LifeisXbox’s Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles review | Today I’m going to be talking about a game that I am VERY excited about! Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles had been on my Nintendo Switch wishlist for a while. Out of the blue, publisher of this game Merge Games gave me the chance to review the newest release for Xbox Series X/S, and of course, I jumped right on it! After playing this wonderful game developed by Prideful Sloth, I regret not picking it up from my wishlist sooner, that’s for sure. Let me tell you why!
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is a relaxing open-world adventure set in the world of Gemea. On this stunning island, you’ll discover eight regions and a lot of things to do on your journey. However, Gemea is not as perfect as it seems. A mysterious purple essence called the Murk has taken hold of the land and is spreading
Maui played Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles for over 10 hours on Xbox Series X. This game is also available on PC, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation.
This is a second opinion review without a score. Alexis previously reviewed this game on Xbox One, you can read that review here.
What we liked!
- Do what you want gameplay | You will never feel any kind of pressure while playing Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles. Wether you want to focus on the main story first, or complete a bunch of side quests before diving into the real thing, it really doesn’t matter. The game doesn’t push you in any kind of direction. You can easily switch between quests or just set a random waypoint on your map if you want to explore a certain region. I love that there is a total freedom regarding the gameplay so it’s entirely up to you. Focus on quests, focus on farming, go fishing, or just go on a hunt to find all Sprites (you’ll need these to clear the Murk in Gemea).
- Playable long after the main story ends | Let’s face it: beating the story doesn’t take you a long time. It took me about 7 hours, and I even completed a bunch of side quests as well during this time. But not to worry! Even after you’ve finished the main story, there is still so much to do in Gemea! There are plenty of side quests to discover. I currently have about 20 open quests still left, and there are even more out there if I talk to people. You can also go exploring and find all chests, or you can sit back, relax, and go fishing if you like to. Or why not get the master badge in the constructors , carpenter’s, or any other guild? Choose between eight craft classes and learn to craft a bunch of stuff, like fireworks, shampoo, twines, all kinds of food, animal pens, cogs, and cloths. It all depends on what guild you would like to focus on more! And of course, there are six farms in Gemea, so you can definitely keep yourself busy with that as well. A farm will produce useful resources, and you can increase the rating of your farm(s), which ties together with the region happiness. I strongly suggest you don’t put down this game after you finish the main story, there is so much left to discover, you’ll miss out if you quit too soon.
- Meet adorable animals | There are actually only 16 types of animals to be found in all of Gemena. I thought there were more, but when I looked in at collections inventory, I saw there were only 16! You might think this is not a lot, and be disappointed, but wait until you see what these animals look like! They are so insanely cute, I’m still not over it. They’re clearly based on real-life animals, but with a twist. There’s a bunch of foxes to discover, all in different colors ranging from back to green and blue! Then you have a groffle, which resembles a cow but also a deer and buffalo. The bambex, fabbit, and fenicorn were my favourite animals. But I also had a total weak spot for the sprig-pig, an animal that grows flowers on its back. You can feed these animals specific items, so they will follow you. This way, you can adopt them, and get them to live on your farm in order to produce resources.
- Rescue cats | As if the adorable animals living in Gemea weren’t enough, there are also no less than 77 cats scattered around this wonderful world! You could just be wandering around, and hear a faint meow. This means a little kitten is nearby and in need of rescue. Usually, they are fairly easy to spot if you look around a little. Pick it up, and it will start purring and go right into your cat collection. It’s really to bad there isn’t any space in your inventory to keep track of the cats you’ve found (like there is for the Sprites and types of animals). Finding these cats isn’t obligatory, but there is a quest where you need to find all 55 cats of Old Lady Beckett, and an achievement that requires you to collect 50% of all cats. I just thought it was a nice addition to the already large extension of gameplay.
- Customisation | I highly recommend finding and opening as many chests as you can because they may not always offer essential stuff, but they do contain some wonderful items for your character! You can find (or craft) shampoo and hair dyes, which I absolutely loved. At one point, I found galaxy and rainbow dye, and I looooved it! Besides changing your hair color (and style), you can also find some cool cloths and accessories. I found myself dressed in a rad outfit made out of various cool items I found. I wore a gothic top and skirt, combined with dragon wings, heart-shaped sunglasses, and a cat good. But I also had a tiara, pineapple hat, googly eye glasses, cat whiskers, an eyepatch, berry top, and soooo much more in my inventory to create cool looks.
- Artstyle & music | As you may have noticed from the screenshots, and from the trailer of Yonder, this is an absolutely stunning game. The art style is simply adorable and just looking around during your travels will already be so much fun. I enjoyed the easy-on-the-eyes palette of the world, the various characters and their own looks, the animals, the surroundings, just everything, really! I am a big fan of the simple clay-look the animals had. They had such simple features but looked very bright and adorable nonetheless. Seasons also change, and there are various weather conditions, so this definitely enchanced the gaming experience as well. Regarding the overall music, I was pretty satisfied, just as I was with the art style. Some wonderful tunes play in the background, and when this soundtrack isn’t present, you’ll be greeted with a ton of sounds coming from your surroundings. Whether it’s the wind blowing, the waterfalls gushing, or the sound a nearby animal makes.
- No combat whatsoever | When I tell you that Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is a very peaceful game, I mean it. There is not a trace of combat to be found in the wonderful world of Gemea. The only real enemy you encounter along the way is the purple Murk, but besides it preventing you from entering specific parts of an area, it doesn’t really come off as dangerous. You have plenty of tools, but an actual weapons are not involved. So if you want a peacful game like Animal Crossing, and sorts, Yonder might be just the thing for you. However, if you need a little bit of relaxing combined with some combat, like Stardew Valley, then Yonder might not be the title you’re looking for. Personally, I did not miss a combat aspect in this game, even though I usually enjoying a bit of combat in relax games. Bravo, Prideful Sloth!
What we disliked
- Small bugs and glitches | Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles has been around for a while now, so I was not expecting any of these actually, but alas. I found myself being able to walk into walls at times, or defying gravity at some points. These are just small inconveniences that honestly wouldn’t even bother me if I were a ‘regular’ gamer, but as a reviewer, I felt I did have to mention it here, so there you go!
How long to beat the story | 6 to 8 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | 20 to 25 hours
Similar with | Takes inspiration from Legend of Zelda, Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing, …
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Head of PC team. PC, Switch, and Xbox game reviewer. Also a marketeer, concert and animal lover, and photographer in training 🙂