Having won Eisner and Harvey awards for the novels and illustrations, Katie O’Neill now brings her graphic novel Aquicorn Cove into gaming. The game’s set to release later this year.
O’Neill, a New Zealander, is also known as the author of The Tea Dragon Society, The Tea Dragon Festival, and Princess Princess Ever After. The main character in the novels is Lana, who has returned (along with her father) to their seaside hometown to help its inhabitants rebuild after a big storm. She is happy to see her aunt again, and to explore the old familiar beach she played on when she was younger. But when a second storm threatens, the town’s adults begin dredging up old battles about how to co-exist with the sea.
In the Aquicorn game, the players must grow their village, while still taking good care of the ecosystem of the reef, and its inhabitants. The villagers discover the presence of the magical, benevolent Aquicorns, (small, magical creatures similar to sea horses) and a “reef guardian” who shows the impact that humans are having on the shoreline.
In addition to protecting the Aquicorns, Lana must stand up to her father (and other townspeople) “to stand on her own, even when it means standing up to the people who she has always relied upon to protect her.” In short, it’s a compelling fable about a young person’s struggle to face (and perhaps, correct) mistakes of the past.