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Game Review: Spiritfarer

By. Nathan Datres
Game: Spiritfarer
Price: $30.00 USD
Release Date: Aug 18, 2020
Developer & Publisher: Thunder Lotus Games
Platform: Steam, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One
Genre: Construction & Management Simulation, Platform Game.

A lot of video games deal with death, but no game deals with it quite like Spiritfarer. In Spiritfarer, the game is full of bright colors, joyful tunes and cute animation. The spirits that you encounter throughout the game have already died, and it’s your duty to help them reach the afterlife. It allows you to assist people in the process of coming to terms with their death, making sure that they are cared for and comfortable until it’s time for them to truly move on. The best word to describe this game is cozy, and the first line on Spiritfarer’s website captures the game perfectly: “A cozy management game about dying.”

In Spiritfarer, you play as Stella who has suddenly been given the job of Spiritfarer, a job sailing a ferry through a mystical sea to find lost spirits. The spirits you find and befriend take residence in your ferry. You care for them by growing food, cooking meals, building amenities, and giving hugs. Eventually, once you have helped them enough, the spirits inform you that they are ready to move on. As I played through Spiritfarer, I reached the point in the game where it was time for the first spirit I met on Stella’s journey to move on. I was saddened to see them go because at this point in the game, I had devoted a lot of resources and time to them. I had grown closer to them through Stella, learned about their life, and realized that it’s tough to let go of the people you care for.

Spiritfarer, at its core, is a construction and management simulation game. Stella oversees care of the ferry, which involves doing different tasks: farming, fishing, gardening, mining, and other similar tasks to get different resources. With these resources, you can build new buildings to add to your ferry, upgrade previously made ones, or complete different errands for the spirits you encounter throughout the game. Collecting different resources requires you to do a small mini-game, whether that be pressing different buttons in a row or moving your cursor around. The better you do in the mini-game, the more resources you receive. The ocean that Stella is able to explore with her ferry is large, full of different islands to explore, and different spirits to befriend. Navigating this expanse is easy, the more you explore and build your ferry up, the more places you are able to go as you unlock different upgrades to assist you on your journey.

Spiritfarer was made by Thunder Lotus Games, an independent game studio based out of Montreal, Canada. Thunder Lotus Games have made other widely liked games such as Jotun and Sundered.

Spiritfarer is a game that I think all gamers could enjoy, no matter their skill level. It’s easy to learn, the mini-games aren’t hard, and the story accompanies sad moments. Overall, Spiritfarer is joyful and wholesome.