Claw your way to success
As an adult, the closest I’ve come to horticulture is watering the houseplant hanging off my window ledge. Sadly, adult life gets in the way of exploring new hobbies.
So when Kitaria Fables presented the opportunity for me to go back to my roots and become one with the land with an RPG spin, I was ready to pick up my sword and watering can and get down to the dirty business of growing a virtual farm. You don’t have to go on this journey alone. One of Kitaria Fables standout features is that you can play the game in two-player couch co-op, and both players share the same screen.
The story begins long ago; an evil force known as The Calamity plagued the land of Canoidera with hostile monsters until a group of heroes brought peace by quelling The Calamity. Fast forward to the present day, our anthropomorphic protagonist, Nyanza von Whiskers, otherwise known as Nyan, is a feline soldier who the empire has deployed to Paw Village. Their loyal companion Macaron accompanies them to take up the task of protecting the slumbering village from an insurgence of monster sightings.
Not too long after reaching the quaint village, they meet the village chief, and he informs the pair that monster harassment has dramatically increased. Nyan then decides to take up residents in the old family farmhouse nearby and use it as a base of operations to investigate the mystery. However, they soon discover the disturbance may not just affect Paw Village but the land of Canodiera itself.
For the most part, Nyan is mute, and their expressions to situations are often coupled with emoticons above their head or the occasional dialogue option. On the other hand, Macaron is a right old chatterbox, which thoroughly makes up for the Nyan’s quietness.
You can project a bit of personality onto our hero by changing their fur colour at the farmhouse, and later down the line, you can buy different armour that will also change their appearance. Overall, our dynamic duo is entertaining to watch, and the world they interact with is incredibly cute and charming.
Kitaria Fables is an RPG adventure that incorporates real-time combat, and you should expect this element to dictate the majority of your gameplay time. The battle system is reasonably good; you can use a sword, bow, or cast magical spells to fight against enemies.
My weapon of choice was the sword as it would allow me to get close to enemies and inflict big damage, and I could still roll and dodge any incoming attacks. If any enemies were particularly problematic, I had the option to heal with my magic or cast an offensive spell from a safe distance.
There is no levelling up system in Kitaria Fables, which is odd for an RPG, but you can buy upgrades for your weapons, spells and clothing from shops.
Usually, to progress to the next part of the storyline, Nyan will have to help fellow animals with a variety of tasks, including relaying messages to other animals dotted across the map, because why not use a trained imperial soldier as a glorified errand boy?
Other animals will have requests and you’ll have to get them particular items. This is where farming comes in as you’ll sometimes have to grow crops and harvest ingredients to fulfil these requests.
It’s as simple as digging a hole in the ground, selecting a seed, planting it, and then watering it each day until they’re fully grown and ready for harvest.
Unfortunately, farming is only really needed to get through the story. You can consume food to use as health items in battle, but why bother growing food when you can use a spell that has the same effect? You can sell your crops for cash, but you can also get high-value gear from monsters that you can sell on for cash, making farming redundant.
It’s a shame because I enjoyed the farming side of the game, but there’s no incentive for expanding the farm. In fact, I went through a large portion of the game without ever touching the farm. Organic goods just aren’t as lucrative as they seem to be, eh?
Kitaria Fables is a decent RPG with a good combat system that’s best played with a friend in couch co-op. The farming side was definitely a letdown despite showing promise. Ironically, it never grew to its full potential. Despite this, if you’re looking for a cute RPG experience, you won’t be disappointed with Kitaria Fables.
Kitaria Fables PS5, PS4 Review
Overall - Very Good - 7.5/10
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant. Kitaria Fables is a real-time action RPG where a heroic feline will take up arms along with their watering can in the fight against the forces of evil. Although the RPG side of the gameplay is thoroughly entertaining, the farming aspects, unfortunately, are lacking. If you’re looking for an RPG experience to tackle in two-player couch co-op, you can’t go wrong with Kitaria Fables.
- Two-player couch co-op is a smart move
- A very charming world to explore
- Real-time combat is good and a fair challenge
- The basic foundations for farming are enjoyable and understandable
- The farming mechanics felt wasted
- Tasks were often a bit too simplistic
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Primary version tested: PS5. Reviewed using PS5.