Yonder The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is an oddity. It’s an adventure game that features no combat whatsoever.
Instead, you play as a shipwreck survivor on the magical island Gemea. Here you’ll need to learn skills to survive and collect materials to craft.
Yonder is like a combination of The Legend of Zelda, Dragon Quest Builders and Harvest Moon. It’s a very different experience, yet at the same time, it’s rather familiar.
Yonder The Cloud Catcher Chronicles Review Switch
After the opening cutscene, you’ve washed ashore and are tasked with finding your way. The very first thing you’ll do is find one of the island’s sprites.
These magical creatures accompany you on your journey and are the only way to rid the island of the Murk that’s begun infesting it. To complete your journey, you’ll need to clear all the Murk and to do that you’ll need to find all of the sprites.
That’s the main thrust of Yonder; finding and collecting each of the sprites. The more you find, the more Murk you can clear and the further you can explore.
Along the way, you’ll encounter dozens of other characters, each with missions and quests for you to tackle. These range from rounding up animals, to collecting a certain number of materials or simply crafting an item.
All the Quests
These quests are all helpful in their own way and assist in providing you with the necessary tools to continue finding the sprites. There’s even the ability to build and maintain your own farms.
Each of the creatures you find while roaming the island can be befriended if you have the right item. Once they’ve been fed, they’ll slowly follow you back to your farm where you can keep them and make them happy.
The farm and building system isn’t the most robust, but it’s certainly easy and intuitive enough to understand.
It doesn’t take long before your quest log is overflowing with things to do. Thankfully, you have a magic compass in your possession that will point you in the direction of whatever quest you choose.
Nobody was Kung Fu Fighting
Without any combat, Yonder is an oddly peaceful experience, though at times I felt a bit bored simply wandering from place to place. It felt like a series of fetch quests, without much of interest in between.
Yonder is simply not the same experience you might be expecting and after I let go of those expectations I had a much better time. I’d recommend playing Yonder in handheld mode too.
When I first started, I thought it looked as good as Breath of the Wild. Then I put it on the TV and I realised I was sorely mistaken. It’s not an ugly game, but it certainly isn’t all that pretty. In handheld mode though, it looks great.
For a game from an indie studio, Yonder is surprisingly robust, polished and large. If you’re after a different kind of experience, that’s peaceful and relaxing, Yonder might just do the trick.
Yonder The Cloud Catcher Chronicles was reviewed on Switch using a digital code provided by the developer.
Game Title: Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles
Peaceful, pacifistic gaming - 7/10
A little awkward and convoluted - 6/10
Something different - 6.5/10