Coral Island is a farming and life simulator that not only looks beautiful but has you actively care about sustainability in the world around us. Most farming sims like Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon are great. They’re cute and fun and it gives you a little taste of rural farmlife living. Although this is written by someone who hasn’t spent time on any IRL farm so I’m guessing this isn’t true. But the thought is there. What those games don’t take into account, however, is the environmental impact that your decisions make on. Is it really alright for me to fish night and day in the pond? Can I overwork the soil with no repercussions? I don’t want to get all ‘inconvenient truth’ here but it’s something to think about.
Developed by Indonesian indie studio Stairway Games (SWAG). Coral Island is their way of spreading the message of positive environmental responsibility. Based in the remote region of Yogyakarta SWAG was newly formed in March 2019, and now have 24 people. Disclaimer for the article below. I’ve just been stalking their dev blog for information but I’m sure features will change closer to the release date.
Set on a remote island, you begin your Coral Island journey in Starlet Town. The game developers have made sure to include a lot of hallmarks of their Southeast Asian heritage. From the character design to pieces of the natural flora and fauna inhabiting the island. (I spotted a Starfruit or belimbing in their dev blog!) I wouldn’t say it’s definitely an island in Southeast Asia because of the changing seasons. And unless the season is monsoon this island is pretty much fictional.
You’ll be spending your time on this island farming, harvesting, developing the town and most importantly looking after the island’s ecosystem. Every action you do on can adversely or positively affect the environment. If you dive in the reef to save coral, you’ll make way for rare fish to visit your island. Right now this is all the features I have for the game but so far very promising. I’m excited to see what else they have in store to promote the wonderful message that is environmental sustainability. I’m guessing in this farming sim I won’t be mass buying cows to munch on all of the island’s grass.
But life in Coral Island isn’t all eco-warrior and farming, you can also meet the fifty other islanders staying there. You’ll make friends, start dating and even start a family. In Starway Games’ latest blog the people above are some of the main characters that you’ll be interacting with. From left to right are Yuri, Noah, Millie and Mayor Connor.
If you think the first two Yuri and Noah are hot then you’re in luck because they’re some of the eligible singles on the island. Like most dating mechanics how you behave with each one will determine how your relationship grows. If you’re anything like me in Stardew Valley I always try to keep some flowers in my pocket to pass out to the villagers. I can’t help if I want everyone to like me!
Coral Island is aiming to be released in Q1 of 2021 for early access on PC. Stay up to date with the news by following the team on Twitter (Stairway Games // Coral Island), or join their Discord channel. Of course you can always stay tuned to Unpause for more updates!