My initial reaction to this game was a little different than my final opinions of it. Take a look at the Quick Blip here.
Warning some spoilers ahead.
First things first. If you read my original post regarding this game I want to clarify that the backpack is NOT an infinite storage space! It will fill up and you will find yourself frustratedly attempting to make space for some random small item you need.
Yonder was a fun way to spend some time over the past couple of weeks. Although the game doesn’t provide intense battle, or any battle, or anything very intense, it was still a nice game to play. There are a number of things about the game that I really enjoyed, and a few that I really really did not.
Let’s start with some of the good stuff.
The concept behind the game is a lot of fun for a casual game play. The island you crash onto has been slowly taken over by Murk. It has been affecting the citizens of the island making areas uninhabitable. You are able to “heal” these areas with the help of sprites but you need to find enough first! Each area of Murk has a number of Sprites required to cleanse it and once completed you still have the sprites so that part of the game is rather easy. You can find the Sprites by their telltale glow around an object or by completing certain tasks.
A lot of what you’re doing in the game is just running around the landscape solving quests for people. At first I kept expecting to come across some sort of enemies that would make my life difficult but I soon realized that it wasn’t going to happen. Enemies aren’t a thing in Yonder. The most difficult part of the game turned out to be finding all the supplies that you need to construct the items to complete your quests. This becomes especially difficult when your backpack reaches capacity.
Another thing that you can do in Yonder is build and grow your own farms. These farms allow you to tame animals who will provide you with items that you may need for crafting. They also allow you to grow crops and trees to harvest from them. The harvesting is done automatically and you can acquire farmhands from around the island to manage your farm for you. Since it was simply a matter of giving people stuff until they agreed to watch your farm for you I had a farm hand right away. I don’t know how necessary it is but you might as well do this. Collecting your harvests from the farm is as simple as going to the harvest chest and taking what has been collected so far. If you manage your farms this makes getting the supplies you need fairly easy.
The open world concept of the game is a lot of fun to explore in the beginning but gets repetitive fairly quickly. A major bonus would be a better quick travel system which I will go more into in the games flaws.
Yonder has a lot of flaws that get frustrating in the game. One of the major ones is the fact that your backpack has limited space. Although this is pretty common in games Yonder requires a lot of crafting to complete quests and it felt like there was never enough space in your backpack to deal with that. This wouldn’t even be as much of an issue if it was easy to figure out where items were. Some flowers are required to craft a certain item and yet unless you just know where on this island these flowers grow you end up having to search it online. Being a casual style game I would expect that to be a much easier thing to deal with. Either that or an unlimited backpack to be able to harvest everything as you come across it.
Following that is the fast travel system in the game. You’re only able to fast travel to your farms. These farms can often be in locations that aren’t going to benefit your current situation in the slightest. I ended up doing a lot of running around to get somewhat closer to the location that I needed to be. I’m not saying that you should be able to warp anywhere whenever but being able to warp into the small communities that you have discovered would have made the game a lot more enjoyable.
Crafting also got to be fairly frustrating. For example creating an item under the tailoring section required you need to craft items from three other sections. Those items may also require ingredients to be crafted from other sections. It becomes such a hassle especially when you simply can’t store all those items in your backpack. It ended up feeling like I was running around the whole island collecting supplies to complete one quest at a time. In the end I gave up on crafting almost entirely. Instead I have just been buying everything that I can and you can almost always find the finished products at some vendor. Especially once your farms are producing crops it ends up being significantly easier to buy than to build.
Finally your quest to rebuild the cloud catcher is completely lack luster. I don’t know what I was expecting to have happen when I completed it but it was so anti climatic. It did open another area and you can figure out that you used to be from the island and your parents saving you caused the Murk to take over the island. It basically just says “yay you did it” and you can continue back to doing what you were doing. The only other new thing is just increasing the happiness in each area. I didn’t get that quest done as I was just over the running around constantly. It felt very unrewarding at the very end of the game.
Overall the game itself was a very enjoyable experience. Although it had some major downfalls they may have been exacerbated by the fact that I was playing it for such long periods of time. I feel like it was intended to be played a lot like Animal Crossing. I mean that in the regard that it’s supposed to be played over a long period of time but only a little bit of time everyday. If played like that Yonder would probably be a lot less frustrating overall. It is an enjoyable slow burn and a rather relaxing game in that regard.
Lack of decent fast travel
Item management/backpack size
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is an enjoyable game if you’re looking for a very simple slow burner style game. Without having enemies or battles the game simply requires a lot of construction and task completion to beat. Great for relaxing without any real concern of what you’re doing.
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