PQube has graced the Nintendo Switch with yet another game featuring a cat protagonist. Titled Kitaria Fables, it’s an action adventure game with farming and RPG elements. Keep reading to find out if it’s worth diving into by reading this review!
In a world where magic is frowned upon, darkness once again threatens the land. Monsters have become more aggressive and rumors of the dark calamity have begun to spread. To protect the inhabited villages of Kitaria, soldiers have been sent by the empire to defend the villagers. You play the role of Nyanza, one such soldier, who will be stationed at Paw Village.
The game tells a simple story driven by quests. Tasked with finding relics and defying the primary law of the kingdom, Kitaria Fables sets to take you on an adventure that will make you question the justice of your actions. You’ll encounter many surprises, although the biggest of them all will be the questions you may ponder at the end. It’s these same questions that open up the “paw-sibility” for additional DLC content; otherwise, it would have been a disappointing end.
Equipped with your trusty sword, bow, and spellbook, you’ll find yourself traveling the lands and fighting monsters that stand in your path. When not fending off enemies on the battlefield, Kitaria Fables shows its peaceful side where you tend to crops on your farm. Other than accepting and completing quests, there isn’t much to do in this small yet charming 20-hour game.
Kitaria Fables offers a large map with a handful of areas to explore. Each area is small and nicely paced out throughout the game. Several checkpoints can be unlocked to make traversing the world more convenient; however, there’s still a sheer amount of walking to be done. The game will frequently demand that you backtrack your steps, and this is where having the ability to fast travel back to your home would have been mostly welcomed. It’s still bearable, but the time wasted is noticeable.
Clearing each area will not take long periods of time, but the heart of the gameplay comes from backtracking. Whether it be gathering resources or defeating monsters for their loot drops, you’ll often have to revisit areas you’ve previously visited. This is in no way a bad thing. As a matter of fact, it’s not far out of reach to be consumed by the gameplay and indulge in addiction. You may not be able to run in this game, but you can dodge roll or increase your movement speed with midgame gear.
The strong points of Kitaria Fables come in its map and fights along the way. The combat system is simple but addictively entertaining. Your main choices of weapons are a sword, a bow, and four elemental magic types. While the sword and bow differ in strength and range, it’s pleasing to see a variety of additional skills and magic presented in the game. Most of the magic comes in the form of attacks, but some can heal or shield you. It’s an impressive number of combat options for a budget title.
Something worth mentioning that I really liked about this game is the customization slots for these combat skills. Whether you learn a weapon skill or one of the four elemental magic skills, you can map your favorites to your controller’s buttons for quick use. Combining these skills is key to defeating your enemies, but each will eat away at your mana. This mana can only be recovered from hitting your foes with a regular attack, which will default to the regular choice of weaponry. Combined with the invincible dodge roll, you’ll have to properly time attacks to come out on top.
The difficulty isn’t too tough, but there are optional boss-level enemies lurking in the world that prove a challenge. Some of these enemies may be too powerful for you regardless of how far you’re at in the main story campaign. However, that may not always stop you from wanting to test shaving away at their HP and seeking what reward awaits you upon their defeat. Most times you may fail, and upgrading your gear will be the only way to conquer these foes. But there’s a bit of grinding to it; you’ll have to farm for item drops from the stronger opponents you’re able to handle until you’ve acquired the right amount of materials to craft better weapons, armor, and accessories.
Dying in the game won’t always be frustrating if you have patience. There’s a day and night time system in the game which also counts the number of days that have passed. However, it does not connect to any notable factors in the game. You can die as many times as you like without consequence. Not even a loss of inventory items, equipped gear, or money (Paw Pennies). The only frustrating part you may encounter is when achieving your goals slip away when you could almost grasp it.
Quests play a vital role in Kitaria Fables. There are the main quests that advance you further in the story and the optional side quests. They’re limited in number and may not be as entertaining as the quests in other games, but there’s a charming side to the game that makes completing them satisfying. Maybe it’s the joy you may feel in making one of the villager’s days by fulfilling their request, the rewards that come with their completion, or just having another objective to complete.
There’s going to be a lot of back and forth gameplay when trying to complete these quests. The majority of the gameplay lies with traveling, interacting with multiple NPCs, or having to grow a crop. Moving from one village to the next is far from an inconvenient task, so there are no tedious travels here. If you’re ever lost, the quest book and map marker are there to guide you. Despite this, there is still one main quest you may miss; not being able to accept it renders those helpful utilities useless.
