Sumikko Gurashi: Atsumare! Sumikko Town is the second game featuring Sumikko Gurashi characters to come out on the Nintendo Switch in Japan. The first game, Sumikko Park e Youkoso, was a Mario Party-style party game, while Sumikko Town is a town building game with a few mini-games sprinkled in.
Sumikko Park e Youkoso was adorable, but I ultimately found it rather repetitive, and soon grew tired of it. Does Sumikko: Gurashi: Atsumare! Sumikko Town step up the variety and fill the gap until Animal Crossing comes out on the Switch? Read on to find out!
If you prefer a video overview or want to see the game in action, check out the gameplay video above! I go over all the major features of the game, and you’ll get an idea for what the gameplay flow is like.
In Atsumare! Sumikko Town, you start with an empty plot of land and five Sumikko with big dreams… Well, I think they just want a place to sleep, to be honest. You set them up by building the necessities, namely houses (one for each Sumikko, though up to two can live in a house together) and shops. The shops earn you a little money every so often, which can be collected by clicking on the store when a coin purse icon appears above it.
As you add more things to your town, you’ll earn money from everything from flower pots to trees, and even manholes… I’m not even going to attempt to understand why. The more money, the better, right?
Another way to earn money, which is required to purchase things for your town, which in turn earns you points to level up your town so you can purchase even more stuff, is by playing mini-games. There are a total of eight minigames in Sumikko Gurashi: Atsumare! Sumikko Town, but I spent most of the game with six or so, and only unlocked the eighth after maxing out my town’s start level all the way.
I found the mini-games the best way to quickly earn money early on, which meant I played them a lot. By far the easiest, and thus my favorite, was the surfing mini-game, where you catch waves and do tricks to earn points. All the mini-games are pretty simple, but some have more brutal computer players for some reason, and there’s still one game that I can’t seem to beat the computer at!
While you’re purchasing items and building up your town, you’re also sporadically earning sumigokochi, or “comfort” points (the word refers to comfort specifically in terms of living space). By earning enough sumigokochi to level up your town (max level is five stars) you’ll unlock new things, such as buildings and items to purchase for the town.
Sumigokochi can be earned in a variety of ways, such as petting the Sumikko, interacting with Sumikko when they want to do something (an exclamation mark will pop up above their head), or fulfilling certain prerequisites, such as taking a screenshot of a certain Sumikko doing a certain activity.
The vast majority of my time with Sumikko Gurashi: Atsumare! Sumikko Town was spent watching the Sumikko mill around town, waiting for them to do something cute for me to take a picture of and earn points, and playing the minigames. Just like Sumikko Park e Youkoso!, the pace of everything is very slow, and as a result, I found Sumikko Town to be a very good game to fall asleep with. It’s a lot less Animal Crossing and a lot more Sumikko ant farm.
To be fair, the game is very cute. But like the previous game, I personally found it to be too repetitive and slow-paced to keep me engaged very long. Even getting the Sumikko to fulfill some of the tasks by interacting with a specific item is extremely hard – in fact, I was never able to successfully “encourage” them to do something by placing them next to a thing I needed them to engage with in order to complete a task.
I guess the only other option is to watch them wander around for hours until they eventually do what you need them to? I’m still waiting for two Sumikko to use the seesaw I built…
Other things to do include designing the layout of your town, using tickets for the “gacha machine” (technically a lottery, called fukubiki) to unlock costumes, items, and stickers, and viewing special events that unlock after certain requirements are fulfilled. All of these things certainly are cute, but didn’t really add much to my enjoyment of the game.
Perhaps if you really love designing town layouts, you may have more fun with that than I did, but since it doesn’t really matter where you put anything (or how “good” your town looks), I found myself just plopping things down wherever they seemed to fit.
Since Sumikko Gurashi: Atusmare! Sumikko Town is only available in Japanese, I’d like to talk briefly about the language skills required to fully enjoy it. Like Sumikko Park e Youkoso!, Sumikko Town has furigana over all kanji, so you don’t need to have a high level of kanji knowledge to read it. But unlike the Mario Party-style mini-games of the previous game, which are pretty easy to get the hang of if you don’t understand any Japanese, Sumikko Town requires a little Japanese knowledge to navigate the game if you want to maximize your ability to earn sumigokochi by fulfilling tasks.
If you’re worried about navigating the game with limited to no Japanese knowledge, I recommend checking out my gameplay video above. I cover all the major aspects of the game, so you could use that as a guide to help you through the various systems if you decide to pick it up. If you are a Japanese language learner, this is a great game for beginners, as the vocabulary isn’t too difficult in general, and the repetition is great for drilling in the new words and phrases.
Despite the repetitiveness of the game, I managed to grind my way to a five-star town… Which unlocked absolutely no new shops to build, and was rather disappointing overall (some things do happen, but I won’t say what for those who want to play the game). I can see myself going back to have a look at the cuteness once in a great while, but I really wish I had a better impression of Sumikko Gurashi: Atsumare! Sumikko Town overall.
By the way, assets and even some music were clearly reused from Sumikko Park e Youkoso!, and while there definitely is more to do than the previous game, the developers still haven’t solved the issue of making their games engaging to play for more than 10 minutes at a time.
For that reason, and it pains me to say this, but Atsumare! Sumikko Town would probably be better as a mobile game. If you’re a die-hard Sumiko Gurashi fan or have a high tolerance for cute games that aren’t particularly interesting gameplay-wise, you’ll probably have fun with Sumikko Gurashi: Atusmare! Sumikko Town. Otherwise, you might be better off waiting for the eventual Animal Crossing game for your cute town game fix on Nintendo Switch.
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