- Title: Smushi Come Home
- Developer: Some Humble Onion
- Publisher: Mooneye Studios
- Release Date: June 10th, 2023
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC
- Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
- Price: $19.99 USD
Smushi Come Home is a cell-shaded 3D exploration adventure game where you help a mushroom named Smushi return to his family. Smushi lived a happy life with his siblings; however, a twist of fate snatches him away, plopping him deep in the wilderness. The premise is simple, yet powerful: find your way home!
You meet forest creatures and spirits, travel through caves and other beautiful environments, and even catalogue other mushrooms that you discover. With the help of some tools (including a paraglider) and new friends, you are equipped to guide Smushi through his epic journey.
This indie title was featured at PAX East 2023 and later on in the Wholesome Direct, where it shadow dropped onto Steam and the Nintendo Switch. Smushi Come Home is filled with platforming, light puzzle elements, and even mini-games that is sure to delight many.
Graphics and Sound
Bright colors exude from Smushi Come Home‘s cell-shaded art style. It fits perfectly with the whimsical theme, giving the characters lots of personality. There are several areas to explore, each with its unique setting–and therefore–color palette. It honestly makes everything all the more memorable, just like the music.
Someday, I hope there will be a soundtrack where I can play Smushi Come Home‘s music on repeat [EDIT: Soundtrack is AVAILABLE HERE!]. It is upbeat yet calming, and it stirs a sense of serenity and positivity when I play. The pairing of sight and sound really adds to the experience.
I could tell within the first ten minutes of playing Smushi Come Home that this game was made with love. There is excellence to be found in simple, clean gameplay. Although the graphics and sound immerse you into the world, it is the gameplay that keeps you there (or rips you out).
Smushi Come Home is divided into several areas to traverse. While linear in progression, you are free to explore. In fact, you are encouraged as a tiny mushroom in a VERY BIG world. There are collectable green and purple gems that are sprinkled in and around every nook and cranny.
To help you explore, you are given a paraglider, climbers, and much more later on in the game (e.g. a headlamp). If you find a spirit, they can enhance your ability to glide longer, and a forest creature can train you to climb higher. There was no shortage of hopping, climbing, gliding, and even diving my way around each map. In fact, I was having so much fun interacting with everything that even when I had the means to progress to the next area, I would double back to make sure I interacted with everyone and obtained all the collectables.
Collectables include “skins”, which change the look of Smushi’s cap. You also have a mushroom guide that populates when you discover a new mushroom species. You get to learn a little about them, and you can even read Smushi’s personal notes.
It’s important to note that there is no combat and no fall damage. Smushi Come Home is truly a wholesome game that doesn’t need enemies or boss battles to be enjoyable. The puzzles are fun, and the dialogue is not only positive (which is refreshing!) but also quite hilarious.
Smushi may be a tiny lil’ mushroom, but he offers massive joy in his game.
I will be upfront with you. At the time of this writing (July 7th, 2023), I will say that Smushi Come Home is a strong candidate as indie game of the year for me. Why? Let me count the ways:
- Adorable protagonist–a mushroom named Smushi
- Beautiful graphics and vibin’ soundtrack
- The puzzles are not too easy, nor too hard. They are a joy to complete as I explore each area
- The NPCs you meet are also adorable
- The dialogue is WITTY
- I encountered no issues (at worst, I would move the camera angle too much and get a close up of Smushi’s stomach)
- Immersion is strong. I felt tiny in that forest.
- The map was a little small, but I honestly didn’t use it. It is there for those that need it
- The pacing felt just right. Nothing seemed to drag on.
- The amount of collectables and extras made it fun enough to stick around a little longer instead of bee-lining it to the end.
- Again: Smushi Come Home has a simple premise with a unique protagonist, executed flawlessly
While this game may not be for everyone, I rank Smushi Come Home highly due to its quality, creativity, and execution. Smushi Come Home feels like a product made from love and passion from its creator, and I hope many people give this a shot. Need something cozy? Want to escape for a few hours? Starving for some positivity? I highly recommend Smushi Come Home!
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Featured Image Source: SomeHumbleOnion