Best Good-Natured Game? Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles
There are engrossing video games which prove you don’t need to always be shooting or hunting things. Maybe you’re getting bored with never-ending blasting or unnecessary, complicated game configurations? Maybe you’ve had enough of fighting and racing games? It could be that you just need a heavy dose of chill-out magic with Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles!
From developer Prideful Sloth (that sums it up!) this relaxing game gently encourages the pure art of exploring, adventuring and crafting. Okay, so it’s a little Zelda with its simple protagonist and beautiful island world scenario, and the storyline here is pretty basic, but there’s still a ton of stuff you can do.
From farming to cooking, your character (who has crashed on the sunny island of Gemea) needs to set up camp and get quests from the nearby townsfolk. You can follow the main path of the rudimentary storyline, or just set out on your own. This can pay off, because not everything is indicated on the main map, leaving room for your personal adventures to discover surprising things.
Having settled in, you’ll soon be looking to explore the 7 other areas across the island, including a rather wintry one. There are also abandoned or ruined farmsteads laying around, waiting for you to restore them to their former glory. This will enable you to raise animals, hire farm hands and produce materials, as you like.
This may sound like the game isn’t at all deep, but does every game need to be? With its focus on crafting and exploration, and with a complete absence of attacking bandits, zombies etc, you get time to just enjoy the atmosphere and activities on offer. Yonder has got a brilliant cartoonish art style and a whole range of cute creatures to meet. In the vein of Animal Crossing, it’s a highly rewarding, relaxing experience which encourages you to create and improve your environment, and push back ‘The Murk’ which has descended across the land. Quests involve the usual elements of helping to find or unearth materials, combining them and using your inventory to improve and decorate the environment.
Before you know it, you might find the main story has reached its conclusion, and you may find yourself just playing on and completing extra side-quests. There’s no multiplayer or co-op option sadly, but instead it allows itself to be a strong entry-point for younger players, who may not even be allowed such complexity.
Bigger kids can still enjoy the leisurely pace and sheer freedom, and hold out a little hope for extra features which may come.
So try out the distracting, engrossing world of Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles, a great non-violent option for all ages on all platforms.