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Summer in Mara

‘Summer in Mara’ is a summer adventure with farming, crafting, and exploring mechanics set in a tropical archipelago. ‘Summer in Mara’ is a single-player experience in a calm, relaxing environment, with a handmade look and an exciting narrative. You will be Koa, a little adventurer girl who wants to explore the world that surrounds her. In ‘Summer in Mara’ you’ll have to take care of your own island, harvest your crops, create new tools and buildings, and sail with your boat to discover new islands and secrets. KEY FEATURES - An open ocean with over 20 islands to explore. - Customize your own island with buildings, crops and farm animals. - Over 25 characters to meet and befriend. - More than 300 quests to make Mara a better place. - Day and night cycle that have an effect on the world with climatic events. You’ll have your own island, but taking care of something like that is a lot of hard work. You’ll be able to plant trees to get wood, and craft new tools and buildings with different materials. Or you can create crop fields to grow all kinds of vegetables. You’ll also have a farm with chickens and pigs to take care of. But be careful, because this isn’t as easy as it looks! You’ll also be able to fish in a pond or in open sea,, cut trees with your hatchet, build things with your hammer, and use a hoe to help you harvest your island.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Yes I recommend this game! I've been binge playing it for days and love everything about it,
BUT BE WARNED OF LOST SAVES!!!!!
There's a high chance the game will start from the beginning no matter how far you progress. I believe there's a bug in the auto save feature that sometimes creates a new file that starts you from the beginning.
As of December 18th 2021 the pc game still will lose progress (there was an update that rolled out in the summer that should have fixed this issue; however I have the newest version and the problem continues). My game has been lost twice, but after the first time I learned how to prevent the loss.
Here's a few steps below to continue playing the game you love below WITHOUT losing progress. Every few days the Save.JSON file will be replaced with a brand new save. Don't let that happen !
Copy and paste your save files into a separate folder to backup files. DO NOT shortcut them.
save files are found by looking up
%Appdata% / LocalLow/ Chibig/ Summer in Mara/ Saves
Copy and paste your saves folder EVERY TIME you stop playing!
if the beginning sequence with Yaya and the ship begins and all progress is lost:
Copy and paste your backed up saves back into the main save folder.
Click REPLACE FILES.
and there you go!!! Your saves will be restored to the last time you played!
HAPPY PLAYING! Hopefully this bug can be fixed and my steps won't be necessary !

Review from Steam

You should definitely know what to expect when diving into this game, or else you might be disappointed. Summer in Mara isn’t really a deep farming sim, it’s a lot more about exploring and doing fetch quests. Yes, it does have the classic elements, like harvesting, cooking, scavenging and fishing, but on a very basic level, and most of the time you just need to craft certain new items to advance those quests. I guess probably it was designed with the idea in mind, that all the quests should give you a reason to cook or craft, but there are actually so many quests that you are busy full time with running around and doing errands. And most of the times you even already have the necessary item on you (either by finding it through exploration or random chances), so it often feels like the harvesting part just serves the story quests and is optional.
That said, when you have accepted this prerequisite, the game can nevertheless be pretty cute and relaxing. You can definitely see that love went into the game, the drawings and characters are sweet, loads of dialogs (the story is told via some kind of visual novel style), the music is nice (though sound effects are a bit too few for my taste). All in all the game also is really family-friendly and might be aimed/appeal more to children, which is underlined by the strong environmental message the game generally spreads as well as the peaceful, teamwork-inspiring vibe.
Anyway, even at my age I have to admit I had fun, a good casual game when you’re just braindead and need to chill out. There’s enough to do and explore (quite a large map of islands), no fights, no punishments, no real money problems. For a little criticism on the side, after doing all side quests and achievements, at the end I would have wished that the game was shorter and had maybe at least a quarter less quests. At some point I indeed felt kind of tired a bit with nothing to do any more (in the end I just used Fast Travel all the time and bought everything in the shops), and was glad when I finally finished it. Nevertheless, all things considered, even the small bugs here and there, the rugged tutorial or some translation weirdness all around, I do still recommend it, especially for people looking for another feel-good casual game to kill some time.

