In Sumioni – which is literally translated from Japanese as "ink demon" – players take control of their own Sumioni ink demon who has been summoned to rid the land of evil, and are tasked with safely guiding him through 2D side-scrolling levels.
Visuals are presented using a crisp, hand-painted traditional "sumi-e" ink style and a color palette that lends itself well to the game's feudal Japanese setting. Throughout their journey, players will encounter enemy samurai, long-range bowmen and other obstacles that must be overcome using the unique controls of the PS Vita system.
While the Sumioni himself is controlled through traditional means, players can also manipulate the touchscreen itself to paint artistic brushstrokes across the playfield that their Sumioni can then jump on to traverse obstacles and avoid enemies. Each finger stroke is presented on screen as a paintbrush stroke over the background canvas of the game. This allows players to manipulate the game's environment on-the-fly, creating solutions to problems as they arise. Various brushes can be used to create unique effects, and a scratch of the finger on the screen can set objects (and enemies) on fire, cast lightning down from the heavens or summon elemental beasts for massive, screen-filling attacks. By combining the use of several brushes on the screen simultaneously, players have a myriad of options with which to tackle obstacles and strike down foes.