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Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles Is Bringing Heart Back To Exploration Games

Perusing the comment section for any gameplay videos of Prideful Sloth’s Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles, you’ll see a lot of language that refers to the game as “childlike”, “cute” and admissions of “I’m a fully grown adult and I want this”. That’s not to say that the luminous, inviting world of Yonder plays like a game for children, it’s indicative of a comfort and friendly familiarity associated with comfort, home and unadulterated fun - y’know, kids stuff.

Developed by the Australian based team at Prideful Sloth who, if pressed to boast, would recount a remarkable employment history working on Batman: Arkham, The Elder Scrolls and Rome: Total War between them. But these games all have something in common that Yonder doesn’t: an atmosphere of looming dread and the drab, grey palette to prove it.

Yonder takes aesthetic cues from Harvest Moon and the soon to be released Ooblets as much as it begs explorations like Breath Of The Wild’s Hyrule and Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom. The land of Gemea is a sprawling frontier with a diverse array of biomes to harvest. The thriving ecosystem is under threat, however, by a mysterious dark omen. Though, it's One that isn’t defeated by means of hacking-and-slashing.

Yonder encourages you to repair a decaying world with compassion and discovery. Fishing, farming, spelunking and brewing means that you can live your best rural life in three blissful dimensions if the Stardew Valley train has left your station or if you never got into the pastoral simulator in the first place.

Panic, excitement and punishment are symptoms of the adventure genre but don’t necessarily define it. Yonder asks players to take the slower, more holistic approach to exploration exercised by many players for the first time during their Breath Of The Wild experiences. Treasure and reward comes to those with the patience to scour and experiment with the rich game worlds rather than opting to chain-collect flashy trinkets.

Yonder looks to fulfil a craving for comfort gaming. To explore with our hearts, not our HUDs and live our best, relaxed life.

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles will receive a physical release on PlayStation 4 when the title launches on 18 July. Learn more about the game over at their website and be sure to follow Prideful Sloth on Twitter.

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