To run around a fantasy world with magic and monsters has plagued my mind often when daydreaming. Never did I think that it would materialize in such a feel-good game like KitAria Fables by Twin Hearts. Slash and farm your way through a cute and bright world filled with unique furry friends in this action adventure RPG playable on PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch as of June 16th 2021.   

The Story

As soon as you start your game a cutscene kicks in, giving you a back story on the tragedy that has overwhelmed the land of Canoiderra known as “The Calamity”. Some unknown force caused the monsters, that once lived peacefully among villages and cities, to grow agitated and aggressive. You find that quite some time has passed since the original wave of the Calamity, but that monsters are starting to attack unprovoked yet again. 

You play as Nyanza von whiskers or Nyan, a fluffy and ferocious cat that is a soldier of the Empire, who has been sent to Paw Village in order to provide support and protection to the civilians. Armed with your sword and your companion Macaron, you start your journey in the forest outside of the village and find your way there thanks to the help of a child named Erin, a cute little bunny, after you save this poor child from some gumdrop monsters called Gooey’s. During this entire scene, the story telling was exciting enough to draw me in. The background of the Calamity and being able to immediately jump in and learn controls was a very good move, ensuring that enough was given to the player for interaction.  

Soon you’re allowed a little time to begin exploring the village. You get to meet all the characters and see all their unique personalities. Granted, you’ll meet plenty more than those in Paw Village, but it’ll give you a taste of how amazing the character writing is. You can talk to Shamrock, the big old black bear that is the blacksmith of the town. His strong and friendly personality made him a quick favorite. You get to meet Mrs. Apple, the owner of the food store who was overflowing with loving motherly energy that I couldn’t help but smile when I got the chance to talk to her. 

Once finished with your first quest, you meet the village Sage, Alby. Sage Alby is a gigantic Polar Bear that used to work closely with Nyan’s grandfather, he is a little cold and guarded but opens up to you after he gives you a spell book that helps you unleash your inner magic.  Which is great except for the fact that the Empire banned all magic after the Calamity was “ended” the first time. 

 Now Nyan, an Empire soldier, is at risk of being arrested for treason. With magic being the only way to retrieve the relics needed to stop the rampaging monsters, Will Nyan help stop the reemergence of the Calamity? 

kitaria fables

Source: kitaria fables

The Gameplay

While the main story line continues rather rapidly, you do have to backtrack quite a bit in order to continue, so keep that in mind. You’re heavily encouraged to begin farming in order to make food to take with you on quests and to sell for coins that you’ll need in order to buy upgraded weapons and armor. This isn’t ideal being that some items are few and far between. Most loot must be dropped by an enemy, causing you to die sometimes to get rare loot.  

The controls are rather simple but the limited quick button options can make some of the mechanics tedious to work with, healing items for example, if you only have certain healing items in your quick buttons, you may need to pause and rearrange your inventory in order to assign better items.  

Combat is relatively easy working with a sword, your magic, or a bow, and dodging is about all you need to do. If you can time your dodges correctly to attack in blind spots, and if you’re using close range weapons, you’ll be a pro in no time.  You can also lock onto enemies to make it easier in battle when you’re swarmed. A cool part of combat in KitAria Fables is that you have a hit area that shows where enemies will be attacking and how fast it blinks tells you how quickly they will strike. However, some of the hitboxes on the enemies seem almost too small where you have to be essentially standing on top of them in order to hit.  

The fighting reminds me of Kingdom Hearts whereas enemies pop up and need to be fought throughout your exploration, which creates a sense of adventure. However, it becomes repetitive very quickly. The layouts to dungeons aren’t all that versatile and even once a boss is defeated the other enemies will spawn back in as you make your way out. There is no running mechanic, but you can use your dodge to nudge Nyan along a little quicker, though this uses stamina that runs out quickly if you’re not careful.  