Review from Steam

warning, i have dyslexia and english is not my first launges.
for me this has been a clear favoritt, cute art style, fun adventurs and lots to do!
cooking, farming, saving animals, intreseting charaters and much more.
adord the little movie clips and i cryd so much at the end of it, i stream the whole play true and others seams to like it too! lots of fun food and diffrent t-shirts and bags. the thing likte that upgards on boat and itemes was making looking forward to maybe upgrading the house or more farming plots but XD
only negative it would be, when you exit the game that you REALLY exit the game and not back to begynner screen and then lick start, then to click exit game.
other less negativ stuffies:
when done you could unlock online play where you could visit others that has the game and help them out on there save :D
and some more after the game quest, like the lady in the city that want a scarf but i cant give to her. there is also talk about a music consert and the giant bird.
would have love to see some of that as after the game events

Review from Steam

I don't enjoy most things in life but i do enjoy this game.
It has a peaceful atmosphere, it has nice graphics, nice art(drawings)
I like the characters, i like playing as Koa and i love sailing and looting without harming anyone. I love exploring new islands.
This game made me forget about my pain in real life when i played it because it is a peaceful simulation.
I recommend you play demo version first then if you like it get this game... you see how it is like from it.
Yes it need some upgrades, there might be additional quests and also might make looting harder cause usually they show up in same place. It is easy to play and might be boring for you if you are an advanced gamer.
But overall thank you for this game.

Review from Steam

A ship explosion occurs and a human baby is the only survivor. She is named Koa and raised by the old woman who found her. Sadly, Koa’s adopted grandmother dies before Koa is an adult. Despite Koa’s age, she learns to grow up fast, because she must – not just for her own survival, but Mara’s.
Info
• Time progresses constantly unless a menu is open or dialogue is being read.
• Exploration consists of using a boat to travel around Mara, then docking adjacent to piers or land to explore islands. Koa’s map expands as more people tell her about locations.
• Gathering resources is simple. Hit trees/bushes to obtain fruit. Hit mining spots to obtain ore. Better tools grant access to better ore.
• Farming: There are a total of 16 farming spaces that progressively get unlocked as Koa improves her tools. Each crop has a set amount of days it takes to grow. Fertilizer speeds crop growth and output. The crops don’t die if you fail to water them; they just take longer to grow.
• Farm Animals: There are only 3 animals that produce items. Chickens give eggs. Pigs give truffles. Sheep give milk. Each animal type has a designated area/structure on the home island that must be build by Koa before those animals can be housed there. Failing to feed the animals doesn’t make them sick or kill them. They just don’t produce their usual items.
• Cooking: Most recipes are unlocked from quests, but sometimes Koa will randomly get one. Cooking can be done on the home island or when borrowing NPC’s kitchens. The significant difference is that the player can cook a lot more at once at the home island, while only one item at a time can be produced at an NPC’s location. Cooking is instantaneous.
• Building/Crafting: The same rules apply here that applied for cooking. Instead of kitchens, they’re worktables. Decorative items can only be placed on the home island.
• Fishing: There are fishing locations all over Mara. Some fishing spots are in the open sea, while others are off the shores of islands. To catch the fish, the player has to move a bar back and forth and attempt to keep it aligned with the fish icon. It’s fairly easy and straightforward. Each fish requires a particular bait. There are a total of 25 types of fish in the game.
• The diving mini-game is easy. Touch air bubbles to increased the time allowed under water. Touch treasure chests to obtain items. Touch the rescue inner tube to return to the surface. If Koa runs out of air, nothing bad happens. She just returns to the surface automatically, but you’ll miss any treasure that you didn’t reach.
Praises
• It was fun to play despite its flaws.
• Cute character portraits. Colorful, interesting environments. Lovely cutscenes.
• Simple, but cute story. (Seemed slightly inspired by Disney’s Moana, tbh.)
• Encourages environmentalism.
• All the animals are cute. Yes, even those pesky chickens (See complaints). Furthermore, feeding wild animals lures them to the home island. By the end of the game, I had: a dog, a duck, some squirrels, some seals, and a few mice on my island. None of those animals produce anything, but they’re nice to have around.
• Koa’s appearance can be changed by outfit and backpack. There are several of both. The portrait also demonstrates the outfit change, not just the sprite.
• Free sh*t!!! As the player explores Mara, there are many free items floating around in the sea that can be collected by running the boat through them.
Complaints
• Chickens get in the way of farming. I’d try to plant or harvest crops, but suddenly there’d be chickens in my way and I’d end up feeding/petting them instead.
• No way to sell animals. At first, I was rescuing every animal I came across, but soon my farm was overrun by chickens.
• No way to check full inventory.
• The game doesn’t inform the player of treasure maps already purchased.
• When selling/buying items, there isn’t a way to change the number of items. For example, if the player wants to sell 99 of one item, they have to hit the X (or A) button 99 times.
• Lacks character development.
List of Errors/Bugs (that I personally encountered)
• When fast traveling to the home island, if you’re carrying a rescued animal, the game glitches out and won’t allow the player to close the notification about the animal living on the island. The player must restart the game.
• Sometimes, seemingly at random, the quest page won’t allow the player to scroll, keeping them from seeing relevant quests.
• When crafting at a NPC’s worktable, sometimes items will appear as though they can be made even though the player lacks the necessary ingredients.
• Sometimes, money gained or lost isn’t displayed in the upper, right corner like it’s supposed to.
• Sometimes fast travel isn’t available, even if a story event isn’t going on. I’m not sure what the cause is, but if it was supposed to be unavailable at times, the player should be informed, at least.
• Sometimes, when approaching pirate ships, the options for talking and commerce won’t appear easily and it can take several tries to get it to work.
• Koa can get locked inside Akaji’s workshop gate when it closes.
• Koa’s sprite can walk through some objects, mostly trees.
• Fink can still be found on Islumber Woods Island after the Elits are defeated.
I recommend this game to fans of the genre. It was really fun.

