Anyone that is reading this knows I have an absolute obsession with virtual farming. About four years ago, I moved to an actual farm with a plethora of free-range chickens and several horses. No one ever tells you how destructive horses are or how chickens love to jump under your feet, almost cat-like, and when you accidentally step on them they look at you like you’re the devil incarnate. While I adore the animals I share a space with, there is something special about caring for an animal that doesn’t tear up your barn or poop all over your car. Virtual farming is an excellent escape for the everyday consumer and I aim to share these precious games with you all.
The game I found to share with you all today is unique in that you aren’t given your grandfather’s land or looking to leave behind a depressing desk job. Hell, you’re not even an adult. This tale follows the path of an eleven-year-old girl named Koa in Summer in Mara. This brave young lady was involved in a shipwreck as a baby and rescued by Yaya Haku, a humanoid like creature, that acts as a surrogate grandmother. Together, they live on the island of Mara, farming, fishing, and gathering the supplies they need to flourish. Yaya is very protective of Koa and won’t allow her to leave the island until one day everything changes.
Koa must leave her island and explore the vast lands via ship in order to stop the Elit, an evil corporation that threats everyone’s’ way of life. To aid in her journey she must grow unique crops and tend to her animals to create an intricate trading system with her new friends. She must gather resources to trade with townsfolk to improve her boat and build up her skills. All while enduring scaring climate events and the changes between day and night.
Summer in Mara is being developed by indie company Chibig based in Valencia, Spain. I can without a doubt say that I will be purchasing Summer in Mara based on the artwork alone. Chibig mentioned that they drew inspiration from The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, Stardew Valley, and Studio Ghibli which definitely shines through. The scenery reminds me of Outset Island while certain characters give off a Sophie vibe. All these great elements smashed together with over 150 quests and more than 130 inventory items there is a little something for every casual gamer. Summer in Mara brings me back to my childhood wishing I could quest when I was an eleven-year-old girl.
The nostalgia factor alone is simply intriguing, and Summer in Mara will allow players to release their inner child. Manning a ship, innovating a trade system, and diving into the ocean is every kid’s dream and its way more interesting than trying to capture 150 startled creatures in a magical fishing bobber. We can expect to join Koa sometime in 2019 and can meet her via PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Steam.