Is It Worth Playing Coral Island? – Answered

BY MELIZZA JANE TACANG

Melizza Jane Tacang

Writer and Storywriter

Melizza is a part-time writer for PlayerAssist and a full-time mom. When she's not fussing over her kids, she writes game guides on cozy simulation games like Stardew Valley and The Sims 4. She's mostly seen playing cute indie games on her laptop and Nintendo Switch. Melizza also likes revisiting her childhood survival horror games and classic RPGs because she's a sucker for nostalgia. Aside from video games, Melizza is also into anime, philosophy, true crime, and Pedro Pascal.

PUBLISHED 3 MONTHS AGO

Find out if Coral Island is worth playing in this article! 

Is It Worth Playing Coral Island? - Answered

If you like to keep tabs on the latest farming sim craze, you’ve probably witnessed their growth in popularity over the last few years. Games about starting a new life on a farm in a wholesome town have become a trend; we see new ones get released or come out of early access each month.

Coral Island has the same premise and just received a full release. Version 1.0 came out in November this year. Along with that, the game’s price has also expectedly increased, now costing $29.99. But what sets it apart from other popular farming sims in the market? And is it worth getting? This article will tell you all the relevant info you need to know about Coral Island 1.0 to help you decide if this is the right farming sim for you.

What is Coral Island?

An image of the player and their meticulously designed farm.
Source: CessxPlays (YouTube)

Coral Island was developed by Stairway Games and published by Humble Games. When it was launched as a Kickstarter, farming sims started taking off and becoming mainstream. When the word got out that a team of devs from Indonesia was making a reimagining of their beloved classic farming sim games, people were quick to back up the project. It didn’t take long for Stairway Games to reach their stretch goal, and the game soon got an Early Access release on October 11, 2022.

The dev team also expressed their promising vision of making a farming sim that focuses on ocean preservation, which appealed to many fans of the genre.

In Coral Island, your goal is to restore the island to its former glory. Help the community by building and maintaining a flourishing farm, cleaning the ocean, and standing up against a megacorp that threatens the health of the marine environment.  

A Deep Dive into Coral Island

As noted earlier, Coral Island drew inspiration from games like Harvest Moon, Story of Seasons, Animal Crossing, and Stardew Valley. There’s no doubt that these popular titles are the cause of the surge in modern farming-life sims. The aim was to build Coral Island upon these influences, but they also incorporated their storyline and mechanics to create a unique and immersive farming sim. Here are some features that you’ll only find in this game:

Hot, romanceable characters

The first thing that draws many people to play the game is the NPCs. Coral Island has 73 conventionally attractive islanders, and 28 are eligible for marriage.

Those who like the romance aspect of farming sims will be glad to know there is a wide variety of characters to date in Coral Island. The folks living here are all racially and ethnically diverse with different backgrounds. They may captivate you with their appearance, but their personalities and stories will make you pursue them.

Additionally, the romance option is not limited to humans. An upcoming update will add an option to date merfolks or mythical creatures living in the ocean. As you get to know these beautiful sea-dwellers, you will be able to learn more about the lore and secrets of Coral Island.

Diving

An image of the player diving underwater to clean mounds of trash.

Diving is one of the game’s most unique features. It’s also probably among the most satisfying activities you can do for the community.

Considering the game emphasizes eco-friendly themes, trash is essential in Coral Island. Trash is often used as a crafting material for starter objects. And, much like in the real world, you’ll find abundant trash in the ocean. Diving allows you to gather trash and collect other valuable resources underwater. While diving, you’ll also be able to explore the ocean world and discover the Merfolk kingdom.

Charming 3D Graphics

An image of a fledgling farmer looking at her growing crops.

Long-time farming sim fans may immediately notice Coral Island and ConcernedApe’s Stardew Valley similarities. From the Museum Donations to the Joja-like Pufferfish Drilling Corporation, it’s easy to pinpoint where the devs mostly got their inspiration. But if there’s one aspect that Coral Island has a one-up on, it’s the game’s graphics.

Coral Island boasts gorgeous 3D-rendered character sprites and surroundings paired with beautifully drawn 2D character portraits. The game’s visuals also reflect the beauty of the Southeast Asian Region. This is evident in the game’s tropical island setting, assorted flora and fauna, and architecture. Playing Coral Island gives you a vacation-like relaxation because of its theme and atmosphere.

