Sumire is a charming narrative adventure where a young Japanese girl sets out on an adventure to change her miserable fate and fulfill her wish of seeing her grandmother’s spirit.
Sumire was released on May 27, 2021, for both Nintendo Switch and Steam. The Steam version has a bundle that comes with the original soundtrack and a digital artbook.
Sumire is about a disillusioned young girl who spends her days cooped up inside, in fear of the outside world now that her grandmother is no longer in it. On top of this, her father has left home, and her best friend has deserted her. But one day, a magical flower appears and promises her that she can change her fate. But the magical flower only has one day and one life to help her have a perfect day and make her wish come true.
The gameplay is pretty simple; you make choices that affect your karma and determine the outcome of the story. Despite there being a good and bad ending, the game doesn’t force what’s good or bad on you but shows you that your actions have consequences regardless of what decisions you make. And no matter what path you decide to take, Sumire comes to terms with the decisions she’s made at the end of the day.
At the beginning of the game, Sumire jots down a to-do list in her notebook of the things she wants to achieve in hopes of having a perfect day. While it may not sound like much, there are also small quests and even fleshed-out mini-games that you can enjoy along the way.
- Attractive design and relaxing music
- Short, but offers a nice bit of replay value
- Can’t have more than one save file
- Character dialogue and writing could have been better
- Can’t play mini-games from the main menu (I really liked them so this was a bummer)
The most prominent features of Sumire are the art and the music. In fact, the music is not only relaxing but also very memorable. In addition, the overall design of the game feels like a Japanese watercolor painting that blends nicely with the music. While there are some depressing moments, the overall style of the game is quite wholesome.
On the other hand, for a narrative-focused game, I was a bit disappointed in the writing. It felt stiff, and the character dialogue was a bit monotonous. For games where the gameplay is primarily dependent on the story, I think the writing should be meticulous. That’s not to say that the writing ruined the game, but I think Sumire could have been more impactful if the writing was better.
All in all, Sumire was truly a fun short adventure that I thoroughly enjoyed. With that being said, as a narrative-focused game, if the writing were better, it could have easily been a 10/10 game for me. Despite this shortcoming, I still highly recommend this charming indie game.
Replay value: 7/10
Kid Friendly: Yes
|Released:||May 27, 2021|