Our Score: 8/10
In Sumire, you play as a young girl whose life has been turned upside down by the death of her grandmother and her parents’ recent divorce. As a result, she has grown depressed, lost, and emotionally estranged from her friends in her little Japanese village. She wakes up startled one night after having a dream about her grandmother trying to whisper something in her ear. A shining seed flies through her window as she gets up to check on her grandmother’s memorial. Sumire puts the seed and falls asleep at the table, intrigued. When she wakes up, the seed has grown into a flower, which is somehow communicating.
One Day Trip
Along the way, you’ll meet various townsfolk and mystical animals, all of whom remember Sumire’s grandmother lovingly. The day is covered in a weird mist, almost as if it isn’t quite real. The entire story takes place in a single day, therefore you must make the perfect decisions to make each moment count.
Sumire’s visual novel tale offers a variety of options that can have a significant impact on the characters’ evolution, and despite its brief length, it offers enough growth via its several universes that each one is well worth investigating. The gaming element of these decisions is karma, which can either improve or deteriorate based on Sumire’s decisions. Sumire’s karma influences her standing among her friends, bullies, and acquaintances throughout the novel, whilst positive karma moves her closer to the perfect result.
Redo The Day
Sumire is mostly a story-driven game, so don’t anticipate much in the way of gameplay beyond standard point-and-click interactions, free movement, fetch quests, and the occasional mini-game or puzzle. Time passes during the day as you complete tasks and watch events, but you can also spend your time exploring and interacting to find coins to use to buy random stuff or specified items to complete missions. Sumire has the option of assisting or ignoring problems, and her actions are tracked by a karma meter. If you just have one day, don’t try to finish everything, because Sumire offers challenges that reward replaying the game and trying new things.
Looks like a Dream
Sumire’s painting aesthetic is just stunning. Every new setting, including those of the story’s darker moments, is fantastic. I’m still hoping for a tangible Sumire artbook from GameTomo. Apart from the design, the animation work is also remarkable, despite some uncomfortable movement. Some of the aesthetics in the game are inspired by Studio Ghibli. While others simply feel like a love letter to specific aspects of Japanese culture.
Sumire lacks voice acting, but it compensates with one of the finest soundtracks in recent memory. Even outside of the game, the music wonderfully suits the tale and is well worth listening to. The songs are mostly acoustic guitar-driven, with a few other instruments thrown in for variety. Given the tale here, it’s difficult to listen to the title track without being emotional.
Sumire is a fantastic game for you to play on your iPhone or even other devices. It’s got a gorgeous visual style, a beautiful soundtrack and a really good game. Although the game is short, it never overstays it’s welcome and has the perfect amount of replayability.