I have been a fan of Pokémon, the father of all monster tamer games, since the early generations. But recent trailers for Skymill Studios’ Kindred Fates have me more excited for that game’s release than I have been for any Pokémon game in years. As an open-world monster tamer with real-time combat, Kindred Fates may just bring many refreshing changes to its genre. I believe all Pokémon fans should be anxiously anticipating this game. If you’re sceptical however, please find below my reasons for why you should have Kindred Fate’s release date marked on your calendar.
Refreshing Combat System
Don’t get me wrong, I love turn-based combat. It’s simple, satisfying, strategic, and perfect for those who want an easy-going gameplay experience. For the monster taming genre however it is far more than overdone; at this stage, it’s almost burnt. Most fans are ready for a change, and Kindred Fates has us covered. This indie title will let players take the monsters (or “Kinfolk”) they catch into freeform battles in sprawling, open environments. This will give extra depth to the game’s skirmishes, meaning no two encounters are likely to play out the same.
With a combat system like this players will no longer be able to hide behind overpowered monster companions. Many monster tamer games work so that a high enough levelled creature can take down any opponent with ease. In Kindred Fates however, this won’t be the case. Even weak, underpowered creatures will be able to take home a win if their tamer is skilled enough. This change will give players an engaging challenge that I believe Pokémon fans will truly enjoy.
New Creature Designs
You know what I miss the most about playing the old Pokémon games? The mystery. Back then every Pokémon was new, and you never knew if and when a creature was going to evolve. Sure, whenever a new main series game comes out I get a little bit of that excitement. But recent instalments into the series have been somewhat lacking in terms of new Pokédex entries. Furthermore, the new additions in each game are often buried amidst hundreds of creatures from older generations. This makes them harder to find, and dilutes that feeling of mystery and wonder.
Thankfully, it looks like Kindred Fates will be bringing the thrill of discovering unknown creatures back. Skymill Studios are promising 159 never-before-seen beasts for you to combat, capture and take into battle with you. This is more new additions than we have seen in any Pokémon game before. Exploring the world of Kindred Fates should provide Pokémon fans with that same rush we felt when playing our first Pokémon game. I for one, am really looking forward to uncovering the new creatures the developers have in store for us – and you should be too.
Let’s be honest here; so far all monster tamer game narratives have played out the same. They’re all about a child protagonist venturing out on their own to learn about the world and catch adorable little creatures. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a good market for this type of storyline. A game with an optimistic narrative in an idealistic environment can be a great pick-me-up when you need it. But the fact that a whole genre of video games has been all but restricted to this cheery tone is a crime. Change is long overdue.
Skymill Studios’ world of Hinterlock will offer far darker mood than what we’re used to. Preview Kindred Fates gameplay shows sombre music accompanying sprawling dark, murky landscapes shrouded in fog. Other elements of the game echo this same heavy atmosphere. The primary example of this would be the game’s permadeath system for any of your companions that you fail to revive in time. In Kindred Fates, Pokémon fans will finally be able to enjoy a serious, more realistic version of their favourite type of videogame. My hope is that this title’s new approach will allow all of us to feel like we’re discovering the monster tamer genre for the first time all over again.
When it comes to monster tamers, it’s pretty obvious that the monsters themselves are the stars of the show. The games are all about catching, raising, and fighting alongside them. It’s no wonder then that players will often start to feel an attachment to their little creatures. However, I’ve always felt this bond has never been appropriately represented in any game’s actual gameplay. The most Pokémon games ever did was allow players to pet their companions and feed them treats outside of combat. This was kinda cool, especially since strengthening a Pokémon’s bond could also improve their performance in battle. However, it is rare that I genuinely felt a game capture the bond I felt between myself and the creatures I carry with me.
It looks like Kindred Fates will change this however. It appears that the relationship your protagonist develops with their Kinfolk are going to be a core part of this both the narrative and gameplay. Strengthening relationships with Kinfolk will allow them to do more than just “fight better”. A close bond will unlock new moves for your creature companions in battle, and in some cases will allow you to use them as a mount in the open world. On the other hand however, neglecting your Kinfolk could result in them abandoning you entirely! This game will finally give Pokémon fans the chance to witness a realistic and rewarding sense of companionship like they’ve never experienced before.
Frequent Developer Updates
Finally, a big reason Pokémon fans should be looking forward to this game is because of the people making it. Skymill Studios seem to be genuine, open-minded, and transparent game developers. Firstly, they have been doing an excellent job with keeping in touch with the game’s backers. Frequent development updates have been being posted on the studio’s own website and Kickstarter page, as well as their Twitter and Youtube channels. What’s most inspiring though is the effort they’ve made to keep in touch with the general gaming community.
Check out this interview about the behind the scenes development of #KindredFates! Thanks to @IceCubeMakeru for hosting us, and make sure to look at his channel for future game podcasts!#IndieGameDev https://t.co/pv5Cwbi2XD
— Skymill Studios (@SkyMillStudios) August 8, 2022
The developers have an open Discord where they have been taking feedback and holding fun community engagement challenges. They also haven’t been shy about participating in interviews with Youtubers who have been covering news on Kindred Fates’ development. A big worry with a lot of crowd-funded projects is that they won’t end up coming into fruition. Even established triple A developers scrap promising titles all the time – so trusting independent developers can definitely be scary. However Skymill Studios have done everything in their power to reassure us that this won’t happen. In my opinion, the biggest reason anyone should be excited for this game is because we have some reason to trust the people making it.
Kindred Fates is set to give Pokémon fans a monster taming experience that will give the genre back its lost wonder and fantasy. While giving us all the genre staples we’ve grown to love, this game looks like it will simultaneously be bringing in new concepts and ideas that will undoubtedly be a breath of fresh air. The game is currently available on the Kindred Fates website in a range of different bundles. I hope I was the first to bring this amazing game to your attention, and I look forward to playing it alongside thousands of others on its launch day!