Interacting with villagers and characters is easy in the game, and before talking to them there is a thought bubble around them that tells you what they are selling or if you will be given a quest. When given a quest you can either accept or turn down, which is nice and handy if you feel like you have too much on your plate.  

The farming in the game needs a little polishing, though it’s not the main point of the game so I can see why Twin Hearts left it the way it is. You only have so much space, which you cannot expand, and you only have three chests that you can use on your property and cannot get more. This is another situation where the limited quick button options can be tedious, as you must assign your tools to those hotkeys in order to use them. Usually meaning that you’ll have to either go back to your storage box to get the item you didn’t have room for, or rearrange your inventory. 

kitaria fables

Source: press kit

The Graphics

What KitAria Fables lacks in some of its mechanics, it more than makes up for in its art style and graphics. I mean, who wouldn’t love to have a cute little goat Village Chief, Oliver, and a fluffy Chinchilla to run the general goods store? Each city, town and village have their own unique villagers and all in a cartoon style that is just pleasant and fun to look at. 

The world is divided into four major biomes and two minor ones. The world around Nyan is expansive in its detail. With water being mucky, cloud or crystal-clear blue. Trees being of varying sizes, types and colors, the sandy beaches being lined with palm trees. Snow falls in the mountain, and even coats the shrubbery and pathways. Details were obviously a focus during production and the hard work really pays off.   

The customization in the game is expansive, being able to change even Nyan’s fur color and pattern based off actual cats. I spent a good three minutes trying to decide which cat I wanted Nyan to look like and there are only seven choices! You can also equip accessories from the DLC, which is included in the Deluxe edition, via the mirror in your home just like Nyan’s fur pattern which makes it easier to customize all in one place. Unfortunately, no extra accessories are available in the base game. 

Each enemy and boss have their own unique look and name. Carro’s are little carrot like monsters that run around with a wrap around their waste and hop after you. I honestly had hoped that they would be friendly and was sorely mistaken. Gooey’s are little gumdrop like blobs that hop around with almost no thoughts and are usually passive, but you can attack them for supplies. These little guys are cute and fun to see but also pesky and littered everywhere throughout the game. There are Shroomies that are huge angry mushrooms that are a tad overpowered and terryfing in design. Even Orcs that look exactly how you would imagine. They are big grey or green buff monsters wielding double axes and are pretty strong especially when you start off, so I’d stay clear of any camps you may find when you first jump in. 

The fun of the graphics in this game is to be able to explore and see what the team would do next. There is so much creativity and so much fun to have that it would be worth it just to explore, and you’ll never know what you might find. 

The Audio

There is plenty of audio diversity in the game. Each location gets its own unique little tune that you get to listen to as you run around and it all matches the details that surround you as you explore.  

While you run around the biomes, you’ll notice that the sound from Paw Village, charming and relaxing as it is, does not match the same sounds from elsewhere in the world. The dungeons have their own spooky and dim undertones, the Fortresses have their own songs that sound regale and more intricate. 

While the world has some very interesting audio, when the characters interact with you, the only voices they have is a sound that resembles typing while the sentences appear in a text box at the bottom of the screen. It doesn’t necessarily take anything away from the game, but could’ve added another level of depth to have at least some sound when conversations were being had. 

Enemies do make their own sounds, when they hop, flap, jump or lumber around. There is also a sound for each attack you and your enemies make, that make the combat feel more complete.  

kitaria fables

Source: Press Kit

The Summary

The adventure is far from over and there are plenty of side quests to make this game even more compelling than just the base storyline. The action and adventure are exciting and exploring the right areas can reap some rewards, like chests and loot. Suit up fellow adventurers, and don’t forget your sword! The land of Canoiderra is in desperate need of your help! 

With the game being pretty seamless even with the mechanics seeming rushed and slightly unfinished, I’m giving KiAria Fables a 76.  

A review key was provided by PQube

Price: $19.99 

Developer: Twin Hearts

Publisher: PQube

Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5

 

Score

Caitlin

Caitlin Rutz

Video Team

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