Sometimes things aren’t always what they seem. Case in point on Friday at PAX East when my colleague Jay and I walked on up to the booth for Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles. At this moment of time, the booth was empty except for another member of the press and a family with small children (editor’s note: We feel really bad they kicked the kids off so we could play the game). I think at that moment we both felt like a mistake was made, as perhaps the game was too childish for men with such fine tastes in video games. The next 30 mins the devs at Prideful Sloth would prove us wrong time and time again about those initial misguided thoughts.

All the way from Australia on a two week tour of the states, Prideful Sloth were beaming with confidence showing their open-world adventure game Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles. Why such confidence in their game? Well, some members of the team have worked on games such as Batman: Arkham, Elder Scrolls, DmC: Devil May Cry, Rock Band, Guitar Hero and Rome: Total War. Certainly, these are not games to shrug your shoulders at, under any circumstances.

You’d think with such pedigree that we’d be sitting down to play a hyper realistic action-adventure game. Instead, we were treated to a fantasy world where players will explore the shores of Gemea. In our demo, we were located on a hilly country-side with sandy beaches. In total, Gemea consists of eight different locations, all with different environments, wildlife, and ecosystems.

When first starting the game, you can create your character with a plentiful array of options. However, don’t get too attached to your style, as the game drops a ton of loot for your character. Within minutes, I was trying on different jackets and sunglasses. It’s a steady flow of content that always seemed to put a smile on my face. As you traverse through the open world, you will encounter villagers who will assign you various tasks, such as helping them cut grass in areas where things have gone unruly or fetch rocks to build a fire on the beach. With so many different tasks before you, it was helpful to have a good in-game map to help keep you on the path to your destination, as well as an intuitive user interface to toggle on/off your active quests.

Fans of games like Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley and The Legend of Zelda will find themselves smitten with Yonder. Even if those franchises aren’t your cup of tea, you’ll be won over by the inherent charm this game exudes. Perhaps you lead a busy life and are looking for a relaxing game at night where you can sit back, explore, and do some mild farming simulation. I rather enjoyed the fishing and roaming around locating some of the 50 cats strewn about Gemea. While in this demo, we didn’t have to do much crafting, there is neat system in place that allows you to collect items, craft them, and then either sell the item or use it to complete a quest.

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles was a breath of fresh air at PAX East. Not only was it one of more charming experiences I had all weekend, there was also an incredible sense of sophistication and polish underneath the soft cute exterior. For those that know me, I don’t play these types of games, but I can’t wait for this one to release. Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles comes out on July 18th for PS4 and PC. And yes, I asked about Nintendo Switch, while they seemed interested, it didn’t seem like a possibility any time soon.

  • Samantha Eckhart

    Not sure if the author will read this comment, but we were the family that was kicked off the game before you. And, we loved the game. My 6 year old daughter kept wanting to come back over the weekend. We ended up coming back atleast 10 times.

  • Hey, great to hear that your daughter enjoyed the game so much! We really did feel bad they had to kick off the little ones so we could play. It’s an unfortunate side of a small booth. We actually kicked another family off at Snake Pass as well, guess it’s our niche now. LOL.