Spiritfarer

Warning

Content warnings:

  • Spiritfarer is ultimately a game about dying and death.
  • Contains smoking characters;
  • Game is non-vegan;

Overall recommendation

Go and buy this game.

Game overview

In Spiritfarer you play Stella, girl/woman tasked with taking over Spiritfarer job from Charon. Spiritfarer is responsible for allowing souls to travel to another life via The Everdoor, the trick is that soul needs to want to do it, so you need to make it comfortable and happy.

Stella gets her own ship, on which she travels the waters of weird afterlife world. Throught the game she meets spirits, befriends them, and ultimately says farewell to them. Some of these farewells will be unexpected, others will be confused, almost all of them will be sad.

For me the game was not challenging (in a good way!), most of the minigames were super-easy to finish, and those that were not that easy, allowed for in-game progress even if I fumbled a lot.

Game mechanics

Game mechanics include:

  • Upgrading the ship;
  • Building homes for ghosts (and other buildings) on the ship;
  • Resource gathering, each resource requires you to play a minigame;
  • Farming and mining;
  • Doing quests;
  • Light platforming;
  • Keeping spirits happy by giving them food they like, and hugging them;

Game mechanics does not include:

  • Meaningful fights;
  • Challenge --- most of the minigames are easy, it's hard not to make progress even if you fumble; also platforming is not hard;
  • Grinding;

Stella hugging a spirit near building where you can grow grains.

Graphics and music

On first look this game has uses retro pixelated graphics, however this is not entirely true. It also uses lightning effects and has very nice day-night cycle.

Spiritfarer graphics is very deliberate, there is nothing unnecessary.

Music builds the game atmosphere, and also is very good.

Particularly nice sunset.

Spoilers start here

Ultimately this game is about death, and also about meaning of life, the whole game can be interpreted as a metaphor for Stella's life. Some out-of-game hints suggest that Stella in life was a palliative-care nurse, and spirits she meets during her voyage are her former patients (some of them were her friends and family).

Ultimately Stella will go through the EVERDOOR herself. She even gets a companion who will stay with her to the end, and there there are "post-endgame" quests (you can do extra quests after you send all the spirits off). This last part of the game is super-sad, you roam the empty sees, knowing that you won't meet anybody new, you have fully upgraded ship, that just is empty. You still have all homes you built for each of the visitors, you still can play every minigame, but what is the point, if everybody in Stella's life is gone?

Stella learns how to meditate.