Adventuring cats and farming… sounds like a wonderful combination, doesn’t it? They are the core ingredients for Kitaria Fables, the new action-RPG from developer Twin Hearts that sees players embarking on a journey to save the land from monsters, all whilst doing a little bit of farming on the side.
Check out a gallery of screenshots down below:
Kitaria Fablessees players take on the role of Nyanza, a feline soldier within the Empire’s army, who has been sent to the nearby Paw Village in order to defeat some monsters that had recently appeared. It turns out that these monsters have spread further across the world, which is something that could be linked to an ancient and deadly Calamity that plagued that land in the past. It’s up to Nyanza to get to the bottom of it.
At its core, Kitaria Fables is an action-RPG with a bit of farming included in the mix for good measure. Players will venture across the vibrant world in order to vanquish the monsters that are lurking around, all whilst completing main and side quests for the inhabitants they encounter. A lot of these quests revolve around gathering items or defeating enemies, with the game following a straightforward RPG formula that’s easy to invest yourself into.
The combat of Kitaria Fables is action-based, meaning players will get up close and personal with enemies as they mash out attacks and evade incoming ones with a swift dodge roll. Players can equip themselves with different swords or bows to attack from varied ranges, whilst the array of magical spells Nyanza unlocks offer some additional ways to deal with pesky foes through the use of the elements. There’s a good variety of spells on offer that bring with them hefty damage, offer protection, or even leave foes vulnerable by pulling them towards you or freezing them on the spot, with a surprising amount of finesse and creativity offered by your magical capabilities. Your MP is limited and will only recharge when hitting standard attacks though, so you have to balance out your actions in order to keep the magic flowing.
“There’s a good variety of spells on offer that bring with them hefty damage, offer protection, or even leave foes vulnerable by pulling them towards you or freezing them on the spot, with a surprising amount of finesse and creativity offered by your magical capabilities.”
In all, the combat mechanics are fairly simple, but I found myself enjoying them a lot. It was fun to button-mash to beat up foes, but overwhelming them with your magical abilities felt the most rewarding. The enemies are surprisingly dangerous too, so clever thinking and quick dodging is essential if you’re hoping to survive. There can be some pretty harsh difficulty spikes as you progress across the world too, meaning you’ll have to keep Nyanza in ship-shape and improve their stats if you want to have any hope of surviving.
Kitaria Fables doesn’t include a conventional levelling up system, but instead sees players improving their stats by equipping new gear. You’d think this might help alleviate grinding in the game, but that’s not the case; to craft new and improved gear, players will need to defeat specific enemies to find the necessary ingredients. You know what this means? Heading back and forth to areas whilst killing the same type of foes over and over again. In honesty, it can be a bit of a slog, whilst the harsh difficulty spikes of the game mean that you have to try and get the best gear equipped on a regular basis. It makes for a formula that can get tiresome fast. Of course, it is possible to find some gear out in the wild, but it’s never as good as the pieces that you craft yourself.
“Those hoping for a farming experience as deep as that found in Stardew Valley or Story of Seasons will want to keep their expectations in check; Kitaria Fables isn’t trying to be a hardcore farming sim, whilst customisation of your farmland is kept to a minimum.”
You will also need a decent amount of cash to progress in the game, which can be earned by completing side quests and so on. However, it was the farming that I found most satisfying, with Nyanza a dab-hand at growing crops. Those hoping for a farming experience as deep as that found in Stardew Valley or Story of Seasons will want to keep their expectations in check; Kitaria Fables isn’t trying to be a hardcore farming sim, whilst customisation of your farmland is kept to a minimum. That doesn’t mean that the gameplay loop of plating new seeds, watching them grow, selling crops on, and repeating doesn’t remain satisfying throughout though, with the break of pace a nice way to kick back and relax from all of your adventuring.
Everything comes together nicely to make for a satisfying, albeit simple, action-RPG experience. It’s very charming too, with the vibrant world and its anthropomorphic inhabitants certainly adding a joyous vibe to the world of Kitraria. It’s very cutesy in design, but also brought with it enough variety to keep players interested in exploring the wider landscape. I certainly enjoyed venturing further into the world, even IF some frustrating grinding could hold back my progress at times.
It’s worth noting that Kitraria Fables also includes local co-op for those who want to adventure with a friend, which adds a jolly twist to the whole journey. Again, it’s not the deepest of systems, but it’s always handy to have an extra pair of hands to beat up baddies with. It also runs well on the Nintendo Switch in both handheld and docked modes, with no issues popping up at all during my twenty-plus hours with the game.
Kitaria Fables Summary
Kitaria Fables offers a decent action-RPG adventure that’s complemented by its simple yet satisfying gameplay mechanics. It’s fun to battle enemies, explore the world, and do some farming, whilst the charming narrative will keep you invested in Nyanza’s tale. It’s just a shame that the grinding gets so repetitive, especially when you’re stuck in a pretty tricky area.
It doesn’t do anything you wouldn’t have seen before and it is guilty of lacking depth in places, but there’s still a good time to be had on Nyanza’s magical journey.
– Fun combat mechanics
– Charming world and narrative
– It’s a treat to play local co-op with a pal
– Grinding to grab ingredients for new gear is a slog
– Sometimes it can feel TOO simple in design
Developer: Twin Hearts
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC