When you watch the trailer for Coral Island, an upcoming farm sim, it’s easy to see how it takes inspirations from classics of the genre. You can see someone donating crops to a character that resembles the Harvest Goddess from Harvest Moon. There’s a shot of a mine elevator that looks like it came straight out of Stardew Valley.

However, if you take a closer look, you’ll see that Coral Island is far from a rehash of games that came before. Sure, there are bachelors and bachelorettes for you to woo, and it offers the farming gameplay we all know and love. What sets this game apart is that is also allows you to swim underwater to protect the coral reefs.

As you might expect from its name, Coral Island is set on an island, and there’s a coral reef in the waters around the island that needs your protection. You’ll have the chance to dive beneath the ocean, where you can clean the sea bed and gather new materials. As the conditions of the reef improve, you’ll see new, rare fish appear. You may also encounter some interesting characters while you’re deep beneath the water’s surface.

One of the highlights of playing classic farm sims is getting to know the community you live in. From what I’ve seen of Coral Island, it looks like it will really deliver in this department. There are more than 50 islanders for you to befriend, and there are 16 singles for you to woo. I’m really impressed with the designs for the dateable characters; every one of them looks like someone I’d like to take out on the town.

A Kickstarter campaign for Coral Island is scheduled to launch on February 1, 2021. Even though it hasn’t hit Kickstarter yet, it looks like you won’t have to wait too long to play the game. It’s currently set to release on Steam on August 8th, 2021.

If you’re a fan of farming sims, this is definitely a title you’ll want to keep a close eye on. Coral Island looks like it will include the best elements of games of the past, but it also feels fresh and new. It’s already shaping up to be one of my most anticipated releases of 2021.

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