Review from Steam

I'm going to open up this review by saying my opinion on Summer in Mara are... mixed at best.
Here are some things you should know going into the game.
1. Farming only... sort of matters. It is important insofar as it services the main thing you will be doing 90% of the time-
2. FETCH QUESTS BAY-BEE!!!
This game is mostly fetch-quest. You go a place, you talk to a person, you get the thing they need. Maybe you grow it, or do another fetch quest for it, or you find it, but that's what happens. Do not buy this game if you're looking for a farming sim to fill the void of your stardew valleys or your story of seasons.
Why should you buy this game?
It's cute, dude.
Mechanically it's not much to write home about, but the mechanics wasn't what I was playing for. I WAS playing for the characters you meet. While they all remain rather simple, they all seem to have their own charm that definitely worked on me. The designs were beautiful and most of their dialog with Koa is charming on one end or the other. There are some stand-outs but there wasn't really any that I actively disliked or didn't want to have to deal with.
It's got a very "rual town while a sci fi plot goes down just outside of the boarder" vibe to that and I found that charming.
I would treat it more like a visual novel with some gameplay mechanics rather than a farming sim.
My tips if you want to get through it without getting too frustrated, unlock as much of the map as you possibly can. The quicktravel feature is your friend. Also you can sell to all of the vendors if you click the mouse icon in the middle of the screen. They all have favorite items that they'll give you more money for, so it's easier to load up on money early game if you keep this in mind. Growing lots of fruit trees on your island also helps a lot. And don't be ashamed to use a guide, some things aren't explained.
I wish they had ironed out some of the kinks, I feel this would have been a better game, but it's a nice way to kill some time if you want a relaxed game with a charming cast.

