Videogame: Coral Island
December 9, 2023 5:29 PM - Subscribe

"A re-imagined farm sim game set on a tropical island that is inspired by the classics" -- Stairway Games
posted by johnofjack (2 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I just installed this today and have played four or five hours so far.

In general I really like it; that said, it's not without its flaws. I love the art and like the vibe (casual; cozy even), however I do feel it relies too much on Stardew Valley for inspiration:
  • You get a somewhat-dilapidated farmhouse with a large area of land which needs cleaned up (rocks, trees/logs, even trash)
  • There's a shipping bin out front you can drop things into to get money overnight
  • There's an evil corporation with plans for the community
  • You can take on a quest to complete the museum
  • There are supernatural creatures interested in your efforts
  • You can build relationships and/or romance most of the townspeople, regardless of gender (some of them are married; I haven't tried romancing them.)
  • There's a calendar showing everyone's birthdays; presumably giving them birthday presents they like will improve the relationship more
There are other similarities with Stardew Valley (including the name! [Noun for a thing + Noun for a kind of place]), but many of the other similarities are tropes in literally countless games, and some have obviously made their way into various games from real life (e.g. the ability to fish or explore, the use of stamina and food to restore it, having gameplay split up by days within seasons). Also I've heard that Stardew Valley was heavily inspired by Harvest Moon (I haven't played it; I can't comment on that).

I haven't yet met all the characters, but I'm liking the diversity in race/ethnicity (if we were mapping them to the real world, I'd say I see characters from Latin America, the Middle East, East Asia, and South Asia, as well as Black characters). And so far I've seen characters with he/him, she/her, and they/them pronouns.

I've almost entirely avoided reviews of the game, and just took a chance on it based on Steam saying I might like it based on how much I've played Stardew Valley and My Time at Portia. That said, the one review I saw complained that the merfolk aren't romanceable even though that was promised and this is listed as an alpha release (so: caveat emptor if that's your jam).

I am, naturally, siding against the evil corporation (in this case, an oil company which caused an oil spill affecting the local environment).

At any rate: if you've loved Stardew Valley but gotten bored of it, and want a new similar farming sim, you might be interested in this one.
posted by johnofjack at 5:46 PM on December 9, 2023

I installed this over the weekend after having it on my steam wishlist for an age. It does seem to hit the "stardew valley" spot, although I agree, sometimes it's a little TOO much like stardew. Very different graphics and I also enjoy the diversity (including tattoos!) I'm not very far in but so far so good!
posted by trinkatot at 12:59 PM on December 11, 2023 [1 favorite]

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