I have to say, I really didn’t love Yonder when I first sat down to play it. It’s a lovely game, the scenery is beautiful, the animals are adorable, but I can’t shake the what’s the point here? feeling I have when playing it. It’s at once incredibly simple and not simple at all (not simple if you’re used to set quest objectives and having to complete one thing before you can complete the next, and so on, because this game offers zero direction aside from the intro quests. They cut you loose to explore and basically figure everything out on your own. I didn’t appreciate the take your time, explore, feed the animals and befriend them thing until I had my four-year-old niece join me. She was thrilled by the game and its simplicity.
Yonder does fairly well in terms of accessibility. There’s no spoken dialogue, save for some grunts and such from the NPCs, so all dialogue is displayed in the above chunky text.
The interactions you have with the various NPCs are simple and important indicators (like the smiley face here) are quite self explanatory, which makes the game ideal for kids.
Visual indicators are equally as simple, the tool you need (if the wrong one happens to be equipped) is displayed in a little thought bubble and the action button has the same chunky font the dialogue does.
The highlight of the game, for me, is the animals and the fact that you can nuzzle them. I petted all the beasts in Far Cry Primal and now I have nuzzled all the animal friends in Yonder. I feel complete. You can also take your animal friends out for a journey and explore the world.
Having fished in many a game by now, the fishing mechanic in Yonder feels just right, both for video game fishing in general, and for the sort of game this is. In short, unlike every other game with fishing, this one didn’t make me rage quit.
Where Yonder drops the ball in terms of accessibility is with the collectible cats. They’re hidden throughout each region of the world and you are tasked with finding all of them. More often than not, they’re somewhat hidden and unless you spot them by looking in every random nook and cranny of the world, you have to listen for tiny meows. And there’s no indicator of the meowing. Having just reviewed Fortnite and praised it’s visual indicators for such things makes this doubly irritating.
All in all, I’d recommend Yonder for kids, provided they have a hearing person that can help them out with finding the cats. The world and its people and animals are cute and there’s a sense of accomplishment in having a successful farm with happy animals, and helping the townspeople with whatever they task you with. The accessibility is well done, despite the issue of the meowing cats, and it’s a fun little game with appropriate tasks and quests for kids.
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles
Clear and easy to read captions
No spoken dialogue so there are no missing captions
Clear and simple visual indicators
Sounds necessary to complete tasks have no corresponding visual indicator