Review from Steam

Summer of Mara is a fun, feel-good exploration and farm game!
Overall Review:
I purchased the game after playing the free prologue. As a fan of both Zelda: The Wind Waker and Harvest moon, Summer of Mara has a great in-between balance. This is a fun single player RPG game which gives you the exploration of Wind Waker and the fun of farming with more customize content, as the whole island is yours to design! I would recommend this game to people who love stress free farming and exploration open world games. The game has a great story, music and overall game play.
What I Like:
* MUSIC:
The music reminds me of final fantasy, as it has a adventurous themed music. The tone of the music changes based on interactions with people or objects. This is of personal preference opinion. The music was a great background to exploration.
*GAME PLAY & CUSTOMIZATION:
- The farming is somewhat quest based, but there is a selection of crops of what you can grow in the game once you unlock the city. Some crops may be more expensive, but there is a wide variety to grow from the start.
- The Summer of Mara also gives more customization to the island itself; Placement of buildings and structures allow you to design the island the way you want.
- Non-plotted Bushes and trees are interchangeable on your island. The number of trees/bushes can be increased with upgrades, but you can plant and change the trees on the island with seeds. This is a great customization perk for your island.
*FISHING
Summer of Marla gives fishing a more of a challenge than other games. First, you have to hook the fish. Second, you reel the fish with a slider-based technique: You have to slide the hook right or left (using keyboard) to keep slider hook on the moving fish. There are two "health" bars: One for the fish, which will decrease in time as the slider hook stays on the fish and a bar for the string, which will decrease for the time the slider is not on the fish. The string will break if the bar is depleted, but the game will keep going if you have another string in the inventory.
As a person who plays a lot of RPG with a mini-fishing games, I like this mini fishing game as it has more of a challenge.
Fishing is also based on type of bait. The bait must be found in exploration. I love this, as most game do not include bait as part of exploration.
*STORY
- The story is a little sad, but I love the the positive views/comments in the game. Very encouraging.
- The game chat really captures a child's mind, with the constant random interruptions and the reactions of Koa, the main character.
- The general basis of the game is nothing is free. This is a important aspect/theme of the game, which is how most of the quest or story progress. Since the main character is a child, this is a very interesting concept.
- Overall, the story is very interesting and I love the story progression so far.
- The story and farming is not based on dates for events and season, but just time. This gives more freedom for farming and only limits you on when visiting people/stores. This makes this a great relaxing stress-free game.
*Exploration:
- The tasks and interactions for exploration is endless. There is treasure hunting, mining, fishing, digging, and quest progression and supply hunting.
- Exploration for supplies can include: looking for seeds/plants, baits, seashells, quests and for things you can sell, and rescuing animals, and mining for minerals.
- Exploration is not limited to land, as there are boxes on the sea, and rescuing animals in the sea. This makes sailing not as boring!
- One unlock area opens a lot of exploration opportunities.

What I disliked:
* CONTROLS
- As many people said before, the controls are not cleared. I do not see this as a big Con, as the controls are accessible on the main menu. The only CON is the controls for the ship are not listed, and it took a while to understand the ship controls.
- There was no instructions on how to sell when quest was given. I could not figure out hoe to sell and had to look it up. I think the button to switch from buy and sell should be labeled.
* ANIMALS:
- The game does not have a balance for rescued animal probability. As mention in other reviews, I find more chickens than anything else. I would be more encourage if the game had a more balance to finding pigs and sheep.
- Animal wrangling: So a lot of people talk about the fact that chickens are over running the crops and get in the way of farming. I am having this issue too. Although you have the option of fences and fence gates in the game, it would be great to have a way to call all the chickens together or move them.
*QUEST
- There have been a few times I have no idea what to do for a quest and ended up googling. Some of the quest details do not give the player a clue what to do. A little frustrating when a required quest needs to be completed to unlock more quest. I have been stuck at least 2-3 times.
* BUGS :
- NPC Quest bug: Like other players, I ran into the bug with NPC. A simple restart of the game fixed it though.
This review is after 20 hour game play; may update with more game progression