|September 2nd 2021
|Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One
|ESRB: Everyone 10+
Kitaria Fables is a game I was really looking forward to. In fact, a few months ago when I wrote about the various games I was most looking forward to in the second half of 2021, this was one of the titles on my list. But it turns out, Kitaria Fables is significantly different from what I was expecting. I also had some issues along the way and in the end, after investing about thirty hours into this game and reaching what seems to be the final dungeon, I put it down, both for my sanity and to still get this review out in a somewhat timely manner. Keep reading if you’d like to know how this title was different from what I expected and what I thought of the game after my thirty hours spent playing it.
Kitaria Fables begins with you as a soldier, sent to protect Paw Village. Monsters are starting to get aggressive again and attack more often. And thus, you’re sent there to protect the people and help out. You end up living on your grandfather’s old farm, and you find out that despite being a banned practice, your grandfather was a magic user. As it turns out, you also have the ability to use magic. Magic ties into the gameplay. You’ll battle monsters with either a sword or a bow and then you can unlock and use various physical attack skills, in addition to a variety of skills from one of four different elements: fire, water, wind and earth. Four different skills of your choice can be set to different buttons and by default, you have a standard attack button and a roll button for dodging.
Let’s back up for a minute though. First off, once you move into your house on the farm, you’ll be able to change the design of your cat character (merely a fur color change option), and you’ll find a save point near your bed. Outside of your house is a spot to change and set your skills. Then a little further to the left you’ll find a large field where you can grow crops, along with a chest to store stuff. You won’t be able to start farming right at the beginning, you’ll be expected to go fight monsters in the process of taking care of the different requests from Paw Village’s residents. The majority of your time with Kitaria Fables will be spent fighting monsters to get materials for equipment upgrades and the rest, farming to get crops to either sell for money or to make health items to survive. Which leads me to some of my complaints about Kitaria.
Kitaria Fables overly revolves around endlessly fighting monsters for one of the small handful of equipment upgrades there are. The game isn’t as relaxing as I expected and it got old after a while, it felt like fighting monsters for materials was the only reason for the game’s length and more of the goal than whatever the story told. There is no leveling system whatsoever. I feel like if you at least level up your stats in addition to getting materials for equipment, I wouldn’t have as much of an issue with it. Unfortunately, Kitaria Fables seems to be all about getting the materials and money required for your next equipment upgrade. It doesn’t take long for villager requests to bring you to difficult enemies, and then it’s back to killing a whole bunch of one enemy for specific materials to upgrade your equipment. Another big complaint I have is that you cannot save wherever you want and once you die, the game will auto-save and you’ll have to do a lot of backtracking.
Near the end of my time with Kitaria, a version 1.0.1 patch was released which really messed things up for me. The town chest in Paw Village suddenly had two locked rows with seemingly no way to unlock them. The shop where you can buy backpack upgrades didn’t seem to have any option to buy more chest space and I lost access to my stuff that was stored in those rows. However, when I messed around testing things out, I was still able to store new items in the chest and watch them vanish behind locked spots. I managed to get unstuck from a particularly difficult and unfair boss after this patch, but the loss of items I spent hours earning really got to me. It was pretty much the last straw for me and the main reason why I decided to just go ahead and write this review before it went out any later than it already is. Plus, the chests aren’t even the only issue this patch added. I only hope that the developer, Twin Hearts, will fix things and hopefully not mess something else up. You shouldn’t have any problems, though, unless you get a physical copy of the game and start playing before you update. I spent many hours upgrading my equipment to get unstuck from that specific boss, only for the issues the patch added in to cause me further problems.
Despite all the gripes I have about Kitaria Fables, it can still be an enjoyable game too. Once you’ve gotten yourself well enough equipped for whatever area you’re at, it’s fun to take down monsters. There are also many different environments to explore, and the music and atmosphere keeps things charming and cute. Oh, and I can’t forget the local couch co-op option which I could see being much more fun than playing by yourself. Had I actually had an opportunity to get through the game via co-op, I might not have been as annoyed with the endless material collection. The farming system isn’t very in depth or complicated, but it was a nice break from fighting monsters. And speaking of farming, Kitaria has numbered days along with a day/night cycle, but the days seemingly don’t matter. You don’t pass out if you’re out too late like an actual dedicated farming sim, and my crops didn’t seem to wilt if I ignored them for a couple of days while I was busy doing other stuff.
Overall, I found Kitaria Fables to be an okay game. It’s a cute indie game full of adorable animal characters and an interesting enough story. But the endless fighting of the same enemies over, and over, for bettering my equipment to survive the next area of monsters, really burned me out and distracted from the charm. If you love games where you’re constantly fighting monsters for materials and equipment, and you don’t mind every now and then taking a break to chill and farm, you’ll definitely have a good time with this one. Sadly, if you’re looking for a new farming sim to relax with, I would look elsewhere. The farming in Kitaria is only there to provide the crops and/or income required for your adventuring, nothing more.
Review copy was provided by the publisher. A copy of your own will either cost $19.99 for a digital copy, or $39.99 for the physical edition.