Here’s a delightful indie gem from Thunder Lotus Games of Montréal, Québec. It’s a construction simulator with a heart of gold (and there’s a cat).
However, the recent architectural marvel Townscaper is also present.
But this is no lazy, derivative experience. Spiritfarer is a wonderful indie game—a shining example of the joy involved in this entertainment form.
There’s a ship. There are spirits. And it’s your job to make everything fabulous!
You take control of Stella, a ferrymaster of deceased spirits—a Spiritfarer. She also has a pet cat called Daffodil.
You sail a boat around the world, befriend new spirits, and look after them on the boat. Eventually, you can release them into the afterlife.
Along the way you farm, add new buildings to your boat, cook, and explore the world around you.
It’s similar to The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker in some respects. What makes Nintendo’s game so magical is the sailing aspect.
And it’s present here, just in 2D form. You glide along and don’t need to worry about rampaging enemies or whatnot.
It’s all rather beautiful and relaxing, as you use the map to plot a sailing course and then kick back and relax. You can even go fishing!
If there’s criticism of Spiritfarer, it’s the title is simplistic. That appears deliberate so it doesn’t bog down the experience with excessive resource management.
But some gamers may be left wanting more. However, for us it was a pitch perfect length and helped sell the title to us. We really don’t have time for endless 100+ hour gaming requirements.
Although some of the sailing sections can get a bit drawn out, where you stand about waiting to reach your destination.
But such moments aren’t game destroying by a long shot—they’re mere quibbles. When it’s as chilled out as this, why get angry?
The result? Spiritfarer is a very charming and loveable game, with a joyous sense of accomplishment and life.
Its mission appears to be about learning to say goodbye to cherished friends. It’s about dying. Something we must all deal with.
And it handles mortality in imaginative and intelligent fashion.
All the while wrapped around a cozy and relaxing world full of compassion. So, we think this is one of the top indie gems of 2020. Huzzah!
There’s a fabulous orchestral soundtrack, too. It’s lively and chirpy—uplifting. Very much like a Studio Ghibli soundtrack.
It’s by French Canadian composer and filmmaker Max LL (Maxime Lacoste-Lebuis). Really, one of the best soundtracks of 2020 so far, this is.
As with many indie soundtracks these days, there’s an orchestral sweep to the whole experience. Rather like a movie (again, think Studio Ghibli).
Given the emotional nature of the game, plus with the sense of wonder, that all works perfectly—it’s charming music. Very crisp and clear.
As there are some emotional moments in the game, the music is there to guide you along.
And it sticks with you. This music has been swimming around our heads for the last week now. We’ll be revisiting this for some time to come.