One day doesn’t always feel like enough time to accomplish a great deal. Once you factor in sleep, cooking food and emptying yourself of food, that’s not a lot of hours. But in Sumire all you have is one day, to make a little girl happy and turn her lonely life around.
Sumire is a very unhappy child. Her Grandmother has passed away, her parents have split up and her childhood friend has ditched her for the popular kids. She’s utterly miserable, and feeling pretty hopeless about her life. After wandering around her house on a normal dreary day, she discovers a talking flower who wants to make her life improve.
The flower will only be alive until midnight, so you’ve not got long to fix poor Sumire’s problems. Together Sumire and her floral friend write a list of everything she wants to accomplish and you’re off on an adventure. It’s a particularly touching tale of positivity, friendship and coping with loss, at least if you decide for it to be.
Sumire: A charming adventure
You see Sumire is full of moral choices, and you have free reign to either be optimistic and forgiving or bitter and rageful. It always felt right for me to take the positive approach, but if you want to punish your friend Chie for leaving you or be mean to the nerdy kid at school you can do that too. Karma is tracked, and the story will play out differently depending on how you act.
As you may have expected from the living and talking flower, there’s a healthy dose of otherworldly magic in Sumire. Talking to animals is common, from lonely snakes looking for love to the famous tortoise and hare. These critters will often have side quests for you to do, with more potential for you to rack up more good or bad karma.
The majority of your time in Sumire will be spent wandering around fields and the small town, interacting with people and objects. Occasionally though you’ll get the chance to do something a little different, in one of a handful of mini games. While making a new friend you’ll get to play his custom trading card game, which I’d have happily spent hours enjoying. I always enjoyed these fun little distractions, whether they were fun games with friends or mixing colours to decide how to deal deal with bullies.
Not all light-hearted
Although often a light-hearted game, Sumire has some significantly darker moments too. Not all the otherworldly elements are lovely flowers, with sinister crows blocking your way and a haunted house in town packed full of all sorts of nasty surprises. I didn’t expect things to get so spooky, but the tonal shift helps make the more touching moments all the sweeter.
I had one pretty big issue while playing Sumire, which saw my save file become unusable around two thirds of the way through the game. After crashing while loading into an area, my autosave spawned me in midair without the ability to fast travel. I had to play through everything again (which took just over an hour) and fortunately didn’t have the issue the second time around. I’d hope this isn’t a widespread problem, as if I hadn’t been reviewing the game I’d probably have stopped playing altogether.
Sumire is a charming adventure full of heartfelt moments. Trying to improve the life of the titular protagonist can be genuinely emotional, but there are also just enough fun mini games and creepy moments to keep thing interesting. As long as you don’t suffer the same save file issue I did, you’ll find a lot to love in this very personal experience.
Some genuinely creepy monents
Mini games break up the gameplay
Moral choices mean there's some replayability
Had to play twice due to a bug