A mild, gen­tle breeze

Yon­der: The Cloud Catcher Chron­i­cles is the per­fect an­tithe­sis to vi­o­lent shoot-’em-ups.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Technology - By MOR­GAN SHAVER

YON­DER: The Cloud Catcher Chron­i­cles is in­ter­est­ing in that there’s no com­bat, no dire con­flict, and no in­her­ent risk. You have no health bar, no stamina bar, and no ene­mies to fight.

In­stead, you wan­der through Ge­mea help­ing NPCs and clear­ing Murk (a strange, wispy form of pol­lu­tion).

Al­though Yon­der is stripped down in ev­ery way imag­in­able, it works by re­main­ing true to its peace­ful heart.

A paci­fist’s dream

Yon­der is a re­lax­ing game spir­ited by its breath­tak­ing graph­i­cal style and med­i­ta­tive at­mos­phere.

Most of your time in Yon­der is spent fetch­ing things for NPCs, tend­ing to farms, find­ing Sprites, and clear­ing Murk (with the help of Sprites).

Mean­while, you can also craft, fish, be­friend an­i­mals, and ex­pand your Col­lec­tor’s Jour­nal with a va­ri­ety of col­lectibles strewn about the map.

There’s no real limit on where you can and can­not go in Yon­der .If you feel like tak­ing the short way off a large cliff, an um­brella will spring up af­ter you jump and glide you safely down to the ground.

If you feel like go­ing for a swim (not re­al­is­ing you can’t ac­tu­ally swim in Yon­der), you’ll sink to the bot­tom be­fore respawn­ing on dry land.

Calm and peace­ful

The game has a sort of Stardew Val­ley feel to it where each day is spent ex­actly how you want to spend it. In fact, the thing Yon­der suf­fers from the most is its ten­ta­tive story ties.

Es­sen­tially, your char­ac­ter has ven­tured to Ge­mea in search of their fam­ily his­tory. In the end, when you find the answers you seek, you’ll likely set that knowl­edge aside and re­turn to Ge­mea for the things you’ve al­ready estab­lished.

You want the sim­plic­ity of tend­ing to your farm, ex­plo­ration with­out con­se­quences, item col­lec­tion, and re­lax­ation.

In fact, the lat­ter is one of the best facets of the game, as it’s a fan­tas­tic game to play when you’re feel­ing anx­ious or stressed. Yon­der has this unique abil­ity to lift the weight from your shoul­ders – all with­out go­ing out of its way to im­press you.

For some, Yon­der re­ally works as a de­vi­a­tion from the end­less role play­ing game com­pe­ti­tion. For oth­ers, how­ever, the lack of ac­tion and com­plex­ity may feel a tad too bland.

For ex­am­ple, there are set lim­its to your cre­ativ­ity. The farms are pretty stan­dard, and while there’s a nice ar­ray of cute clothes to pur­chase or craft, there isn’t a lot of mo­ti­va­tion to pur­sue these cos­metic items.

On the flip side, there isn’t much mo­ti­va­tion to fish for a good 10-15 min­utes, but the sim­ple act of cast­ing your reel, mov­ing your bob­ber, and pulling in a mys­tery fish is hon­estly a blast. It’s one of the things I’ve spent a lot of time do­ing in Yon­der just for the sake of do­ing it.

As such, there’s beauty to be found in ev­ery crevasse of the game as long as you ap­proach the game with an open mind.

Con­clu­sion

If you’re a fan of games like Stardew Val­ley and are look­ing for some­thing to play while you let the rage of be­ing bested in Over­watch yet again sim­mer down, Yon­der: The Cloud Catcher Chron­i­cles feels like a cool breeze on a hot sum­mer day.

If you’re look­ing for a grand ad­ven­ture af­ter com­plet­ing The Leg­end of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you may find yourself lost amid Yon­der’s empty spa­ces.

Al­ter­na­tively, if you’re a fan of ex­plo­ration games like Abzu and Jour­ney, Yon­der: The Cloud Catcher Chron­i­cles will ex­ceed all of your ex­pec­ta­tions.

Over­all, I rec­om­mend look­ing into Yon­der with an open heart and an am­ple amount of pa­tience. If you give it the chance, it’ll charm you with its adorable crea­tures (Fab­bits and Grof­fles es­pe­cially) and whim­si­cal Sprites.

And if you play long enough, it’ll even start to feel like home. — Shack­news/Tri­bune News Ser­vice YON­DER: THE CLOUD CATCHER CHRON­I­CLES (Pride­ful Sloth)

Ad­ven­ture game for PC, PlayS­ta­tion4

PRICE: RM47 on Steam

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