Sumer Review: A Truly Interactive Board Game

Review by Jack Bankhead

Game provided by publisher

Video games are a digital medium that create something truly unique, an interactive game that bends to you, the player. Has there been anything like this? Perhaps a board game? Board games are boxes of fun, filled with strategy, laughs, and the inevitable friends getting mad at each other. Sumer attempts to recreate just that- a video game board game. Unfortunately, despite not being the game’s fault, Sumer is not as engaging as it definitely could be. The game is of high quality- it’s just whether or not your friends want to play it.

The premise of Sumer is you are Sumerians, who want get the approval of the Goddess. Offerings are the only way to gain favor with her, so the only way to win favor in this age is sacrifices. To sacrifice, you must have resources. Gathering resources is one important aspect of Sumer, as you are trying to best your outdo your friends with sacrifices. A bigger and better sacrifice means more favor!

The game is presented in 2D, and the method of moving is simple platforming. To move around is simple, as is to jump. Graphics are cute and clean, characters with big bobble heads are hilarious, and the clean design is very pleasing on the eyes. Sound is pleasant, but nothing amazing.

There’s a handy interactive tutorial guide in the beginning. The game has a complex set of rules and mechanics that the tutorial is actually very useful. Much like a board game rule book, it explains what to do very well, in an understandable manner. This could be part of why it isn’t as appealing to friends- it’s a video game so why learn the rules? Nonetheless, it’s a nice addition.

The intricacies of Sumer is incredible, there are many mechanics, such as the auctions and the resource gathering. But the cool thing is that’s not all. Just like a board game, there are tons of rules. The rules become easy to understand, though.

With friends, it’s a blast once you get it all working. The unfortunate problem is there are other multiplayer games, and Sumer isn’t the flashiest or most quickly gratifying. Because of this, Sumer becomes hard to touch. With the AI players, it’s definitely fun. It’s nothing like playing with friends as intended.

Although the game truly does its job as a “digital board game” it ultimately fails to keep interest for my friends, being a multiplayer centered game. There are AI controlled players- so if you’re really interested and don’t have friends it could be worth it to you. If you have dedicated friends, it is a blast, if you have those dedicated friends.



Reviewed on the Nintendo Switch, provided by Studio Wumpus