I’ve played a bit – Spiritfarer

Starting a new Category for the blog – I’ve Played a Bit – to highlight video games I’ve just started.

Spiritfarer Launch Trailer

‘Spiritfarer’ has been on my wishlist since I played the demo during the Steam Spring festival this year. As I have mentioned before, I am a sucker for hand-drawn animation in games so I was immediately interested in this title after seeing the gorgeous artwork. I decided that it was time to pick up the game during the current Steam Winter sale.

You play as Stella (and by some extension, her cat Daffodil), Charon’s replacement. As the new Spiritfarer, you are charged with finding lost spirits scattered throughout the world and getting them to board your boat. You must help them make peace with their life so they can move on. But the spirits Stella finds are not strangers to her…

I have now played a total of 5 hours and I have to say I love it. It has a good story and the characters are immediately endearing – be it the chain-smoking deer, Gwen or the always hungry for anything frog, Atul or the mystical and mysterious snake, Summer. Those are the three I have met so far and I am scrambling to make the ship more welcoming and inhabitable for them.

For fans of games like Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley, there is an element of “life management sim” as Stella works to grow plants, cook food, mine minerals, weave thread, fish and so on. The little mini-games you play to accomplish these goals are not meant to be challenging, but just distractions as you sail across the wide open world.

You also get to arrange your boat how you see fit, with each spirit eventually requesting their own private quarters along with special buildings for crafting. This creates a Tetris-like puzzle as you try to maximize the space you have (upgrades can be purchased to expand your space as the story progresses).

The music is lovely, flute and strings. Even during the more exciting moments, it is somehow tense and chill at the same time, as Stella leaps from rooftop to rooftop, collecting lightning or gathering jellyfish.

I am still very early on in this game (HowLongToBeat estimates 35 hours for completionists) but I can already tell this is something special. I took a screenshot earlier while Stella was working on an early mission for Gwen, but I feel like this is some foreshadowing for me in about 30 hours of gameplay…

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