Kitaria Fables is a charming action RPG with an emphasis on crafting of all kinds. It takes place in a world inhabited by anthropomorphic characters, and the whole thing would be incredibly cosy if it wasn't for the fact that monsters roam the countryside.

There is a story here — one that involves an empire, the outlawing of magic spells, and a growing darkness — but it's not really the focus, even if it gives you a good reason to get out and explore the game's segmented regions. Exploration leads to finding new materials, and new materials means crafting better equipment. Having more effective gear lets you take on increasingly dangerous monsters, and so the cycle continues until the credits roll (and beyond, if you feel like it).

Needless to say, Kitaria Fables is a grindy game. You'll often hit roadblocks during the main story or a side quest, where you're tasked with delving into a dungeon that's just too difficult for you to handle. So it's back to the blacksmith in order to work out what materials are needed for a shiny new sword, sturdy bow, or chunky armour set.

Fortunately, Kitaria Fables is an addictive adventure. Responsive controls, paired with a simple but effective battle system — which features a lot of dodge rolling — results in one moreish excursion after another. Despite the fighting, this can be a really peaceful and relaxing game — especially when you hunker down on your farm to grow fruit and vegetables in between expeditions.

With its heavy Fantasy Life vibes, there's a lot to like about Kitaria Fables. While the grind won't be for everyone, it's an accessible game that can eat up 20 to 30 hours of your time quite easily, thanks to its enticing mix of fighting, crafting, and farming.