Genre: Adventure, Narrative adventure
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam)
Developers | Publishers: GameTomo
Age Rating: US E | EU 7+
Price: US $14.99 | UK £11.69 | EU € 12,99
Release Date: May 27th, 2021
Review code used, with many thanks to Homerun PR
“One Day, One Life,” says the blurb for Sumire on the games Nintendo page. An indie game by developers GameTomo, this is a game about choices made, and dreams lost and found, told through the eyes of Sumire, a young girl.
Sumire is a narrative adventure or, in other words, a visual novel with some mini-games added in to break it up. You play the part of Sumire whose life is rather difficult for a young girl. Her parents have split up, her father has left the home and gone off, her mother is in a state of depression and Sumire’s grandmother has passed away. Sumire has also lost Chie, the girl who used to be her best friend until Chie got popular and turned into a bully.
During the night Sumire has a dream about her grandmother trying to tell her something, after tossing and turning not being able to sleep anymore she decides to get up and wander around the house. Upon hearing a crash in her bedroom Sumire goes to investigate and discovers a seed on the floor. Sumire plants the seed in a pot on the coffee table.
The seed, once grown, is a beautiful flower. It’s also a talking flower and tells Sumire she would get to see her grandmother again if she shows the flower a “perfect” day. So begins your adventure in this sweet but very short tale of choice, regret, grief, bullying and love.
Along the way, Sumire will help both humans and animals by completing short fetch quests. Simple quests such as helping a scarecrow being bullied by crows or passing on a gift on behalf of the local stationery shop owner. You can choose whether to take or refuse the quests, but this should be a reminder that as the day progresses, some quests won’t be there when she returns.
You’ll take part in mini-games such as a card game where you battle the other person using whatever ability the cards have, a board game where you roll a die and move pieces around, and a game where you have to stop Sumire from walking every time an evil crow looks at her. All these activities gel well with the storyline in the game and add to the storyline.
Good Karma, Bad Karma
The game offers narrative choices, you’ll be making decisions that ultimately affect your karma and your relationship with other characters. My choices were all good karma and the ending reflected that. You can, if you wish, play the game and not do any of the quests to achieve a low karma ending. In fact, there is a challenge (achievement) to complete to that effect.
Sumire has a to-do list which consists of a list of the activities Flower and Sumire have to complete to have a perfect day, with each one being ticked off once completed. None of these activities is particularly hard to do and all take part through the course of the story.
Visuals and Controls
Throughout the day, the scenery will change depending on the time. From a bright sunny day to sunset in the evening, the game is truly beautiful to look at with its hand-painted animation. As Sumire moves in the game the earth looks curved, if you have played Animal Crossing you will be familiar with what I mean. I like this addition to the game as it makes it different from the normal side-scrolling.
The game is backed up with some serene music that suits the gameplay perfectly. Though the game runs fine most of the time, I did experience some shudders on the screen during some of the gameplay. It is controlled fully by the joy-cons and these work as they should.
Sumire is a sweet, engrossing narrative adventure, that doesn’t shy away from some heavy topics. The price point in the eShop might be a little high for 3 hours of playtime, that would be my only major complaint about the game.
There is some replayability to be had in the game especially if you want to complete all the challenges. I was very happy with the ending I got and couldn’t bring myself to play the game again to get a bad karma ending and complete the challenge (achievement). What can I say…I like a happy ending, who doesn’t?
Final Verdict: I Like It A Lot