Go gentle into that good night.
Spiritfarer brings light to a topic we all seem to have trouble comprehending: death. While many games include death in some way or another, Spiritfarer provides a new perspective that will allow you to see dying from a more peaceful and positive perspective.
In the game, you play as a character named Stella (and her cat, Daffodil, if playing with two people). At the beginning of the game, you learn that Stella was chosen to be the new spiritfarer. Your job as the spiritfarer is to find, well, spirits, by sailing around the map. You then help them fulfill their last requests until they are comfortable enough to leave through the Everdoor and pass into the beyond. The game includes 11 different spirits you have the chance of meeting. Each spirit, portrayed as a different animal, has his or her unique personality, thus each spirit having his or her own unique requests.
In order to complete these requests, there are many, many different tasks you will learn. For example, you will learn to mine, cook, garden, fish, cut trees, create cloth, and so much more.
After you’ve learned those simple tasks, you will then learn to smelt the ores you’ve mined into ingots, turn the logs you’ve cut into planks, and cook the fish you’ve caught. While there is much to do in this game, I never felt overwhelmed with the requests or tasks. There was no time limit to getting these things done, and even if it took way longer than needed to complete the requests, the spirits were still grateful and never upset.
Although there are many tasks you’ll have to complete in the game, it is very easy to do them all. Most of your tasks are simply done by pressing A. Even your basic actions, like running and jumping, are simple to perform. However, as you progress into the game, you will unlock more actions like bouncing and double-jumping. These may require a bit more skill, but are still easy overall. The only action I found myself struggling with was ziplining, and even then I was able to get it down after a while.
As far as graphics go, Spiritfarer is a very aesthetically pleasing game.
As you’re sailing halfway across the map, you will find yourself enjoying the scenery you are passing, and not getting annoyed with the long travel. Once you’re at islands and collecting your materials, you will notice how each one has a different feel. The detail the developers put into an island—whether it’s the weather, population, or environment—makes it so much more fun to explore.
Your boat serves as more than just a way to get from one island to another. It is also where you and your spirit friends will sleep, eat, and make usable the materials you’ve collected. Over time, you will have a house for each spirit you come across, as well as a kitchen, a garden, a sawmill, a loom, a foundry, and many more buildings. While you have the option to keep upgrading your ship and making it bigger, I did find that, eventually, these buildings started to look cluttered and messy.
There seemed to be very few ways to fit these buildings together in a neat and orderly way, which may be a problem if you prefer to keep things tidy.
Although Spiritfarer is about death and the afterlife, it did not feel that way when playing. Spiritfarer is bright and fun, filled with jokes and literal hugs.
Even when saying goodbye to a spirit, it was peaceful rather than sad. I believe this game really teaches you to accept death as it is and, instead of viewing it as a negative thing, to see the positives in it.