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Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles review for Xbox One

I retain a soft spot for cute things. When it comes to animation, adorable characters and creatures evoke a sense of wonder and delight akin to that of a child with a new kitten or puppy. Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles possesses all of the addictive qualities of cute collection games which I find irresistible.

What is this vibrant thing?

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is an action/adventure game for children and families from developer Prideful Sloth. Players find themselves awash in the land of Gemea, a vibrant, peaceful land full of friendly folks and cuddly creatures. Gemea, however, is weathering oppression by a substance known as the Murk. The Murk has been spreading through all corners of the known world. Through its corruption, it creates impassable pathways and polluting the previously luscious landscape with dark purple swirling masses. To clear the Murk, players partner with Sprites which are found hiding in various locations throughout the world. By partnering with the Sprites, the combination of magic and effort banishes the Murk.

How is the story?

Yonder’s story is refreshingly straightforward. Players seek to discover where the Murk has come from and how it can be halted. Along the way, players can meet members of many lovely communities. Several members invite and assist you in becoming journeyman apprentices in a plethora of guilds like carpenters, construction, tinkerers, and chef’. As you help remove the murk, players also begin uncovering bits and pieces of the nation’s history. They also begin gaining an understanding of the Murk’s origin.

What is refreshing about the story is it is blissfully simple, yet quite rewarding. As you travel throughout the world, you are continually given the opportunity to assist people. In my play-through, I did not encounter any mission where kindness and generosity were not the solutions. Missions regularly include objectives like helping families solve squabbles, locating missing pets, or collecting resources. The story takes you on a journey of discovery and service, helping all those you come in contact with by making their lives all a little better. While simple, the story’s gentle soul provides hours of heartwarming content which will provoke most humans who possess a pulse to smile and relax.

How is the games ‘Crafting’?

Mechanically the game is rock solid. Through my gameplay, I did not encounter a single glitch. Even when attempting to cause a glitch by accessing “off-limits” areas of the map, Yonder responds flawlessly. The developers display skill and humor by leaving notes in these locations stating “You are not supposed to be here.”  The game’s additional components including farming, foraging, fishing, and crafting assist the story’s simple concept well. The collecting of cute fuzzy creatures, seeking out the multiple species of fish and fauna and mining crafting resources all provide substantive contributions to the games overall enjoyment.

Final Thoughts?

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is a wonderful game. It is capable of providing several hours of heartwarming content for players. This is a title I can most definitely see adult gamers using as an introduction to open-world role-playing games. As I was playing, I began imagining introducing my niece and nephews to gaming with this title. The key to this game’s success to me is the core mechanic being kindness, not violence. The most aggressive action you can take in this game is gathering resources by chopping down trees. But even as you remove trees,  rewards are given for immediately replanting trees promoting sustainable practices even in this vibrant fictional world.

For those who are looking for a different, relaxing gaming experience this game is for you. If you are an adult gamer looking for a fun game to play with your kids, this game is for you. If you like adorable games like Slime Rancher or Animal Crossing this game is for you. The game’s simple plot and fun gameplay elements make this a title suitable for all players. I can without hesitation highly recommend adding this to your collections.

Allen H. Mowers
Allen works professionally in photography, cinematography, and marketing. As a lifelong camera junkie, he channels his creative and technical energy into the craft of photography, both in digital and analog processes.He also loves playing games of all sorts, shapes, and play styles. Most days when he's not doing photo related things he can be found playing D&DDiablo IIIBattlefield 1, or something retro. He also is a co-host and producer on the Min/Max Podcast.

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