Set sail for heartfelt journey in Spiritfarer

“Spiritfarer” is an award-winning cozy management game about dying, as explained by indie game developers Thunder Lotus. 

Originally released in August 2020 to the Xbox One, PC, Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch, “Spiritfarer” was nominated for several awards and critics and fans alike lovingly named it their game of the year. 

The developers at Thunder Lotus aren’t done with “Spiritfarer” yet though. Since it’s initial release, the game has received multiple content updates and recently made its mobile debut on Oct. 4 for Netflix subscribers. 

“Spiritfarer” is also currently on sale for only $9.89 on the Nintendo Switch as part of their “Try Before You Buy” sale ending on Oct. 25, making it the perfect time to pick it up. 

When not on sale, “Spiritfarer” can be purchased for $29.99 and is well worth the price either way. 

In “Spiritfarer,” you play as Stella, the newly appointed ferrymaster to the deceased, more commonly referred to as the Spiritfarer, hence the game’s title. As the Spiritfarer, you must care for lost spirits and help them complete their final wishes before releasing them to the afterlife.

After a brief  introduction to the previous Spiritfarer, Charon, you and your cat companion, Daffodil, are given the essentials then set off on your own to go find lost souls in need of your assistance.

It is Stella’s job to seek out wayward souls and provide them with all the comfort and support needed until they are ready to go to the Everdoor, where they will be released into the afterlife.

While the Spirits live aboard your ship, you are encouraged to collect resources from islands to craft items or facilities for your ship and the passengers aboard it. As you craft more buildings, you will quickly have to start stacking them on top of each other, feeling reminiscent of a dollhouse or my first “Sims” build. 

Management games can get overwhelming at times, but “Spiritfarer” focuses more on the stories being told by the Spirits Stella encounters and the management aspects of it are never too overbearing.  

Additionally, “Spiritfarer” is able to differentiate itself from other management games with the attention of new builds being added to your ship as you progress through the game, keeping it from getting too redundant as you progress through the story.

“Spiritfarer” is a visually stunning game, with a gorgeous hand-drawn art style reminiscent of older cartoons and animations. Paired with a warm color palette full of soft colors, “Spiritfarer” has a very welcoming and comforting aesthetic to it. 

Every new location is inviting. Even the Everdoor is a beautiful location to return to time and time again as you bid somber goodbyes to your spirit friends. 

Accompanied by a soft, yet beautiful musical score, it is easy to be fully sucked in by the ambiance “Spiritfarer” creates. It is somber, yet whimsical. All of the Spirit’s designs and personalities feel unique, making your ship come to life with the onboarding of each new passenger. 

The stunningly simplistic art style combined with the relaxed management gameplay allows players to focus on all of their Spirits’ stories, but is still a fun gameplay experience.

It is easy to get attached to your different Spirit guests, making it all the more somber when they decide they are ready to go through the Everdoor. 

“Spiritfarer” is a charming and fun game, but handles the themes of death and loss in a realistic and respectful way. It is full of heartfelt moments and gut-wrenching goodbyes.

Even two years past its initial release, “Spiritfarer” still holds up as a one-of-a-kind experience you won’t want to miss.

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