A few weeks ago people on Discord were talking about this really cute game that was coming out and it managed to catch my attention as well. I totally ended up impulse buying it the day it came out which is pretty rare for me, but it wasn’t very expensive so I figured it would be fine. The game in question was Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles.
In Yonder your ship gets caught in a storm and you end up on an island called Gemea, which is supposed to be a paradise-like place if it wasn’t for murk that covers parts of the island. You get to explore Gemea freely while gathering crafting materials and doing little quests for the people who live there. You also collect Sprites, which are cute little creature who help you remove murk. The goal is basically to return Gemea to the beautiful place it once was.
For me Yonder was kind of love at first sight. The graphics are simple but really adorable and the world is full of cute animals so exploring the island is just a really nice experience, especially since there’s also a day-night cycle and weather and seasons change too. I could just run around picking up everything I possibly can (sometimes including cats) for hours, which I also usually end up doing because I totally lose track of time while playing. Funnily enough after 13 hours I still can’t say much about the story of the game because I’ve been more focused on everything else you can do in it. (Edit: I finished the story the day after writing this, it’s actually not very long)
There are of course things other than crafting you can do in the game too: the NPC’s in the game give you side quests that are usually at least gathering related, but often still fun. You can also set up farms in all areas (even the snowy mountains) and build all sorts of things things there and adopt animals. The farms require pretty little upkeep though since all you really need to do is hire an NPC as a farmhand to keep the place clean and then you can just run off to do your thing. Farms have chests with unlimited (or at least I haven’t run into a limit yet) storage space so that is a beautiful thing. You can also fish, which is really fun because you actually need to do something to catch the fish rather than just sit and wait.
I can only think of a couple of things that annoyed me in the game. Number 1: My inventory is constantly full. All the time. Even if I just put a bunch of stuff in the storage chest five minutes ago. Number 2: The quest tracking is really weird. If you set a quest active it doesn’t always guide you where you need to go next and instead points you back to the quest giver, which can get really confusing. Some people have said it can be really hard to find comfortable mouse sensitivity settings for the game, but I personally didn’t have much trouble with that.
Since Yonder is meant to be a pretty casual and relaxing game it doesn’t have any combat. I know this can be a deal-breaker for some people (it was for my fiancé), so I figured it’s pretty important to mention. I was personally completely fine with not having anything to fight – I didn’t have to fear going to places with a lot of spiderwebs for once! A chill game like this was exactly what I needed in my life.
I also need to mention this since it’s very important to me in games: Yonder has character creation, which isn’t very fancy in the beginning, but you can find, craft and buy new outfits and hairstyles in the game and change them whenever you want! I had rainbow hair for the longest time until I decided to go for flame colors instead.
I definitely recommend this game to anyone who likes cute things, crafting/exploring and just wants to relax a little!