Sumire
Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 9

Sumire is a magical narrative adventure starring a young girl and a talking flower. The duo embarks on a journey after Sumire promises the flower a special day in exchange for the opportunity to see her deceased grandmother one last time. What follows is a trip through a vibrant game world that is filled with fascinating creatures and characters. The game is not very long or challenging, but it oozes charm and features more than enough memorable experiences. The inclusion of a karma system adds some replay value, but your first journey through the game will always be the most unforgettable.

Gameplay: Simple, yet delightful to play.

Graphics: The painterly visuals add to the charm of the game.

Sound: The soundtrack is beautiful, and there’s plenty of atmospheric sound effects too

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Sumire

Developer: GameTomo Team | Publisher: GameTomo Co., Ltd. | Release Date: 2021 | Genre: Casual / Adventure / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Sumire is a young girl living with her mother in a picturesque Japanese village. Unfortunately, it is revealed early on that Sumire’s life is not exactly a happy one. Not only did her beloved grandmother pass away recently, but her father abandoned the family, leaving her mother in a state of depression. Even Sumire’s best friend, Chie, has turned into a bully after becoming the most popular girl in town and no longer wants to spend time with her. Then one night, as Sumire is dreaming about her grandmother, she awakens to find a strange glowing seed that appears to have crashed through the window. Planting the seed causes a talking flower to sprout, and it convinces Sumire to pick it and take it on an adventure. Sumire is understandably reluctant at first, but as the flower only has a single day to live in the human world, she eventually agrees, and their magical journey begins.

While Sumire is not the first game to tackle heavy topics like loss, depression, and bullying, it is definitely one of the most beautiful ones. The entire game looks like a children’s storybook, thanks to the vibrant painterly visuals. Thanks to the 2.5D visuals, the game world also has some added depth when it comes to exploration. It is not a very long game, and the path through the world is very linear, but there is plenty to see and do along the way as players try and make the most of Sumire’s special day.

From her home, Sumire’s journey will take her through fields and forests as well as the small town. Most of these areas are stunning to look at, but there is also some darkness in the form of an abandoned house with a tragic history. The story takes a couple of unexpected turns along the way, but overall the game brims over with hope and a sense of adventure.

At the start of the game, Sumire lists everything that she wants to accomplish during the special day, but the one thing that she desires the most is seeing her grandmother again. Her little flower companion promises her that this could happen, but Sumire has to confront a lot of other issues too. The game uses a karma system, and Sumire is free to either help or ignore the people and creatures she meets along the way. Since Sumire autosaves and has only one save file, it will require multiple playthroughs to experience everything that the game has to offer. However, players can complete the entire game in two to three hours, so replaying everything is not much of a hassle.

From a gameplay perspective, Sumire is much more than just the sum of its parts. It might sound like it is nothing more than a pretty walking simulator with some fetch quests and mini-games thrown in when describing the game. Although this is accurate, it doesn’t come close to conveying how joyous it feels to play the game. The magical nature of the special day means Sumire can talk to animals and even inanimate objects such as scarecrows, who all have their own requests for the little girl. Coins can also be found scattered around the environments to be collected by those who spot their telltale glimmer. A couple of scenes may make it seem like Sumire is in danger, but the game is very forgiving and doesn’t require a lot of skill or reflexes to complete.

We have already raved about the visuals in the game, but it is hard not to be charmed by the beautiful backgrounds and charming character designs. Each scene is brimming with detail and color, while the curved design of the game world also adds to the game’s unique feel. The soundtrack, which features a Japanese acoustic band called TOW, is equally remarkable. The soothing vocals and Japanese instruments add to the mystical feel of the game and enhance the whole experience. There is, unfortunately, no voice acting in the game, which means plenty of reading, but the story is engaging enough that this never becomes annoying. Sumire is a very easy character to empathize with, and the upbeat personality of the flower also results in a few laughs.

Most of the game is spent walking left or right, but Sumire can also move into the foreground or background of most scenes to search for things. All the spots that she can interact with are indicated if she gets close enough, so there’s no need to pixel hunt. Sumire can run, and despite the relatively small size of the game world, there is also a fast travel option to get back to important landmarks quickly. The mini-games are all very simple, but some like the card-battling and dice games are pretty fun. Sumire has a notebook that keeps track of all of her objectives, and it also contains a map of the places that she has visited.

Overall, Sumire is a very short game, but also very memorable. It really has a unique atmosphere and a style that sets it apart from the competition. Watching Sumire try and explain her feelings to her parents, try and patch up things with her best friend or attempt to get closer to the boy she likes all make for a very emotional experience. It goes without saying that adrenaline junkies will find the game’s pace too slow, and the relatively simple gameplay may also deter players who crave a challenge. However, if you can appreciate a thoughtful game that is more about immersing yourself in the experience without getting bogged down by any obstacles, then Sumire comes highly recommended. It is a delightful game that deals with mature themes in an interesting manner and ultimately won us over during the time we spent completing it.

System Requirements

  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 7/10 (64bit)
  • Processor: Intel Core i3 (newer than Sandy Bridge architecture)
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 6 GB available space
  • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 7/10 (64bit)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 (newer than Sandy Bridge architecture)
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce GTX 660 (at least 2GB VRAM)
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 6 GB available space

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