Developed By : Studio Wumpus
Published By : Studio Wumpus
Category : Board Game, Strategy
Release Date : Apr 05, 2018
Studio Wumpus seeks to bring the excitement of board games home in a digital form with it’s title Sumer for the Nintendo Switch. The Sumerian Goddess Inanna is looking for someone to rule by her side, the only problem is she doesn’t know who to choose. Players will control one of four nobles, looking to be that chosen one by making sacrifices to appease the goddess. Earn her favor over the other nobles, and watch yourself ascend to her side when the time comes.
Since it’s a digital board game, there’s really no long-running story here in Sumer. Each round encapsulates the entire story from above, and it’s up to you how long each round lasts. The game starts with Inanna demanding her sacrifices of grain and pottery. Altars for these sacrifices are placed at the top of the pyramid-like playing area, and in the levels underneath house all of your resources for meeting those sacrifices. You’ll manually control your noble, running back and forth to fulfill the demands.
The altars will display what sacrifices must be placed on them in order to complete them. They will also display how much favor you will earn in two parts. You’ll earn the smaller favor for being the noble to place the last piece of the sacrifice and finish it, while earning the larger favor requires you to also have the most sacrifices made at that particular altar (if there’s a tie, this latter favor is split evenly). Once all sacrifices have been fulfilled, a year will pass in the game signifying the end of a round. However many rounds you decide to place into your game is how many years long it will be.
First though, to complete the sacrifices, you’ll need to harvest and make what is needed to be placed on the altars. Sacrifices will consist of a grain (barley) and pottery (a clay pot). Each noble will have a certain amount of workers, and the pyramid will contain specific rooms for harvesting these necessities. At the start of a round, you must guide each worker to a room and place them. Once they’ve all been placed, return to your living quarters and go to sleep until the next day (this is fast forwarded once all nobles have completed their turn). When the next day starts, place your sacrifices on top of the altar, replace your workers to harvesting, and repeat the cycle.
One thing you’ll need to be careful about is paying your workers. They will refuse to do work unless they receive a goat for their days work. Fear not, though, because if you’re running low, or just want to bulk up on them (there’s a reason to do this as well), there are rooms for herding goats as well. These rooms will have a number in a circle that represents how many goats you’ll earn the next day. What’s more, is there’s a bonus doled out depending on which noble returns to sleep first, giving you a chance at earning even more goats.
So, why stock up on goats? Once all sacrifices have been met, at the end of each year an auction will take place with rewards handed out by Inanna herself. These can be anything from being able to build harvesting rooms of your own, to an extra worker for a year, to bonus crops or favor. The currency during these auctions will be your goats. A screen will pop up where you’ll need to slide your joystick to the right, determining how many goats you’d like to bid. This leaves room to be a little tactical, since you can toy with the bidding and force another noble to pay an exorbitant amount for a reward that’s….really not worth it.
In the end, I was very surprised by this game. It promises to deliver an exciting and action-filled board game experience, and Sumer really does deliver on that. This game would work best as a party game, either with friends or family. If you’re playing it alone, don’t fret. There’s an A.I. difficulty meter slider, so you can spike things against yourself for a more riveting round of sacrifices. I’d have to say that Sumer is most assuredly up there on a must-play list, especially if you find yourself gaming in parties. It’s a lot of fun, the art is beautiful, the music and language are incredible, wrapping this up as a really great experience of gaming. Don’t miss out on this title, get your copy in the eShop!
Sumer supports all play types. Which one you use I’d say comes down to who you’re playing with. If you’re going it alone, handheld is more than enough. But, if you’re playing with a group, naturally throwing the Switch on the dock and hooking it up to the big screen is the way to go.