A charming and memorable experience, GameTomo’s Sumire makes up for its lack of depth in gameplay with a compelling and emotional story.
Players take control of Sumire, a teenage girl dealing with a spate of life-changing events. The death of her beloved grandmother, her parents falling out of love, the effect that has had on both adults and the changes in friendships that happen as we get older. All of this would be enough to floor most people and Sumire is really struggling.
She lives in fear of the changes happening around her, isolated and lonely. All of that is going to change though when she meets a magical, talking flower who encourages her to stop waiting for tomorrow and live for today.
Across an in-game day, the life-span of the flower, players will guide Sumire to face difficult decisions. To see both the light and darkness of life.
The story is excellent, heartfelt and charming but also filled with depth and darkness. Across a short run-time, it deals with some heavy subjects in a realistic and relatable way. While still having fantastical elements that make it feel almost dreamlike.
The gorgeous art style, themed to emotional states, and arresting acoustic soundtrack really help bolster the charm too.
Sharing more in common with visual novels, Sumire is almost entirely dialog-based with gameplay made up of narrative decisions, fetch quests and the occasional mini-game. The latter two add some freshness to a familiar style of game and can be quite fun, but it’s the former that really matters.
Choices matter here. What you choose to do has an impact on characters and endings. It’s all based around karma and how you choose to have Sumire act and deal with issues will affect her status. It’s a really clever angle to take. Not only that, Sumire’s goals for the day and the opportunity to help a wealth of characters, bulks out the story and adds replay value that you wouldn’t normally expect.
To make the experience all the more enjoyable, the controls are simple. Players move Sumire by touching and holding a finger on the screen in the direction needed to go. Interactive objects and characters are easily identifiable and highlighted by an icon. With the interact button layered nicely on the screen but only visible when needed. It’s a simple but important aspect when playing a game on mobile and is just another reason Sumire deserves credit.
Especially when you consider just how awful the mobile gaming market is because of the influx of free to play games.
Sumire is a special game and one everyone should experience. Even if you’re not a fan of visual novel style games, Sumire does more than enough to make itself stand out from the pack. It stays with you long after the end credits have rolled.
The Final Score - 9/10