Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles - PlayStation 4 Review
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles
- Platform: PS4 (reviewed); PC
- Players: 1
- Achievements: Yes
- Steam Trading Cards: Yes
- Controller Support: Yes, Full
- Retail Price: $19.99
High Level Premise: Open world adventure
Graphics/Style: Three-dimensional animation
Music/Soundtrack: Easy listening melodies
Story: Explore your shipwrecked island of Gemea and extinguish the murk that plagues its people
Replay-ability: Moderately High – Players can aim for 100% completion among various areas
Time Commitment: Yonder offers a wealth of content, bringing in around 35 – 50 hours of gameplay for the completionist
Value: Moderately High, Yonder brings us a massive world that is begging to be explored!
Favorite Element: The peaceful nature of Yonder is a fresh concept, putting the focus on exploration over skill.
As their first release, Australian developers Prideful Sloth pack a serious punch with Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles. As a game that seemed to have released out of nowhere, Yonder takes the best elements of adventure video games and makes them accessible to a wider audience.
Shortly after the basic character creation menu, the player finds themselves shipwrecked on the mysterious island of Gemea. The inhabitants of the island are struggling with a murk problem, a substance that happens to plague a great deal of the island and many of its accessible areas. After learning that sprites found throughout Gemea are the only fix, the player sets out on a quest to extinguish the murk infested areas.
One of Yonder’s best qualities is the primary focus on a peaceful adventure, as opposed to the aggression and violence based skill that typically is born from a game in this genre. This allows the game to be accessible to both children & adults by containing the most simplistic rules of adventuring, in addition to the somewhat sophisticated hurdles the player will have to undertake for 100% completion. All of this takes place in a gorgeous sandbox world which was surprisingly created using the Unity engine.
The world of Yonder runs on a day & night cycle while bringing a number time-specific events & quests to be fulfilled. In addition, the changing of seasons also has an impact on the flora & fauna, making the time of year equally as important among some aspects of the game. Farming and fishing provide fun past-times in and among side-quests, giving us purpose outside of the many fetch quests that the player will be taking on throughout the time cycle.
Overall, Yonder is a gem that first-time developers Prideful Sloth should be proud of. The games lush environments and the interesting world are a pleasure to explore and discover. The fun quests and pastime offerings give us a lot of reason to spend time on the island of Gemea. While there were a few noticeable frame rate dips among the PS4 version reviewed, it’s nothing game breaking and in the way of overall enjoyment. Yonder puts the focus on exploration & adventure first, all the while leaving violence & skill on the table for another day.