Finally we receive in our Xbox the last work of the study Chibig, which is none other than Summer in Mara. It is a video game that combines in a very original way the farm simulation concepts and object creation with 3D adventure development. All of this wrapped up in a masterful artistic design, with wonderful, charismatic characters and a particularly endearing protagonist.
But not all that glitters is gold. At first glance you can see that Summer in Mara This is the most ambitious project in this study and it shows, for better or for worse …
Summer in Mara broke kickstarter records
The Valencian study Chibig launched in 2019 a kickstarter for the realization of this project and succeeded in raising, neither more nor less, that 233,919 dollars. The initial amount required was 20,000 dollars, who was a 1000% collection. A real scandal.
With this succulent margin, they set to work to create a title that would combine in one being the advantages of its previous title, Deiland, combined with a scan type The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and one style farming system Stardew Valley. This ambition, on paper, seems spectacular. However, be practical and realistic, when things are going well They did not have such a round product as we imagined it in our heads. And you don’t have to be unfair that this is a five-person study. Yes, very talented people, but A project of this magnitude is virtually overwhelming with so few staff and it was noticed in the final product..
Welcome to the world of Mara
Our protagonist is Please, a free-spirited girl rescued from the sea as a baby. He lives on a small island with Yaya Haku, her rescuer and adoptive grandmother, and learn from her the most important values of life on respect and conservation of the environment
Summer in Mara It is presented at the beginning, how could it be otherwise, with a series of tutorials where we will learn how to handle Koa, and where Yaya Haku will teach us to collect food, sow, fish and even make a succulent dish in our house with the ingredients we have gathered for our little island.
These tutorials may seem a bit slow but they are essential to get a feel for the game. We all know management games take some learning and this title does it in the easiest way. Everything is flowing well, the handling is good, the crafteo objects is simple and the menus are not complex, although it has some gaps that bother a little.
To name a few, despite the fact that to start the adventure you start cooking from the first moment the game does not have a recipe book. It’s incomprehensible. The system of markers and locators is also not very good because if we need to collect a certain object, we will have to explore the island and it is only when approaching the place that a yellow indicator will appear that will guide us to the objective. If we are relatively far away we will not see any signs and it will sometimes make us despair in the search.
Summer in Mara: resource management or adventure?
The first steps in the game are good, satisfying, you perceive that everything is working and you have a constant sense of progress and exchange with nature. The problem comes when you get your own boat and the game gets much bigger. At this moment, Summer in Mara It stops being a resource management game to become a simple 3D exploration adventure. Suddenly the narrative component and the characters take on a lot of relevance. This is not bad in itself, because it enriches the story, but we will soon find that our character ceases to be important and becomes a mere messenger. What we have already seen in hundreds and hundreds of games and who is now too tiring.
We quickly discovered that returning home to cultivate crops, plant, cut trees and other management tasks are no longer relevant to the story and are simply anecdotal
Poorly calibrated fatigue system
As a message, it is very good, there is no doubt about it, but the way of carrying out the missions becomes very monotonous because, deep down, there is a fatigue system that we believe to be poorly managed. Koa has an energy / hunger bar which will deplete over time but it is not enough, on several occasions, to perform all the errands which are requested of us. We must therefore go home to rest to regain strength. This is where the problem comes in: You can sleep as much as necessary to recharge the energy bar without any penalty in the missions.
That is to say that it does not matter how much time we devote to carrying out a mission becauseThe result will be the same. Therefore, at the time of playing, we were more than once involved in the mechanics of doing part of the mission (running), falling back asleep for as long as needed and coming out with all the energy to complete the mission. . This mechanic would be anecdotal if it weren’t for general tone of most of the game, which poses a serious basic problem in the gameplay and therefore affects the enjoyment of the player. It doesn’t matter how long we sleep and it takes us to complete a mission as it doesn’t affect anything at all.
Despite everything, the title is rather well managed. The world of Mara
Beautiful game, full of peace and quiet
Summer in Mara it’s a beautiful game, without a doubt. It is not a technical marvel, far from it. In fact, you can see some graphics glitches and its jagged teeth make you think of times from another era. However, its beautiful colorful appearance and its designs in the purest style Ghibli always make us want to visit the islands, to meet new characters, to discover their stories … It’s a place where, really, Would you stay to live or spend a long time in peace.
This pleasant, calm and peaceful feeling could not have been achieved without the support of a matching soundtrack. The music is calm and relaxed but it is also moving and smiling. Perfectly accompanies the adventures of Koa and she seems to be a protagonist of vital importance for the job. The sound effects are not up to par: they are decent although rare, but luckily they are not essential to the experience of the title.
Less ambition would have resulted in a better product
Summer in Mara it’s a good game overall. It doesn’t work quite like a management game per se, because at some point the economics and progression are forgotten. However, it should be pointed out that this is a title that has been developed by very few people. Too ambitious in many ways, yes, but also very endearing and very pretty.
If we let ourselves be carried away by its romantic side, we will live a fresh, moving and pleasant adventure.. All he wants to show us Chibig study is extremely pleasant and the work itself translates ecological values that will be very important, especially for the little ones in the house. And that’s it, as the study itself says: they don’t develop games but they create universes.
Summer in Mara
- Artistically it’s very beautiful
- The soundtrack is beautiful and gives you many sensations
- The characters are very endearing
- Doesn’t work well as a management game
- Poorly calibrated fatigue system
- Too much ambition has taken its toll