Spiritfarer is a cozy management game about death where you play as Stella, the new spiritfarer who must escort wayward spirits to their final passing through the Everdoor. I’ve been waiting for this game for a while so I was very excited to play it and I have a bunch of opinions.
This is a spoiler-free review.
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Every spirit has final requests that you have to complete before taking them to the Everdoor. These requests range from creating a dinner party to building rooms for each spirit to reuniting spirits. In order to complete these requests you will need to collect resources from around the map, upgrade your ship to accommodate everything and travel to different zones, and craft items to aid you. You also will have to learn new skills, like double jumping and gliding, in order to reach specific areas.
My overall feelings of this game are mixed. I had a preconceived idea of what the game was going to be like and the game was ultimately not completely what I was expecting, for both good and not so good.
Let me start with the good. The art of course is beautiful and very well-done. This game is very detailed as well which impressed me a lot. The devs clearly put a lot of work into it and that deserves love and attention.
The cozy management system is enjoyable to play, and the progression of it is well done. The crafting progression is also done well, since you do need to upgrade your boat to accommodate for it. And how the difficulty increases for accessing resources like aluminum and marble is also done well, since you do have to acquire certain skills to get those.
The individual characterizations of all of the spirits is another aspect I enjoy. Every spirit has a unique personality and story that makes the game interesting. Some characters are more likable than others, which also makes their deaths more emotional. The characters are a clear strength of this game.
Now for the not-so good. In general, this game is not linear at all. So you may be wandering around in an area that you can’t do anything in but you don’t actually know that. At launch there were some glitches where you’d actually get stuck in places you weren’t suppose to be in, but they have patched those. But even with the patches, the game does not tell you much besides the end goal of your quests. This resulted in me using the discussion forums on Steam to find answers on how to locate things or what order to do certain things. Otherwise I was aimlessly wandering the seas not knowing how to progress. And some quests, you would actually need to do the opposite of what it was telling you which you had zero reason to think that was the case. So that was also really annoying that I spent so much time working on a certain quests’ requirements and in the end I was actually supposed to do the opposite.
The one thing I dislike about the game the most is the fact Stella has a storyline. This may sound odd, but let me explain. Initially what I expected of this game was to be an unnamed spiritfarer and complete quests for various spirits, with no specific end game necessarily. Instead, the game has a storyline for Stella and an ending for her, and I don’t want that. To me, it feels out of place and I honestly don’t care enough about Stella to feel anything about her and her fate. Stella is a voiceless and personality-less playable character, and we only learn anything about her in small pictures with no context. So any time I spent playing her specific storylines scenes I felt was time wasted.
Even with my mixed feelings, I’ve still played over 20 hours of Spiritfarer. I have enjoyed the management game play and fulfilling the last requests of these spirits. I personally wish that Stella didn’t have any story line because it would just make more sense for her as a voiceless, personality less character to not have a deep story and then I could also get back to the game play I enjoyed rather than doing platofrming scenes for a story I didn’t care about.
Overall, if you really enjoy management games, I think you will really like Spiritfarer. But if you are so-so on management games, I would not recommend getting it. It is a $30 game, which is expensive in my opinion, so unless you know you will devote a lot of time to it, it’s not worth it. Maybe wait for it to be on sale.
What recent releases have you played? Let me know with a comment below.