Farming is an optional activity in Kitaria Fables and one of the main sources of income in the game. There’s a large variety of crops to plant and harvest. Your farming land is available straight from the beginning, but making use of it will only be possible after acquiring the proper tools. You’ll be able to plant seeds, water them, and watch them grow over time. The farming mechanics won’t get too advanced, but that hasn’t stopped managing these crop fields from being a pleasurable experience.
RPGs with farming elements usually let you pick each crop one by one, but it would have been tedious to do so in Kitaria Fables. Instead, the game allows you to harvest crops in bulk, making it way more convenient than picking them individually. You can upgrade tools along the way to make handling larger crop fields favorable. Working on collecting the materials and the sufficient funds to upgrade these tools has always been rewarding, considering the costs. It’s just a shame how not all tool upgrades make a major impact on the gameplay.
While farming sim veterans may have no quarrel adjusting to the system, newbies may have some slight troubles with it. There is no tutorial to aid these players and get them started. Even accessibility to farming might pose a challenge for those who aren’t of a curious nature. It’s a learning curve, but not one that’s impossible to master. A short but simple tutorial with the option to skip it would have been a much-appreciated addition.
Inventory and Crafting
Crafting in this game is usually through a third-party NPC such as a blacksmith for weapons and armor or a cook for food. As an adventurer, your job will be to gather the ingredients/materials for these NPCs to use. You begin with a small inventory capacity, but as you earn more coins and progress through the story, you’ll be able to expand upon this limit. You will need to properly manage your items to make the most of the low number of items you can have on hand.
Gathering the right number of materials won’t always be a simple task. Crafting can get expensive with some items, but it feels like a necessity for this game. It extends the hours you’ll have and you’ll be able to show off your new combat skills even more. Kitaria Fables’ main story is short and the small areas can be breezed through with decent weaponry and armor. Therefore, any aspects that add gameplay hours and contribute to the game as a whole are welcome. Some may not appreciate this chore of gameplay, but the game’s charm helps with inducing non-stop addiction. Additionally, it’s exactly this laborious gameplay that makes finishing a crafted project feel ever so rewarding.
What would have improved the crafting in this game is a link between the storage system. As it stands, you’ll have to travel to the NPC, watch their recipes, and check whether you possess the ingredients/materials or not. If you do, you pay them a visit again. If you do not, or you mistakenly thought you did, it will be a waste of trips. That’s where the linked storage system comes in handy. I must admit, I still enjoyed the old-school, back and forth trips to check whether I had the required ingredients or not in this game. The short distances between these craftspeople.
Another good aspect of Kitaria Fables is how it lets you customize your character. Not only can you change your furry friend’s clothes, but the game will also let you change the cat’s appearance as a whole. You’ll be able to choose from several cat designs of varying colors. I found the number of options to choose from satisfying for a game of its price.
You can also rest easy knowing that the number of clothing options is of a satisfactory level. It doesn’t go above and beyond, but it’s just right for a $20 game. The armor may not be to everyone’s liking, but the hats and accessories that go with it are pretty. You won’t get overly fancy gear in the base game, but if you’re willing to pay a little extra for the deluxe edition, you’ll have more clothing options to choose from.
There isn’t much to do after you finish Kitaria Fables. However, you can finish up the remaining quests and collect the materials to craft the remaining items in the game. Farming for crafting materials should be the easiest at this point since you’ll likely be at your strongest. It’s mostly back and forth gameplay yet again until you’ve managed to 100% complete the game. There are hints of DLC, so there might be additional content at a later date. But the question is how much DLC and whether it’ll be free or not.
Graphics and Soundtrack
The world shows a great deal of detail. The game is colorful and charming, all of the characters are simply adorable, and the game runs smooth on the Nintendo Switch (handheld/tabletop and when docked). There was only one time when the game forcefully closed on me when I was playing due to an unknown error, but thankfully, auto-saved didn’t allow it to steal most of my progress.
The game comes with an amazing soundtrack filled with calm tunes. These calming, melodious tunes add to the charming graphics and entertaining gameplay and make Kitaria Fables a delight to play. The various sound effects make the game come to life as you dodge and smite your way through dangerous routes.
Kitaria Fables has that special charm to it where the gameplay is addictive, even though the quests lack substance. While farming plays a part in the game, the real bread and butter come from traveling the world, fighting enemies, collecting their item drops, and crafting better gear. While it may lack cat puns, it’s a “purr-fect” addition to the number of cat games on the Nintendo Switch.
Kitaria Fables gets an 8/10.