Backlogged: Summer In Mara

Platform: PC

Time to Finish: 25.6 hours

After I finished up Yonder I was looking for a similar game to play. Prideful Sloth has another game called Grow and while it looked interesting it wasn’t quite what I was looking for. So it was off to the internet to see what other people were recommending. I kept coming across recommendations for Summer at Mara. It had no combat, a vibrant art style, some farming, some exploration, and a lot of fetch quests. Sounds like Yonder to me!

Summer at Mara just happened to be on sale at the time I was looking for something new to play. I thought about waiting for the Steam Summer Sale but $10 was a good price point for me. It helped that it was bundled with the OST and one of their other games, Deiland, which is Deck verified.

Things I Liked:

Story: Unlike Yonder, Summer at Mara’s quests are much more story heavy. There is a main story which revolves around the main character, Koa.

Koa, lives on an island in the middle of the ocean with her grandmother where they run a little farm together and take care of the island. Unfortunately, after the tutorial, Koa’s grandmother passes and she’s left alone on the island. She repairs her grandmother’s old boat and sets off to explore the rest of Mara.

There’s a whole host of supporting characters along the way. Each have their own sub plots and lengthy quest lines that intermingle with one another. I found these side quests much more interesting than the main story line and loved seeing all the characters interact with one another.

Quests: There’s just something about this that tickles my brain in all the right ways. This is another game full of fetch quests. You’re either bringing an item from one character to another, growing or crafting items a character needs, or going out and finding someone who sells the needed item. I found myself saying I’ll just do one more quest before I save for the night..over and over again.

Exploration: The exploration aspect of this game is done just right. At first you’re only able to sail to a few islands around the main town. As the story progresses you’re given the opportunity to upgrade the boat which opens up a bit more of the map. There are a few quests that can’t be completed until you find the right crafting material so every time I unlocked more locations I had a reason to visit each one to find the right items.

The map isn’t that large either. It never felt like a pain to get from one end to the other once I unlocked all of the locations. Once I built up enough money I was able to use the fast travel system to get around even faster. This is more of a convenience than a necessity and I would have been fine without it.

Summer Vibes: The colorful graphics, the island settings, the music, and the writing all make this game feel like a summer vacation. It’s so bright and cozy. The perfect game to play for the summer and probably even better to play in the winter.

The Flow: The more I got in to this game the more I started to developed a routine for each day. Summer in Mara has an energy and time which work together to limit how much you can do in a day. My daily routine was to harvest crops that were ready, plant new ones and water them, feed the animals, set out to the main town, Qälis, to buy more seeds and sell items as needed, run around doing quests until about 17:00, then return home to feed the animals again, craft anything needed for quests, and sleep.

Things That Could Have Been Better:

Controller Support: This seemed like it would be a good game to play with a controller. I was playing with an Xbox One controller until I unlocked the boat. When I got in the boat I was pretty confused why I couldn’t get the boat to move. Up until then, everything had been working flawlessly. As it turns out, the right bumper is suppose to be the button to sprint and accelerate. I wasn’t aware that there was even a sprint option until that point.

Apparently the fix is to start the game and then connect the controller via Bluetooth. Unfortunately, my computer doesn’t have a Bluetooth receiver. At least the keyboard and mouse controls weren’t bad.

July 2022 Recap

The summer is in full swing which means there’s a little less time for playing games and a little more time spent outside. It’s been super nice here in North East Ohio this month and we’ve been getting out to enjoy the weather whenever we can.

It’s sad to see July go since we’ll only have another few weeks of summer. But it’s always exciting to see August 1st roll around with the kickoff of Blaugust! I’ve got 2 posts scheduled and the rest I’ll be winging.

Top 5 Games in July

  1. Melvor Idle
  2. Summer in Mara
  3. Generation Zero
  4. Farm Together
  5. Fallen Earth

July was all about two games for me: Melvor Idle and Summer at Mara.

After finishing up Yonder in June I was looking for something like it that I could dive into. Apparently I hadn’t quite had my fill of fetch quests. Summer at Mara came highly recommended from the internet and I was able to scoop it up just before the Steam Sale ended. I managed to beat the game a few days before the end of the month. I figured I’d save my Backlogged post on it for Blaugust!

Melvor Idle quietly suck it’s way on to my top 5 games in June after I remembered it was on my phone. I hadn’t played in months and I started slowly getting back in to it. Now it’s become a daily game for me to check in on periodically. This month I’ve been tackling some of the earlier dungeons and working catching my Ranged and Magic skills up to my Melee skills.

The squad picked up Generation Zero in the Steam Summer Sale. We played it a few times this month and it is a blast. The game itself isn’t bad but I’ve been having so much fun running down robots and beating them with a baseball bat. Sure there are guns, and sure it’s suppose to be a stealth game, but it’s so statisfying. Also if you hit a car enough times with a baseball bat you can blow up all your friends. We’ve even got a video of our first play session here.

Good times.

June Gaming Goals

I’m still deciding on whether to keep including this goals section but it seems wrong to leave June’s goals hanging.

Play My Turn in the XCOM Succession game: I did this at the last minute, and by last minute I mean yesterday afternoon. I was really trying to knock this one out in the begginign of the month but wasn’t able to. The post for it will be up tomorrow!

Continue playing Cozy Grove daily: This hasn’t exactly been a daily thing for me like I thought it would be. It’s more of an every couple day thing. It’s the perfect game for the Steam Deck but it also feels like the only game I’ve been playing on the Steam Deck so I was trying out some other games when I had the chance. I’m still looking forward to playing more of this but I’m not sure how much more right now.

Write 6 posts: Well I didn’t quite make this one. My post count for July was 3. No worries though, I’ve got a whole month of potential blogging ahead of me.