Developer: Twin Hearts
Release Date: September 2, 2021
Kitaria Fables is actually a game I picked up during the most recent Steam Summer Sale, because it looked adorable and like it’d be a great fit for the Steam Deck. I’m kind of a sucker for a game where you save the world, but also take care of your home & your farm. Make no mistake, it is absolutely adorable, but man, it’s a chore to play.
The story is fairly generic. You are a soldier tasked with protecting the citizenry of Paw Village from the monsters that have started coming back, years after they were believed to have been permanently defeated. You were given this specific assignment because your grandfather once lived in the town, so conveniently, you get to live in his house. Very early on, you’re introduced to a sage who gives you a book to read, and in this way, you discover you come from a line of magic wielders, but since magic has been outlawed, what’s a small kitty soldier to do?
My answer was shooting fireballs at things, while retrieving relics from dungeons and putting down the monster uprising.
This would probably be a pretty great little game, except for one thing. Absolutely everything about it feels like it exists solely to pad play time. You don’t gain experience and level up like in traditional RPGs – instead, you grind like mad for obscene amounts of materials to craft weapons and armor and spells and anything else you could possibly thing of. This is the only way you get stronger, through gathering materials and crafting.
I may have been able to get on board with the grindiness of it all, except for one thing. The walking. Dear god, the walking. There are – very limited – teleportation shrines available, but even the walk from the town shrine to your home to sleep feels like it takes an eternity. Add in the loading screens between each and every small map segment, and it becomes very tedious, very quickly. Most places you go will necessitate walking through several areas, which of course are full of monsters, and it wasn’t long before I was attempting to just stroll right past pretty much everything because it was all taking far too long.
Even the farming elements are nothing to get excited about. It’s just more side content in a game that feels like it’s already got more side content than anything else. Sure, you can grow things to gain the good will of the townsfolk, or to cook things to replenish your health, but it’s not all that interesting, and if you like breaking boxes, you could probably just buy food throughout the entire game and not feel the hit to your wallet.
While the art & music is good, everything else about Kitaria Fables is bland. It’s not a game that will leave a bad taste in your mouth, necessarily, but rather one that feels like you’ve eaten nothing at all.
SteamDB estimates that Kitaria Fables has sold between 18,100 and 49,800 copies on Steam. More players were happy with this title than not, but negative reviews tend to focus on the excessive amount of grinding required as well as a not-very-coherent storyline. It is ranked 3141 out of 10,967 games released in 2021.