There is no escaping death in video games. We often kill enemies ourselves or are killed by them while facing risky odds.
However, games seldom deal with how to say goodbye.
Although Spiritfarer is a game about dying, it also appeals to the idea of making memories with those near you. Living for the moment is a big part of that because you never know how long your time will be.
Spiritfarer does delve into deep topics, so it may sound a little somber. However, it’s an exciting game with heaps of cuteness and lots of hugs!
THE STORY OF SPIRITFARER
Throughout the game, you play as Stella, a girl who’s been given the responsibility of Spiritfarer, as Cheron who’s the original Ferrymaster, retires.
Along with your companion Daffodil the cat – an optional cooperative 2-player mode – you travel by boat between the islands discovering stuck spirits that are in need of help moving on.
Each spirit is painted as something from nature. An animal that most closely resembles their personality in their human life.
Once onboard your ship you befriend and tend to them. Your ship grows as you meet new spirits. Onboard you’ll eventually be able to fish, farm, cook, craft and more!
Take some time to relax and listen to your passengers’ stories, their joys, and their sorrows. Just be there for them as they process what’s happening to them.
It can be tempting to sail to each island picking every spirit up, but as in life, making friends takes time, and learning what they like and dislike is important to the development of their story and their connection to yours.
Give each spirit the time they need.
SPIRITFARER GETS VULNERABLE RIGHT
The hardest scenes for me were the spirits’ final moments.
As you row them to the gate to help them pass over you can only listen on.
It was where the characters came to life in a sense because this is where you feel the most compassion.
Spiritfarer is heavy on dialogue. After all, this isn’t a light-hearted topic, and with 14 spirits to discover, this game will take you some time to complete.
There is humor and wit in the writing. I found many of the funnier moments were with the other lost spirits in the game… the ones which have chosen to stay in limbo.
AMBIANCE AND AESTHETICS
The art style is reminiscent of GRIS, with its softness and watercolors, but also reminds me oddly of watching TinTin as a child.
This style makes me feel safe and comforted. If anything can remind me of being a child then it has to be good.
Even when I’ve not been playing Spiritfarer I’ve found myself listening to its soundtrack on YouTube while writing… actually I’m listening to it right now!
I adored the added element of playing music to make the plants grow more quickly. Plant lovers will appreciate this immensely.
DOES SPIRITFARER HAVE REPLAYABILITY?
You’ll want to play Spiritfarer at least twice.
The reason I say this is because, in the beginning, you can’t really appreciate the depth of the characters’ stories as you’re trying to understand the mechanics of the game.
There were spirits like Gwen who I sort of forgot about and didn’t give much time to because I was excited to plough ahead.
Spiritfarer gets better the more you play it.
MY PERSONAL THOUGHTS
Everyone should play Spiritfarer.
It honestly reminds me of the people I care about and how I would like to interact with them even more.
Spiritfarer inspires me to be a better person and the storylines of each spirit made me want to learn more about the developers and their inspirations behind the game.
Playing this game was really quite special. I’ll always remember my first playthrough but it really hammered in what a great game this is when I played it again.
The spirits became like family and each was harder to say goodbye to than the last.
For a game with a topic of death, it’s not at all depressing, rather it uplifts, and it’s incredibly sweet.