Join the young girl Koa on her adventures beyond her home island
Work the land, grow a variety of crops and trees, and develop your farm
Meet interesting characters, complete quests, and craft a range of items to sell
Summer in Mara is a fun and relaxing, story-driven farm adventure game where you’ll not only get to set up and run your very own farm; you’ll also get to join the adorable young girl, Koa, as she discovers and explores the world beyond the small tropical island she grew up in. There are plenty of stuff to collect, items to craft and cook, people to meet, as well as quests to complete.
In this game, you play as a resourceful and self-sufficient young girl called Koa. She lives in a beautiful tropical island but the island is isolated and she has been sheltered from the outside world for years… that is until a strange creature washed up her shores. She is determined to help the lost creature return home and find what remained of its family.
Of course, adventure ensues and you’ll get to visit some amazing places, as well as to interact with and meet a bunch of interesting characters while helping them solve their woes.
Being an adventure game, the gameplay here mainly involves having you complete various quests to push forward the storyline. There are plenty of side quests that you can take on as well. Many of the quests here require you to find stuff or talk to certain people, but there are also plenty of quests that will require you to grow and harvest certain crops, or craft/cook certain items.
The farming aspect of the game is fairly straightforward even for first-time players, thanks to its amazing introduction that doubles as a detailed tutorial. Basically, as long as you’ve got your hoe, you can plow the specially allocated spots on the island, plant the seeds you want, and then water it to encourage the crops to grow faster.
However, water can be a rare commodity in this game and you can only rely on rainwater to fill your wells. If you’re like me and are unlucky enough to experience a drought that lasted more than 1 week, in-game time, then you’ll quickly run out of water to water all your crops and will have to settle with the natural rate of crop growth. You can use fertilizers to, assumingly, make crops grow faster as well, but the game doesn’t really indicate whether a crop is fertilized or not, and hence, you won’t be able to tell either.
There are plenty of trees that you can plant and grow to get a variety of fruits and wood too. However, unlike crops, there is no need to water these trees, you can plant them wherever you like on your home island, and they do usually take a bit longer to mature and produce fruits or, in case of normal trees, more wood.
In addition to questing, exploration is also a key aspect of the gameplay. The game lets you travel in four directions after reaching open sea from Koa’s home island, and assumingly you can explore 4 different islands; one for each direction. Each island you land on also features a large enough landscape for you to run around and find cool “easter eggs”, like finding cherry trees that are tucked away behind the lighthouse in Qalis which allowed me to plant cherry trees on my home island. This is why I would highly recommend sailing around any new island you discover. Maybe you might even spot a hidden path or a secret mini-farm!
For populated islands, you will definitely find vendors who would be happy to take anything off your hands but they do have preferences and they would be willing to pay more to get stuff they really want. On Qalis at least, there are even several adorable puppies that you can feed treats to and eventually, get them to follow you around. As you play, the game will advance the storyline, unlock new characters that you can then interact with, and perhaps even befriend.
Summer in Mara is designed to offer a relaxing experience and this is why the gameplay is very simple to learn and enjoy, giving it incredible accessibility and reach across age groups. In fact, the game is kid-friendly as well – no killing stuff; the game’s all about helping others and learning some lessons about life in the process, such as being polite can go a long way in getting someone’s help. Thus, parents who are thinking of buying a fun casual adventure game for their kids can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that their kids won’t be exposed to any unsavory elements while playing Summer in Mara.
The aesthetics, the colors and the art style in this game perfectly convey the vibrant, beautiful world that Koa - and you - will get to experience. The music here is fabulous as well. In fact, the music reminded me of the soundtrack I’ve heard in a similar adventure game, Stranded Sails, and in a rhythm game, Songbird Symphony.
Featuring a fun farm theme and a heartwarming story, Summer in Mara is an adventure game that’s designed to offer a relaxing and enjoyable experience of exploring a beautiful fictional world alongside a young well-meaning girl as she tries to help her lost new friend return home. The game is very accessible to players of all ages, even young kids who might be attracted by the graphics and colors of the game, as well as the fact that they could relate to the young protagonist they will be playing in Summer of Mara.
So, all in all, Summer in Mara is definitely a game I would recommend in a heartbeat to fans of farm-themed adventure games.