Summer in Mara gets June 16 release date, Steam demo out now

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We’ve finally got a release date for Summer in Mara. the story-based farming life sim comes to Nintendo Switch and PC on June 16, with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions planned for later this year.

Set in a tropical archipelago called Mara, Summer in Mara sees you taking care of your own island, sowing and harvesting crops, and crafting new tools and buildings. Setting sail for other nearby islands also plays a big role, with each island being home to treasures, secrets, new people to interact with, and the means to upgrade your boat and discover new abilities.

The game is described as “a single-player experience in a calm, relaxing environment, with a handmade look and an exciting narrative.” At the centre of its story is Koa, an adventurous young girl who wants to discover the world around her—a journey that sees her meeting all sorts of different people. According to the developers, character development is “a huge focus for the team, and this is reflected in the care put into the friends met, and the anecdotes of their travels.” But not everyone is friendly; Koa’s adventure also sees her cross paths with the evil Elit corporation, which is trying to colonise Mara for its abundant resources.

There’s a free prologue demo available now on Steam, with a Switch release planned as well for the near future. The prologue introduces players to Koa, her grandmother Yaya Haku, and the Mara archipelago, and gives players a taste of the farming, fishing, crafting, and adventure that the full game will offer.

With its release date now confirmed to be just a couple of weeks away, Summer in Mara is the latest piece of what’s shaping up to be a good time for life sims. We’ve already had Rune Factory 4 Special and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is just around the corner. Doraemon Story of Seasons comes to PS4 in September (following its Switch release last year), and Harvest Moon: One World is coming to Switch and PS4 later this year. Ooblets—which combines farming with monster-raising and turn-based dance battles—is also due out sometime this year, and looking a bit further, farming-adventure-but-you’re-a-cat Snacko is on track for a 2021 release.

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Matthew is a writer based in Wellington. He loves all things pop culture, and is fascinated by its place in history and the wider social context.