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Kitaria Fables Is A Cute Blend Of Farm Sim And ARPG

Kitaria Fables Title Screen
Courtesy of Twin Hearts

Kitaria Fables

Developer: Twin Hearts
Publisher: PQube
Release Date: September 2, 2021
Available as: Digital and Physical

Kitaria Fables Is A “Cute” Action Experience

Champion of the indie gaming market, PQube Games, releases another title under their belt, Kitaria Fables, with developers Twin Hearts. From what I could look up as far as information, the developer is based in Indonesia, which is awesome to see representation from locations that most don’t see much game development from. I recall feeling this way when I looked up the developers for Cris Tales and how they were based in Columbia. Advancements in technology and the ease of access to game development ensures that more developers can create their dream project.

Kitaria Fables draws influence from many titles with the main ones being the Story of Seasons/Harvest Moon franchise and various Korean MMOs. While the former tells a similar tale of “inheriting your grandfather’s farm” with the intent of growing and caring for it, the latter explains the core gameplay including a 3D isometric hack-n-slash. This includes cooldowns for skills and evasion mechanics to avoid enemy attacks. Combat is simple as locking on to a target, attacking enemies while watching visual cues from your foes to predict when and where their attack will land. 

kitaria fables gameplay 1
Kitaria Fables - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

The Enemy Variety Is Just As Cartoony

For one of the early bosses, a large mutant mushroom, their attack is easily telegraphed thanks to a hit marker detailing where and how the attack will come towards the player. In this case, it was a straight line, meaning I was able to avoid the attack with ease despite the range of the attack reaching across the other end of the arena. Even if the player gets caught in the attack, a simple dodge roll with generous invulnerable frames means that the player will not worry too much about being in danger.

Before the player begins their dungeon crawling, they must first reach the town of Paw Village, as they take control of a cat soldier named Nyan and their chatty sidekick, Macaron. The latter instantly fills the role of “annoying sidekick speaking on behalf of the silent protagonist,” much like Navi from Ocarina of Time to Link. While the protagonist can chime in occasionally with their responses, they do little to get in the way of changing the direction of the plot, forcing the protagonist in a “but thou must” scenario. This is evident with the first few quests in the game being mere “fetch quests.”

kitaria fables gameplay 2
Kitaria Fables - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

Kitaria Fables Combines Farm Sim And Action RPG

While these quests serve as tutorials, introducing the player to fight larger targets such as orcs, they are also basic including “Go here to look for the lost item that NPC dropped” and “deliver this item to this important NPC who will introduce you to the grand scheme of the plot.” The plot is also a generic “Hero must go collect relics to save the world” while participating in forbidden magic that the organization the protagonist works for has arbitrarily banned.

The character designs are colorful and charming, providing a focus on the cute and soft designs that the game advertises. Perhaps the art style combined with the gameplay mechanics serves as a way for players of all types and ages to find enjoyment, which is evident with the bonus “farm simulator” aspect that the game introduces to the player. While it is by no means a requirement to progress the story, it’s a worthy investment as a way to remain self-sufficient and make money on an in-game daily basis.

KF gameplay 3
Kitaria Fables - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

The Difficulty Of Kitara Fables Is Very Lax

While the game is inoffensive and applicable for all ages, the game could do with some difficulty adjustment as I felt the game was too easy in its early state. This is more of a subjective opinion, but after a while, the charm started to wane and it became more “How long do I have to play before things switch up?” It was at that moment that I was introduced to the game’s first dungeon and I was excited to see more combat and less talking. Unfortunately, the exploration portion of the dungeon was a bit on the short side and it was more or less what I was doing for the first 30 minutes. Even with the introduction of new enemies, they are dispatched in the same way as the first slime enemy players fight.

This may seem as if I’m talking negatively about the game, but I’m not. It’s an amazing game that’s a throwback to the 2000s era of early cartoon Korean MMOs. Think the same style as Ragnarok and Maplestory even, with the former being a better example as it is an isometric game. 

KF gameplay 4
Kitaria Fables - Nintendo Switch Direct Capture

At The End Of The Day, You Can Be Any Cat You Wish To Be

The player can customize their kitten protagonist with various styles including a “White” cat and a “Calico” cat, players can easily manage inventory space by selling excess items while using enemy loot to convert into restorative items and weapons. There’s a deep game underneath, but it’s also something that requires a timesink until the player’s investment begins to pay in dividends.

For what it is and for what little I’ve played of the game, Kitaria Fables is a fine game made with love, almost as an ode to the very games that influenced it. For a small dev team from Indonesia, I always love seeing quality products from up-and-coming developers. While the game requires polish, it’s still an experience that its core audience will greatly enjoy.

Kitara Fables is now available on the PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Switch

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