This Charming Game Is Like Breath of the Wild, Minus Fighting, Plus Farming

Take the open world of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and replace the combat with the farm simulation of Harvest Moon and you've got Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles.

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles Opening Scene

(via Prideful Sloth)

The story begins with the player on a ship to a land called Gemea. A mysterious threat known as the Murk has consumed your home land, and your parents have sent you out toward safety.

Before long, a storm leaves you shipwrecked. As you arrive ashore, a mysterious figure called Aaerie visits you in a vision. It turns out that you're the Sprite-Seer, the only human who can communicate and locate Aaerie's family of creatures called Sprites, who are the only being who can drive away the Murk.

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles Aeerie

(via Prideful Sloth)

Guided by your glowing Celestial Compass, the game presses you to visit a nearby village to meet its inhabitants and get your bearings—but being an open world, you don't have to do that at all.

Instead, you're free to run around collecting any items you find, from rocks to sticks to mushrooms, and get a sense of the items within the game. You might also run into the game's wildlife, from the buffalo-like Groffles to flower-covered Sprig-Pigs. Every animal encounter is a delight—and they get even better once you can win them over by feeding them treats.

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles Groffle

(via Prideful Sloth)

And once you've visited the first town and met the locals, you're free to do pretty much anything you want. Throughout the game, you'll travel through various regions, from friendly forests to frozen tundras and scorching deserts, and meeting and helping people along the way.

You'll also be receiving a lot of quests from the people you meet. Luckily for you, the game makes note of every one, and you can swap your active quest at any time. With the help of your glowing Celestial Compass and your handy map, you'll always know where to go to complete the quest at hand. Much of the game boils down to fetch quests, but very few of them are mandatory.

But you can't access every area immediately because some places are blocked by the swirling purple Murk. Each instance of the Murk requires a certain number of Sprites to get rid of it, so you'll want to locate and collect as many of them as you can. But since the Murk doesn't actually harm you or threaten to grow and harm the people of Gemea, the game doesn't give you much of a reason to get rid of it, beyond your own thirst for exploration.

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles exploration

(via Prideful Sloth)

In fact, there's nothing threatening in this game at all. There are no enemies, no damaging obstacles and no repercussions for mistakes. There aren't even rude villagers. There's no such thing as losing in Yonder, which for some players will feel incredibly freeing, and for others will make it feel like there are no stakes.

Because there's no danger, you never feel a real sense of urgency to save Gemea. Your actions don't feel like they're actively affecting the world. Instead, you must be propelled forward by your own drive. I can ultimately see this making of breaking the game for some people.


In place of battle, the game is driven by social interaction, collecting and crafting as you explore. Using the items you gather, you can craft other, more valuable ones, and over time, the number and quality of items you can craft will grow. Your character can join guilds to learn skills including cooking, carpentry and tailoring. Each of these unlocks even more craft recipes.

You can also barter with other characters to trade your goods for the items you need, or work with crafters who can turn your raw materials into finished products. Though this system is pretty fun, there are times when it feels the game would have been more streamlined if it just used money.

This is especially true because I had issues with the game's inventory. In a game where collecting items is so key, I simply don't have enough slots to hold them. The inventory fills up very quickly, and often you're forced to ditch potentially useful items to make way for an item you need to proceed.

But this is a small gripe when you look at how much there is to do within the game. There are many fun things to do within the game. For one, you can build and maintain your own farm, filling it with useful structures, planting crops and recruiting animals from the wild to populate the farm. Of course I led a fuzzy Groffle back to my farm, which occasionally provides me with valuable Groffle Milk.

You can also run around and collect adorable cats, which are hidden throughout the game's regions or spend all of your time fishing. Pretty much everything in the game is optional, so it's up to you to decide how you'll spend your time. You can also focus on doing people's quests to raise their happiness because doing so within each region gives you handy bonuses.

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles map

(via Prideful Sloth)


While Gemea is quite large, that's not a problem as your character zips along quite quickly. Later on, you can also warp quickly between zones. Even the character's movement can be charming, as jumping from high ledges results in your character taking out a colorful umbrella to slow their descent. However, when it comes to platforming, the controls can feel a little slippery and imprecise.

Despite any flaws, Yonder always feels worth playing. It feels rewarding, even without real risks, and you're always free to enjoy it at your own pace.

Yonder is a beautiful, if not highly stylized, game. The landscapes and animals of the game are lovingly rendered with soft edges and gorgeous colors, and the game's lighting effects are spectacular. Strangely, the character designs are a weak point in the visual design. While charming, they're mostly quite plain.

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles silk moths

(via Prideful Sloth)

The soundtrack is as effective as the graphics, with truly stunning pieces accompanying many of the areas. Again, the least effective part of the sound comes in the form of character voices, which come out as strange grunts.

If you decide to focus entirely on the game's core story, chances are you'll finish the game in just a few hours, but if you're an explorer like me, you can stretch that adventure to about 10. Elements like fishing, crafting and building out your farm will not only allow you to get more out of the game, but also make it a more fulfilling experience.

While Yonder is nothing profound and the narrative will never be the driving force of your gameplay, it's a lot of good, clean fun for curious travelers.

If you want to try it yourself, you can get it for $19.99 on the PlayStation 4 or $29.99 on Steam.



Excited to try Yonder? Click HERE to find out what we thought of the upcoming Harvest Moon game.