Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is a relaxing open-world adventure title without any kind of malice because there is no combat during the entire adventure.
The story begins with the protagonist on a boat to the island of Gemea, which was once his/her home. During the trip there is a storm that completely destroys the boat, leaving all passengers scattered somewhere on this paradise island. Before returning to him, our adventurer wakes up in a magical dream realm where it’s introduced to a “Sprite”, a magical being with a mythological appearance, who instructs the player to find his little brothers and sisters around the island, in order to defeat an evil substance called Murk, who recently covered parts of the Island.
All the inhabitants of this location seem quite resigned to the presence of this obscure substance which presents itself as little threatening and which blocks the player’s passage until the trace of Murk it’s cleaned from the specific point that was captured. These points can be houses, places of passages to places like bridges, tunnels, etc. Cleaning requires a certain number of Sprites that are captured in specific locations. Note that these points are not specified on the map, so the player will have to put their legs to work and explore every corner of the island.
A generic story without any kind of continuation during the adventure, that leaves the most important point for the gameplay that unfortunately doesn’t present anything new in titles of the genre either. However, it has a variety of genres that can somehow appealing to the player and helps to get around the monotony.
From farm simulator to fishing along the river or open sea, adventures in the open world, or even building a farm, it leaves a little bit of something specific for everyone.
The main objective becomes to help all guilds spread across different regions. For this, it is necessary to join small missions presented by the villagers. Note that we have at our disposal a whole panoply of tools, an ax, a pickaxe, a hammer, and a sickle, which help in the task of gathering resources. In addition to this, it is possible to build specific objects with the addition of these previously mentioned resources. If this task becomes too complicated it is always possible to turn to the village vendor. Note that each village’s seller will have specific items from that village, as guilds are separated by themes; the guild of tailors, who work with fabrics, the guild of carpenters, who work with all the material inherent to this activity, etc.
The whole environment is very well done. The art style reminiscent of titles such as Breath of The Wild combined with the light and shadows of every moment of the day adds a vibrant soul which helps to create very welcoming vibes.
Cozy is the correct adjective when talking about Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles. Unfortunately, it presents a rather mediocre gameplay that doesn’t do justice to the vibrant environment presented to the player. I believe there is a niche of players who feel something special about this title, unfortunately, I wasn’t one of those cases.
[This review is based on a retail build of the game for PS5, provided by Merge Games]