Sumio Mondo is a 'searcher' who arrives on the island of 'Lospass' when he is hired by the manager of the only hotel on the island- hotel Flower, Sun and Rain. We quickly learn Sumio is tasked with neutralising a 'terrorist' on the island who has planted a bomb at the airport, seems like a typical empty-headed yarn that we expect from a video-game... yet things soon take on the surreal, dream-like character we would expect from the developer of gaming landmarks like Killer7.
Lospass is stuck in a recurring 'groundhog day' style loop where the same day seemingly repeats itself in varying ways, each 'day' Sumio attempts to get to the airport only to be held up and distracted by the ludicrous and endearing cast Grasshopper Manufacture have created, leaving the plane to explode and the 'day' to begin anew.
What follows is a surreal exploration of themes such as alienation, fate, utopia (paradise), sexuality and the need to 'kill the past'- the tug of war between generations. All told in the inimitable style of Suda51, knee-deep in metaphor, symbolism, dream-logic and black humour, and delivered in a way unique to the medium of video-games. Mention must go to the soundtrack which is typically wonderful as you would expect from a Grasshopper title, even when the bulk of it consists of remixes of classical compositions by the likes of Debussy and Satie.
Flower, Sun and Rain is a game that tests the player with its math-book style gameplay, or the pixellated textures and abstract dialogue, but if you approach it with an open mind and really delve into the story and characters you will find a deep, rewarding and touching experience that is rare in video-games.
This DS version is a port of the Japan-only PS2 original and there are plans to follow it up with two more past Grasshopper titles- the Silver Case and Silver Case: 25 Ward. Personally I can't wait!