Disclaimer – A review code for Kitaria Fables was provided by PQube Games.
When all the hustle and bustle of the latest boomer shooter, terror-inducing horror, or the bonce-bending strategy game has died down, I quite enjoy dipping into something a bit more chill. Something a tad more zen, you know? This is where the humble, yet addictive, life/farm sim comes into play. Notorious for their time-draining wiles and endearingly charming worlds, the genre is quite the marvel when it’s done right. Kitaria Fables isn’t done right.
Monsters, Dungeons and Tedium
The world of Kitaria fables is filled with anthropomorphic animals, monsters, dungeons and tedium. There is a story here that could only be described as glacial, and it is the catalyst for the game’s awful first impression. You are a cat person, you have a floating pink puffball as a bestie, and you are tasked with protecting Paw Village from ner do wells, gribblies and the abominable empire.
Kitaria Fables, despite comfortably fitting into the shoes of a farming sim like Stardew Valley, has a disproportionate focus on combat. Bad combat to boot. The early hours (plural) of Kitaria Fables had me running around, killing all manner of mooks to progress a story I didn’t care about. It was quest, after quest, of “go here talk to X” often followed by “go there, slap Y”.
More of a combat focus wouldn’t be too bad if the combat was any good, unfortunately, it’s dreadfully dull. Whilst Kitaria Fables allows players to unlock various skills and spells, none of it feels great to use. Attacking felt limp and lifeless, most combats played out the same, and the game had noticeable input delay making everything feel sluggish and uncomfortable. Even the dungeons are mindless combat slogs with limited wiggle room for any meaningful exploration. From the moment the game handed over control, it all felt slightly off. You can play with a mate, but why would you subject a friend to this level of unpolished monotony?
Time To Grab Your Hoe
Eventually, farming will be unlocked, but it’s absolutely a side activity. You can get through all of Kitaria Fables without engaging in the system beyond the bare minimum tutorial sections. Despite its irrelevance, this is where Kitaria Fables managed to instil the faintest glimmer of satisfaction. It does nothing new of course, this is your basic farming system with little to no bells and whistles to make it stand out, but it works. The most interesting aspect is the lack of any stamina meter, so you can farm all day without penalty – which was at least interesting even if it removed a degree of meaningful choice from your day.
I particularly enjoyed speed seeding, however. Kitaria Fables lets you drop seeds in big ol’ squares, which not only saves time but feels kinda funky to do. Apart from that, Kitaria Fables input issues persist with farming. The overall act of sowing the earth feels way clunkier than it really should. It may be the best part of Kitaria Fables, but it is still far below acceptable once all is said and done.
In terms of side content, Kitaria Fables has a fairly large town to potter around with several NPC’s to natter with. Side quests are strewn amongst the townsfolk – these being as mundane as your mainline quests. In the end, I stopped picking them up and decided to use the town as a way to obtain new tools and seeds – nothing more.
Adding to the pile of eye-rolling mediocrity on display is the presentation and performance. The game has an art style that is not quite pleasant enough to distract from the overall lack of visual fidelity. Animations are rough and environments are bland – bordering on barren. Whilst anthro-characters are quirky and all, they don’t exactly redeem the visual murk. The game also runs poorly with frequent stutters, drops, hiccups and trips. Just to top it all off, Kitaria Fables liberally uses loading screens to separate each of its tiny areas. These loading screens managed to be just long enough to induce frequent bouts of irritation. I’d talk about sound design, but musically the game is forgettable and in terms of sound effects, Kitaria Fables leans on the side of underwhelming.
So, in conclusion, Kitaria Fables is a bad dungeon crawler and a below-average farmer. In a world where Stardew Valley and Littlewood exist, there is simply no reason to engage in a game this lacklustre. Even if it ran flawlessly, the systems on offer are barebones at best and would amount to nothing more than an average game – maybe. Regardless of what state it is in, Kitaria Fables is not worth your attention, time or money.
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