Other Notable Features

  • Coral Island’s map is enormous. The town is always bustling with people going about their day. Forageables are scattered everywhere, and bugs crawl in every corner. There are plenty of areas to explore and secrets to unlock. It’s safe to say that there’s never a dull moment in this game.
  • Similar to the island’s map, the farm you inherit is expansive, which is perfect if you love farm decorating, as it provides plenty of room for creativity. A massive space allows you to personalize your farm according to your liking.
  • Activities like mining, bug-catching, slaying enemies, and fishing are simplified and less tedious, giving you more opportunities to gather resources and level up your skills faster.
  • Speaking of skills, the game also features an intricate skill progression system. It allows you to develop your skills in various areas as you engage in activities. As you level up, you unlock new abilities and items to craft. There’s a multitude of perks you can unlock here, making leveling up more rewarding.

Coral Island is a delightful treat for farming sim fans. However, it’s not perfect by any means. There are aspects of the game that need to be improved, such as:

Performance Issues

An image of the player inside the Starlet Town's museum.

Performance issues and poor optimization are some of the most recurring problems in newly released games. Coral Island faces criticism for failing to run smoothly or optimally on PCs and consoles.

Many players encounter crashes after donating an item to the museum or whenever they enter the said building. Some can’t attend festivals as the game also abruptly closes upon going to the event venue. Players also found minor bugs with romanceable NPCs calling you endearing names even if you’re not dating or treating you like a stranger despite being married.

The issues vary depending on the system they are using. Players share their frustration encountering game-breaking bugs on the Xbox series X and S. On the other hand, some only experience lags and stutters in their PlayStation 5 consoles. Stairway Games has addressed these issues and continuously releases patches to fix them. 

Incomplete Game

An image of the player holding a flaming sword while exploring the mines.

Fans also commented upon the game being advertised as a complete product when, truthfully, it’s missing some of its content. There are a few areas and features you can’t access now as they are still a work in progress. While some may understand that various factors influence incomplete game launches, such as financial pressures and strict deadlines, others have also expressed disappointment that they paid the total price for an unfinished game.

Is Coral Island Worth Playing?

So, is the game worth getting? Regardless of the criticisms and complaints, players still adore Coral Island because they enjoy its gameplay and overall atmosphere. If you like cozy games with farming mechanics, an engaging story about ocean preservation, and beautiful art style and animations, dive into Coral Island now! Also, it is an excellent pick for those new to the farming sim genre since it is designed to be beginner-friendly.

Alternatively, you can play Coral Island now if you are subscribed to Game Pass. Coral Island is currently available on Xbox Game Pass. If you’re still thinking about buying it, try it on Game Pass first to help you decide if the game matches your preferences.

What To Expect in the Future Updates

Coral Island may already have tons of content, but there are plans to expand the storyline and add more things to do. According to the roadmap for the game, here are all the features that are to be included in the future updates:

  • Full-featured Multiplayer
  • More Story Content
  • Merfolk Storyline, Relationships, Romance, and Festival
  • Rebuild Merfolk Kingdom Storyline
  • Ocean Farming and Ranching
  • Savannah Access and Ranch Animals
  • Island Visit
  • Hangout and Dating Mechanic
  • Tourist System
  • Town Rank S
  • Slice-Of-Life Scenes Batch 2
  • Children Grow Up and Dialogue

Related: The Best Farm Layouts for Coral Island

Conclusion

Coral Island is what you would expect from a modern farming sim. It’s got charming visuals, a gripping storyline, and an addicting gameplay. While Stairway Games used titles like Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley as their blueprint, Coral Island packs some features you won’t find in other farming sims.

The game may be filled with bugs and glitches, but players still appreciate and hold it in high regard. But if you’d like to play Coral Island in a more polished state, you can hold out on buying until next year when the devs release updates to improve it. We also recommend you try it out on Game Pass first to know if Coral Island will appeal to your liking.

Gameplay still from Coral Island via: The Ginger Empire/Youtube

The Best Greenhouse Layout for Coral Island

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