What do you get when you take Cats and throw it in a blender with a side of Stardew Valley farming, RPG elements, and maybe a little bit of action-adventure and exploring like Zelda? You get the highly enjoyable Kitaria Fables.
I was provided with a free digital copy of Kitaria Fables for review on the Nintendo Switch. The opinions I have shared are my own.
Developed by Twin Hearts and published by PQube, Kitaria Fables is a story-driven cat adventure that’s filled with pure cuteness. From its vibrant art style to its beautiful sounds and melodies, everything made me want to scratch deeper than the surface to see what makes this game so incredibly relaxing.
You play as the cat named Nyan with your faithful little cute… uh! Pink berry friend Macaron, who is your main source of understanding the basics and beginnings of the story. The intro tells of a great “Calamity” that wreaked havoc upon the citizens of the land but was driven away. However, it has since returned, creating monsters to terrorize the adorable inhabitants. It’s up to you to learn the secrets of combat and magic to fulfill your duty to protect everyone.
Pretty typical story, but honestly, you’re a cat with weapons and magic so that fully makes up for the story’s shortcomings. The town is adorable. The characters are all manner of woodland creatures with beautiful art to go along with their dialogue. Once you get to the home that serves as your save and checkpoint area you can customize the look of your cat character. More customization options become available as you unlock armor and accessories.
The combat is relatively simple to learn. You have a sword, eventually unlock spells and a bow, and you have a dodge mechanic. For many of the early enemies, you spend a lot of time swinging your sword and dodging before you’re able to power up and become a better fighter. If you get into a pinch and find your health is low you have a number of collectible items, in your inventory, that restores health points. The quests are easy to follow, although the map can sometimes be confusing, as venturing into different areas there really is no way of knowing where you are until you reopen the map.
One thing regarding the use of the map and identifying where you’re at is the many, many, many loading screens (my biggest gripe about this game). You have small areas with a few enemies to handle. Once you clear the location, you will move forward to experience a loading screen and then you’re in another small area and need to get ready for another loading screen as you continue moving along. Such a design broke the momentum for me a little bit as exploring felt like a bit of an annoyance knowing that after slaying just a few enemies I would have to endure a loading screen before reaching the next location.
What I found so surprising is how wonderful the world music is in Kitaria Fables. As you explore the forest you’re met with a very whimsical, flute-like melody which didn’t feel repetitive or annoying but perfectly fit with the vibe of the game, or the soft melody of a piano as you enter a character’s home and they proceed to tell you more about the world around you. The score definitely has to be a highlight of this game for me as it made exploring fun and relaxing.
The RPG elements show themselves as you meet the handful of shop merchants selling any number of items, herbs, weapons, etc. along with the ability to transform and upgrade your spells and weapons which leaves you with lots of options as to how you’ll fight enemies and progress throughout your adventures. If you need a break from adventuring, you can easily spend a lot of time planting seeds and tending to a range of crops to produce fruits, vegetables, and flowers. New seeds can be unlocked along with the ability to own better farming tools. Produce can be used for special recipes.
Whether your focus is on adventuring or farming (or both), one of the main aspects of Kitaria Fables is to help you build connections with other characters. It’s fun getting to know your neighbors and helping them deal with a variety of issues.
Also, did I mention that Kitaria Fables has a couch co-op option? While I didn’t get to explore that side of the game, it’s definitely a welcome addition to an already engrossing title.
I honestly believe that Kitaria Fables is a cute little gem. And if you’re in between games and want something with a slower pace but nonetheless rewarding, I would definitely recommend playing Kitaria Fables. Released on September 2, 2021, it is available digitally for $19.99 on PS4/5, Xbox Series X/S/One, Nintendo Switch, and PC/Steam as well as physically for PlayStation and Switch at major US retailers for $39.99.
Author: Micah Carrillo
Micah is studying English and Digital Design. His love of geek culture spans across diverse mediums and genres. Comics, anime, films, you name it! He enjoys video games on the Nintendo Switch and Xbox.
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