Explore the wild blue Yonder!
During this year’s Pax East, I was able to play Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles for the PlayStation 4. The demo at the time gave you a basic breakdown of the controls as well as what Prideful Sloth was trying to create! It was part Legend of Zelda and Part Minecraft/Terraria, which is an interesting combination but it, works. Fast-forward to July and the game finally released on it’s own. It only felt like yesterday that Boston was getting hammered with a blizzard during Pax East but everyone was staying warm with video games!
Before you even begin your journey of epic discovery, you need to create your character to play with. Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles has a simple creation system for designing your character. You have a few customization options to pick from such as hair design and color, eye color, and gender of your character. That way, you don’t too sidetracked with character design before the game even starts and you can change the look of your character during the game.
You’ll be able to trade/buy clothes during your adventure. There is another option for clothes/accessories and that is to have other players leave them around for you to find. Players will have the option to use a certain item (play and find out) to leave gifts for other players to discover during their play-through and it might not always be clothes!
To begin your long journey into Yonder, your parents send you away to avoid the impending darkness that will soon be at hand. One way to seek the truth is to trust the Celestial Compass, one of your key items you’ll need in game. This, in a nutshell, is the story to the game. There is more to it than this but this is the barebones version, seek the truth with the help of the Celestial Compass during your journey.
Like I said, there is much more to it than that but you’ll have to discover your own path. During your quest, you’ll run into Aaerie, the Protector of Gemea/lands, who aids you from time to time during your quest. You can think of Aaerie as a guardian who advises you from afar. One way is to help you discover the Lumies. Lumies are little magical sprites that you need to locate. They have the magical ability to clear Murk. Murk is the purple haze that is all over the world and can cause some major headaches.
One of the bigger pains in the game is if you don’t have enough Lumies to clear certain Murk out of the way. The only way to discover Lumies is when you see a bright blue light in odd locations, like a barn or under a rock for example. That’s the only way to find them and to be honest; you stumble upon them by total accident most of the time. At times it’s easy to get lost while exploring and you can find yourself in a new location in no time at all. The problem with that is you find Murk that needs quite a few Lumies and you were having trouble finding them to begin with. The Compass should keep you on course (see what I did there, directions joke) but that will only keep you going the right way toward the quest you have selected to complete; I’ll get to quests momentarily.
Momentarily means right now because here is the “Quests” portion of the program. The quests range from simple to tedious in terms of being able to be completed. It could be as simple as talking to someone and bringing them wood/sticks. The quest could be finding cats in the valley or it could be crafting things and bringing the item to a specific person in a certain location. Certain quests have to be completed to advance in the adventure while others are side-quest fodder, like most adventure games. Finding Lumies is a quest but I recommend finding all of them because you will need to clear most of the Murk and the only way to do that is through Lumie power!
Graphically, Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles looks fantastic. You really feel like you’re exploring vast lands like a desert or a beach. One of my favorite scenes in the game is when you first start out on the ship and the sea gets rough! Controls are simple to use but the only item I had a tough time using was the fishing rod. The controls for the fishing rod were way too complicated. I found myself losing more fish because I didn’t notice that the fish changed directions rapidly and in my opinion something simpler would have been a better choice. Most adventure games don’t get the camera right but Yonder designed a really good camera to use, as it never felt like it was moving too fast or running away from you.
To recap, Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is a fun adventure game that everyone should play. I said earlier that it was a cross between Zelda and Minecraft/Terraria because the exploration (Zelda) and the crafting/everything useable. (Minecraft/Terraria) There are things that get on your nerves during gameplay but for the most part will test players!
I’m giving Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles for the PS4 an 8.5/10. I want to thank Prideful Sloth for the review code.