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Games of the Year

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles Screenshot 1
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Unwind and enjoy the slow life in Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles, a relaxing open-world adventure game. Yonder is set in the world of Gemea. A natural island paradise with eight distinct environments ranging from tropical beaches to snow-capped summits. But Gemea is not as perfect as it seems. The mysterious Murk has taken hold of the land! As the hero of Gemea, you can seek out the hidden and whimsical creatures known as Sprites. Use their power to clear the Murk and restore nature’s beauty. As you explore Gemea, you can barter with friendly locals, discover unique materials to craft with, befriend the adorable wildlife and even create your own working farm. Yonder offers a world to lose yourself in; a world filled with the wonder of discovery and the spirit of adventure. Features: A vibrant open world full of things to discover and places to explore. Set your own pace; trail-blaze across the world or settle down for a spot of quiet fishing and farming.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Yonder is the Dark Souls of games where you don't dodge enemies, explore dark castles, die a million times, have weapons, or feel any real stress when gaming at all.
I can’t get enough of this game. I absolutely love it’s charming scenery and characters. I love games with a mission and no extreme fighting. I have been a die-hard gamer for a very long time (I’m a 70 year old grandmother now) and I’m so glad we have games like Elden Ring and Cyberpunk 2077 but, this game Yonder has blown me away like no game has ever done so before with its casual laid back design and just a beautiful world where you don’t have to worry about money. It’s such a drastic change from the world we live in now.
Yonder is best described it as a chill exploration game. There are no enemies, only a vast world to explore, farms to build, guilds to join and quests to complete. It's as if Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing and Breath of the Wild had a baby.
This game is not for everybody, for sure. I could see it being incredibly boring if you didn't know what you were getting into. But in a world where every game that isn't Animal Crossing requires a boss fight to see everything the game has to offer, Yonder is a god-send.
Personally I just love laid back games like Yonder… just go and explore, talk to NPC’s, etc… It’s amazing how immersed I get into their worlds that are just filled with a sort of child-like wonder. It sounds sappy but it always brings me happiness to meet with kind and interesting NPC’s in games like Yonder instead of the dark and gloomy interactions you’ll have in games like Elden Ring. At 70 I’m just tired of fighting games. Tired of all the hate. There is enough terrible stuff going on in the world… I just want to sit back now and enjoy something fun and calmed to play.
I get so tired of the fact that in almost any game now there’s something that wants to kill you, or at least set you back. Even some chill adventure games do that, but sometimes you just want to relax… explore, go on adventure and know that nothing here’s going to hurt you, you’re safe, you can do whatever you set your heart to without fear. That’s Yonder.
It's a great game I recommend for people who'd like to relax and enjoy a simple game but not too simple without any progression and rewards. I’m tired boss.

Review from Steam

An Open World game with no combat or deaths. Instead it focuses on exploration, crafting, resource gathering, farming, fishing etc. A very relaxing game with beautiful visuals reminiscent of BOTW and My Time at Portia. Great for relieving stress. My only complain is the path finding of the animals really suck.

Review from Steam

This is a great cozy game that you can complete at your own pace. I highly recommend it for people who love completing quest and discovering new areas but hate having to fight or battle.

Review from Steam

I adore this game so much to do so many farms that can be had and farm different animals/plants in each one a lot to discover. The one thing I would like is if we could go inside buildings like my home(s) and decorate inside but then again that's me i like to hoard everything hehehehe

Review from Steam

you're just a lil guy goin explorin & craftin & stuff
10/10 soul cleansing

Review from Steam

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is a unique marriage between an exploration game and a crafting sim. The main story is short but bittersweet and the map feels very Skyrim-esque: an open world with several guilds to join, each hub having a smaller outpost outside. Every region has its own look and feel.
There's no combat but the game never feels like a series of fetch quests. Instead, it's as though you're completely free to do as you please. I went in blind and rarely used the map or compass until I was picking off quests at the end of the game, choosing to wander around, going wherever my eyes were drawn. The map is not so big that it feels overwhelming despite fast travel methods being relatively rare. The art is charming and very much fits the story the game tells. It would be nice if there were more personal interactions with NPCs, though.
Despite how much I liked the game, I have a few problems with Yonder, the first being that the camera takes some getting used to. I don't ever get motion sickness, even in VR, and it made me feel sick at first.
Also, the game is oddly unbalanced in certain ways. For instance, the economy. Yonder uses a barter system, but the entire system can be easily cheesed- most products used for crafting are worth less than 50 units, while 50 units is the price of a single berry, or potato or similar, easily grown on your many farms in stacks of up to 10+ every day (this is without me even actively searching for seeds, just using what I found).
Additionally, a lot of the craft-able items feel unnecessary and you can 100% the game without ever creating or even learning of their existence. Then there are other items, like stone, that are almost impossible to find in bulk and need to be tediously collected for certain quests and decor items- a task which ceases to be fun once you've run out of content in the game.
Some quests also suffer from this balancing problem. Each year in game lasts 30 in game days, and after the main quest ends you are given access to a particular quest that involves delivering particular items to an NPC every single season. It's tedious and is made worse by the fact that you can finish almost everything else in the game before the main quest is over, and what you can't finish is very easily completed afterward. The quest reward, to add insult to injury, is something you can purchase much earlier in the game- this actually happens quite frequently- it's very disappointing).
The hidden achievement is another thing that suffers from balance issues, as it revolves around a mechanic that you might not even know exists.

There are also a particular collectible- a sprite- that you will never find without external guidance, as it only shows up at a certain time of day in a particular place on a particular day in each season. Unlike the cat collectibles, which also have similar restrictions, there is nothing in game that indicates the location of this sprite beyond its region.
Finally, I'd like to address one more issue I had with Yonder, the largest of them all. There's a particular easter egg inserted into the game by the devs- an island of trolls that is clearly meant to disparage internet "trolls" who were apparently... insulting? their game. They break the fourth wall by talking about games and game mechanics and it is immersion-breaking. Plus, none of the comments seemed on the level of trolling to me, just very critical and misunderstanding of the story the devs were trying to tell.
The entirety of troll island made the devs seem immature and almost made me want to not recommend the game at all. Part of creating something is learning how to appropriately acknowledge criticism.
Despite my own criticism though, I truly enjoyed my time with Yonder- enough to 100% the game. It's rare to find a game without combat that isn't a pure puzzle game, like The Witness, so this, like the fantastic Eastshade before it, is a breath of fresh air. I'm not sure if I'd recommend this to a crafting sim enthusiast because of the balancing issues, but if you enjoy exploration games, walking sims, or casual fantasy worlds, this is a game you should pick up.

Review from Steam

It's not bad it just lacks an anchor. You have all these quests to do, all these things to collect, but no real home. You GET a farmland pretty quickly but it's a fenced in area with a big animal pen and no house to base in. Just... roaming the grasslands forever doing chores. Looks nice and has potential if you're ok with the aforementioned point.

Age Verification
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