Summer in Mara: Demo Review

In recent years, I’ve been finding myself increasingly interested in playing relaxing games, so when I downloaded the demo for Summer in Mara, I was quite curious to see if this was the next casual game to add to my library.  This game seems like it could be a bit like Harvest Moon meets Animal Crossing: New Horizons, where you can farm, craft, and cook on your own tropical island.

The demo is labeled as the game’s prologue, and you spend about 30-40 minutes following the instructions of the woman who rescued you as a baby, Yaya Haku.  During this time, we make a few recipes and tools, plant carrots, fish, and a few other tasks.  But as I ran around completing chores, I started to think that the island was already feeling rather cramped.  Well, after a bit of research, I learned that the game includes over 20 islands to explore, plus it would appear that you can scuba dive, as well! It all sounded pretty exciting…that is, until I read some reviews for the full game.

According to people online, Summer in Mara feels unpolished and is full of bugs.  They also said the game is mostly tedious fetch quests for rude characters with some farming thrown in that isn’t exactly fun.  The game (available on all major consoles and PC) can take about 20-28 hours to complete, but it sounds like many feel the $24.99 price tag is not worth it.  It’s a shame because the game looked relaxing on the surface, and I enjoyed the colorful graphics and animated cutscenes reminiscent of Ni no Kuni.  As far as my hunt for the ideal casual game is concerned, I suppose I’ll just have to keep looking.

Video from YouTube User: Virtual Bastion