From PQube Indies division and Indonesian developers Twin Hearts comes the adorably engrossing adventure RPG and farming sim game Kitaria Fables. Inspired heavily by games like Rune Factory, the developers at Twin Hearts have painstakingly created a game world that is engaging, attractive, and user friendly for players familiar with the game style and those who are brand new.
Kitaria Fables opens with a short cinematic that provides the context of your journey. A once thriving Capitol was attacked by the mysterious Calamity, a dark force that turned native monsters and creatures into aggressive attackers. The Calamity was thought to be defeated and peace restored, but a sudden resurgence has the world on edge. After the cinematic, the game introduces us to two characters; a young cat named Nyanza (that’s you) and your little pink sidekick Macaron, on the path from the Capitol to Paw Village. You’ve been dispatched there by your superiors to protect the villagers from the growing dangers of the Calamity, and it also happens to be your hometown. Upon arrival into Paw Village, you take up residence at Thunderbunn Farm, the property of your late grandfather.
On your way into Paw Village, you are introduced to the game’s fight controls and first of many monsters, the generally docile Green Gooeys. The fighting is simple – one button to attack with your weapon and another to dodge incoming attacks. Over time, as you craft stronger weapons and learn magic, your arsenal of attacks increases to match the strength of larger enemies, but Kitaria Fables does its best to make the action as easy as possible to grasp; you can track your health and that of your enemies as you fight, as well as time your dodges based on a flashing attack radius, allowing you to get the upper hand against most of your opponents. But the simplicity of the fight action certainly doesn’t detract from its value.
Kitaria Fables’ gameplay is divided into two core parts: quests and farming. At Thunderbunn Farm you can till the land and grow a variety of crops using classic systems seen in other popular farming sims like Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley. These crops can be sold for income or used as ingredients to buy meals from vendors in local towns, which can then be used to regenerate health during your journey, an absolute necessity when adventuring in places that are heavily populated by monsters. The quest component, on the other hand, is a combination of essential story quests and side quests that provide you with bonus provisions to use for crafting. Depending on the difficulty of the quest, your bounty might be exceptionally rare, but they are regardless all integral to the overall enjoyment of the game. Where farming alone can be tiresome, the addition of quests and adventuring add layers to the game that keep it enjoyable.
Some of Kitaria Fables’ best features, aside from the general combo format, are its adorable characters and beautifully rendered landscapes. The world map for Kitaria Fables is quite extensive, providing you with a myriad of locations and environments to explore, including caves, fortresses, cemeteries, and forests, all with their unique challenges, enemies and bounties to uncover. The characters in Kitaria Fables, monster and animal alike, are also extremely adorable. The townsfolk in Paw Village and surrounding towns include bunnies, tigers, goats, bears and mice, all with unique personalities, appearances, and relationships. Plus, with the ability to change your character’s skin, you might begin the game with grey fur but continue to play as a tabby or a tortie, providing an element of customisation.
The extensive variety of monsters and enemies also keeps the battle aspects of the game interesting. While some monsters like the Green Gooeys will leave you alone unless provoked, some creatures like sentient onions and mushrooms or oversized bees will attack on sight. The use of colour coding against the different creature names serves as a good indicator of which ones you can walk among and which ones you might need to fight through.
Like all games, Kitaria Fables does have its flaws, namely the lack of universal storage in the game. While you are capable of collecting and carrying a number of items, your bag’s space is limited and offloading your collectibles becomes necessary when you need to carry specific tools and weapons or consumables while traveling. There are storage points across major areas in the game, like Thunderbunn Farm, Paw Village and Rivero Fortress, but they function independently from each other. On the one hand this could be seen as a positive to maximise your possible storage, but if you’re in Rivero Fortress and you’ve stored an important item on Thunderbunn Farm, you’ll need to travel all the way home to collect it.
The other feature that could do with improving are the fast travel checkpoints. Also located in key areas like Rivero and Paw Village, the fast travel pads allow you to zip between locations in an instant. Unfortunately, they’re also a bit few and far between, so you may still end up wasting much of your day walking between locations. Like a typical farming sim, 1 real life second is roughly equivalent to 1 in-game minute, so it’s easy to lose half a day or more simply walking between map locations.
Extremely small criticisms aside, Kitaria Fables is a great addition to your game library and any time spent playing this title is definitely not wasted. This is a game that will quickly have you immersed in the story, the characters and quests, whether you’re a seasoned RPG player or new to the genre.
Kitaria Fables is available now on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC.
A copy of this game was provided on Nintendo Switch for the purpose of this review.