Review: Summer In Mara (Steam)

Take care of your own island and explore the ocean in this farming adventure. Summer in Mara mix farming, crafting and exploring mechanic in a tropical archipelago with a colorful style and strong narrative

Pros:

  • Beautiful bright graphics.
  • 1.51mb Download size.
  • Steam achievements.
  • Full controller support.
  • Opening tutorial tasks.
  • Beautiful cartoon cutscenes.
  • Enchanting soundtrack.
  • Crafting survival gameplay.
  • Learn new recipes as you play.
  • A constant stream of quests will come in.
  • Crafting-tools/kitchen/workbench.
  • Sleep to regain stamina and health and move to the next game day.
  • Day/night cycle and weather like rain.
  • Tools-hammer, axes, hoe, water buckets.
  • Harvesting materials is a case of holding a button-down.
  • Fishing- timed initial mini-game then move the bar to reel the fish in.
  • Kick trees to get pine nuts, fruit, etc.
  • Can plant trees and plants.
  • Boat-use to travel the seas and visit new lands.
  • Quest givers are shown in each new area and you get a brief description of the quest on the menu screen.
  • Food will grow when the game is switched off.
  • Starred items on seller lists mean you get a higher price.
  • Pay to fast travel home.
  • Crab mail-collectibles scattered around.
  • Build your own farm, plant trees where you like and fish and grow plants to your own content.
  • Bright fresh atmosphere.

Cons:

  • Real slow pace.
  • Missions are basically growing this then take it here to get this then take it here. It’s all long-winded.
  • Getting upgraded weapons takes an age, not getting the upgrades means you get the whole I need a better weapon to do this pop-up.
  • The jump is very immediate and whilst it’s fine it does feel weird at first.
  • There is a limit to how many trees you can plant.
  • The game presents itself as an almost open-ended do as you like engagement, but in doing so I found and used items that then became mission items and I had to wait hours for it to respawn or to find an alternative.
  • The mission structure as a whole is not that great.
  • Stamina is not well defined and you can find yourself passing out a lot of the time.
  • Invisible walls.
  • Constant roadblocks.

  • 7/10
    Graphics - 7/10
  • 6/10
    Sound - 6/10
  • 7/10
    Accessibility - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Length - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Fun Factor - 7/10
6.8/10

Summary

Summer In Mara is a game that will drag you in with its gorgeous almost Zelda like graphics, The lure of building a farm on your own tropical island, and making new friends. In the cold light of day the game fails at the basic level, The farm building is constantly hampered by the need to upgrade tools, Find new water sources, and grow particular crops. Fo the many hours I played, All I did was drive my boat to and from town growing veg and fruit to give to people for minuscule upgrades or maybe nothing at all, This cycle went on for so long I quit. I just felt like I had no freedom to do what I wanted, At one point I went around town picking up any dropped fruit or recycling trash to only go and get a mission for trash and because I picked it up earlier, It didn’t account and I had to wait for many in-game days for it to respawn. The kicker is I got sod all out of it. Summer in Mara has just gamified the genre to the point where it’s obtrusive and sucks all the fun out of it, such a shame but I just couldn’t dedicate 10s of hours in the vain hope the game may suddenly become fun or open up. In short Summer in mara attempted to add more game and progression to the farming genre but lands up alienating players.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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