A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is a downloadable fantasy-adventure game with no combat or enemies. It's a single-player title where your custom protagonist wanders around a lush frontier doing favors for the locals. You can also eventually gain the ability to raise several farms. Although appropriate for most ages, one region features light humor about flatulence and coils of animal poo scattered about.
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What's it about?
YONDER: THE CLOUD CATCHER CHRONICLES is set on the vast island of Gemea, a lush frontier with eight distinct environments ranging from tropical beaches to snow-capped summits. As the hero, you will explore Gemea, uncovering the island's secrets and the mysteries within yourself as you embark on a journey of self-discovery. On a quest to become the island's champion, you join forces with sprites: creatures who are the only thing capable of dispersing the murk, an evil ambient force that has enshrouded the land and its people in despair.
Is it any good?
Although older players are likely to be bored pretty early on, younger players that just want to explore will find a lot to appreciate here. If Minecraft is too stressful, then Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles might be just the thing -- its complete lack of combat and time-sensitive deadlines to get tasks done in-game makes for a more whimsical, laid-back gameplay experience. Although you'll be trudging all over a sizable island that can be traversed in about five minutes, the game focuses much more on exploring, developing, and interacting with the world and its inhabitants. Granted, your interactions with people aren't too deep (people just want you to go to location X and bring back Y), but that just frees players up to soak up the sedate environment. And it's a gorgeous world to be in. With changing seasons and weather patterns and with no need to look over your shoulder for enemies, though, all you have to occupy your time are tons of errands and chores. These tasks run the gamut from collecting wood and smashing stones to fishing and bartering. Eventually, you'll take to crafting your own items to trade with others. If you're so inclined, you can establish your own farms to work more items into your rotation for trading, but it's completely optional. The easygoing vibe to the game is reminiscent of Facebook games or even mobile games, which ultimately means whether you like it or not depends on your disposition. The open-ended nature that comes with no urgency will definitely throw some players, but people who have been craving something more laid-back will find a ton to do and enjoy here.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Are we so conditioned to expect violence in games that it's surprising to find a game that doesn't have any? Is there a harm to the types of violence that occur in games? How do you know?
How do you define boundaries in your relationships, and even with strangers, as far as who and why you'll help with a favor?
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