Release Date: 05/26/2021
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Sumire is a beautifully made game with charming visuals and well-written dialog. While you can finish the game in about 3 hours it’s quality content and I was moved and touched by the story. You play as a young girl named Sumire who has recently lost her grandmother. The death split your parents up and made them distant and you feel like your life is falling apart. One night, a magical seed flies through your bedroom windows and you befriend a magical talking flower who only has one day to let you see your grandmother again.
The game is in a 2D sidescrolling style game, but there’s no-platforming here. This is a typical adventure game, but there really aren’t many objectives and there’s no obscurity or cryptic puzzles here. In fact, there are no puzzles and very few characters to interact with. There is a map with a few areas you can fast travel around to, but there is a good and bad deed system set in place that can change the ending of the story. The game really focuses on being good to people, being the mature one in a situation, and realizing that life is finite. It’s pretty heavy stuff.
Early in the game, you come across creatures you can do good things for which aren’t complicated. Give a scarecrow a hat, give a frog a bug to eat, but what bug you chose will determine a good or bad deed. Other larger objectives have you delivering things to people from other people and these are pretty much done as the story progresses. The first half of the game is spent wandering around collecting a few coins to spend and spend them wisely, on yourself or other people. There are a couple of mini-games thrown in for good measure, but the second half of the game picks up the pace quite a bit as the story concludes.
The music is also fantastic and really gets the heartstrings plucking as you really feel for these characters and Sumire’s understanding of death and just that in life you have to let things go, things end, and death is permanent. Her constant reliance on the flower is also sad and it’s just wishful thinking and false hopes. Sumire also sorts out a love relationship and has to solve her bully issue with three girls who constantly pick on her. It’s stuff every teen goes through in life and it really brought me back to mine. Thankfully, I never felt lost or wondered what to do next as you just move left all the time and the story unfolds itself.
Usually, I frown at games that are this short, but if they have a lot to show in such a short time I’m happy. Sumire has a great story that’s short, but really makes you think back to your teen years and early 20s of having to face life alone for the first time and realizing every action you do matters and affects you until the day you die. So many life lessons are tossed in here at rapid-fire but dealt with in a touching manner. However, there still isn’t much of a game here. You walk around, collect coins, talk to animals and creatures, do a few small fetch quests, and then move on with the story. It’s satisfying and fun, but I felt the side quests were a bit pointless. It’s not like you have a heavy dialog with these creatures and you come back to them later. It did feel a bit like filler to me.
Overall, Sumire is a beautifully crafted game with great music, and heavy dialog that can be really touching and nostalgic, and it just feels like a good wholesome game in the end. It’s relaxing, doesn’t expect too much out of you, and after a few hours, you get a nostalgic trip back to your teens and early 20’s when life just got started.