideful Sloth gives you the option as to how deep you want to go. I completed many quest just going to different traders with looking for what I needed. Items you collect have specific trade values; trades are conducted by trading similar value objects you have to town traders. Thus managing inventory slots are key. Inventory slots can fill up fast and you will run into having a hard time trading a high value item for a bunch of small value needed items. To make room, you either need to discard items or store items in a treasure chest once you establish your own farms. There is no way to gain more inventory slots.
In my 20 plus hours of play, I spent my time completing the main quest and finding spirits in attempt to unlock as much of the island as possible. As of writing this review, I found 25 of 26 spirits and have only completed 64 percent of the game. I have not gone deep into the any of the mastery crafting system and the building and caring of farms. You can build a farm in each of the different terrain. When I am done with finding all of the spirits, I am excited that I have the farming mechanic of the game I can go back to.
The Final Truth: Even in my current unfinished playthrough, I would highly recommend Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles. I cannot stop playing. When I am not playing, I am eager to get back into the game. There have been a number of times when I thought I would jump into the game for an hour or so to end up playing more than three hours. I am constantly running into a new area, meeting new people, and get caught up into finding all the spirits. On the first impression, Yonder can seem dated in terms of graphics and very similar to other open worlds available. However, once you start running into the open grass field, you will get hooked into this game.