REVIEW: ‘Spiritfarer’ Is a Beautiful Handcrafted Masterpiece (Switch)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Spiritfarer

Spiritfarer, developed and published by Thunder Lotus Games, is a relaxing management game about death. You play as a young girl named Stella, who takes over for Charon and becomes the new Spiritfarer. You build a boat, upgrade it, and seek out spirits to befriend. You take care of them until they are ready to pass over into the afterlife and fully be at peace.

Spiritfarer is the ultimate relaxation game, from beautiful soothing music, beautiful animation and colors, and characters you instantly fall in love with. However, when it’s time to say goodbye, this management game can kick you in the feels. You start the game with a very small boat and less than a handful of spirits. Some you encounter are close friends, some will be family, and others will be strangers. The best part about these spirts is they’re all animals. The first spirt you meet is Gwen, a deer. As she settles in with Stella, she serves as the tutorial phase, allowing you to get your bearings and understand the flow of the game.

Your boat is small but you will be visiting Albert the Shark frequently to spend your hard-earned glim and the resources you have collected in your travels. Glim is earned by doing a number of activities, such as catching lightning in a bottle or catching jellyfish known as bright jelly, or by selling useless items and treasures. You can get resources from activities, crafting, and buying them from a Raccoon or Tanuki named Theodore who is described as similar to Tom Nook from Animal Crossing without ever mentioning him by name.

Spiritfarer Build Mode

While crafting, gathering resources, collecting glim, and taking care of your spirits can be tedious, being productive is what makes it relaxing. There is always something to do and when you finish a request, it feels quite rewarding and it’s on to the next. Requests are quests that a character wants while living on your boat until it’s time for them to pass over. It can vary from getting an item, building and improving their home, or going to a certain place. Your requests list fills up pretty fast and it can look overwhelming but if you take your time and enjoy the ride, you’ll see how fast you can get things done.

In the process, you can make your ship look like your very own within the grid provided. You can build homes and certain amenities to help you craft items or places that you collect materials to harvest when ready. These places vary from a garden, a field, of a sheep corral. You can always change the layout when the mood arises. Controlling your boat is automatic, you just plot a course to where you want to go, whether it be to fill a request, pick up another spirit to live on your boat, or just get supplies, and the boat does the rest. With the map being so big, traveling from place to place can be a lot. However, once you progress in the game, you unlock fast travel that will put you in the vicinity of where you want to go. The places you go look so beautiful, it’s always exciting to visit a new place. Or if you’ve upgraded your boat to tackle environmental barricades, that’s exciting in itself.

Stella and Gwen

While the combination of music and crafting is relaxing, saying goodbye to your friends and family can be sad but wholesome. When you finish a character’s questline and requests, they’ll let you know when they want to be taken to the Everdoor, so they may cross over into the afterlife. After getting attached to these characters, saying goodbye is hard. Releasing a few spirits has taught me that death is inevitable and while folks are gone, you’ll have your memories of them. As you take your spirits to the Everdoor and they say their final goodbyes, the spirits are given a big lingering hug by Stella. When you get back to your ship, their home is still there, and inside, it’s covered with beautiful vines and flowers. It’s a constant reminder of the times you spent together.

Spiritfarer is an amazing management indie game to relax to, all while helping players deal, cope, and reflect on death. The game’s colors are awe-inspiring and the soundtrack immediately puts you at ease. Despite the game’s heavy theme of dealing with death, Spiritfarer is a wonderful game.

Spiritfarer is available now for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Steam, and Xbox One


Spiritfarer
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Spiritfarer is an amazing management indie game to relax to, all while helping players deal, cope, and reflect on death. The game’s colors are awe-inspiring and the soundtrack immediately puts you at ease. Despite the game’s heavy theme of dealing with death, Spiritfarer is a wonderful game.