Developed By: Thunder Lotus Games Categories: Adventure Release Date: 08.18.20
With all of the violent games that are released, or even that I review, it’s very refreshing to play games that are not only non-violent, but also more focused on making everyone feel better and move on. In stressful times, a game like Spiritfarer feels right at home.
In Spiritfarer, you play as the titular Spiritfarer, tasked to find people nearing their end and fulfil their final requests. Usually finding a cloaked being on an island, having something they require from you. Once that is done, they join you on your relatively shanty boat and will unveil their true self to you, being someone you know from long before. This is the main gameplay loop, but is far from being all you do. Your new shipmates all have needs, to be housed, fed, and ultimately hugged once in a while. Reminiscent of Wind Waker, you’ll be riding your boat everyhere you go, from finding junk crates full of materials, to shops, and islands carrying mines, cities, and even factories. Thankfully, once you chose your destination, everything is automated giving you ample opportunity to do other tasks like fishing, though it never takes too long to get where you need to and you do find quick travel spots. The more people you take aboard, the bigger you’ll need your ship to be, the more amenities you’ll need. Everyone needs a home. You’ll need gardens for food and a kitchen to cook it. You can’t just build these things on corn and coffee beans though, you’ll need a sawmill in order to prep wood you get, as well as a loom for threads and cloth, and a forge for metal. This all might sound a tad overwhelming, but it never is, the game almost never reaches a moment or mood remotely close to stressful. The only stressful part in my opinion came from not having enough space for things I wanted or just having to rearrange buildings.
Going to certain islands treat you to different folk, quests, or little story threads. A group of workers striking for better pay and their boss locked in his office in dire need to go to the bathroom. A herder wanting you to to put a group of sheep into a corral even going as far as you finding another sheep from an entirely different island. In a higher class town you even have a group of people who find superiority over being on the top floor of a building because the ladder is too high up and the door to go upstairs is locked and requires an expensive key. I stumbled upon a near pitch black mine with workers afraid to even speak and found a secret room where I was paid off by an employee who wanted me to just ignore them. As the main story really feels like something in the background for the most part, getting all of these small different events per island is a nice treat.
Spiritfarer is a beautiful game from head to toe. The characters look and animate in a way that reminds me of Wario Land Shake It or other HD animation inspired sprites. The game is colorful, but not to the point of being loud or gaudy about it Relaxing is a good word for the game. This spreads to the music too, with the soundtrack mostly being soothing, with character themes at shops being the outliers, usually being a funky little tune.
Despite there being a lot to do and quite a bit to keep up with, Spiritfarer is a very relaxing game and is an easy game to just pick up for a little bit, put down, and then pick back up later, never feeling like ordeal. Having a game that doesn’t try and push you to your limit is nice once in a while.
Buy Now: $29.99
*Game Download Code supplied for review purposes