Spiritfarer
Linux Format|May 2021
In these turbulent times management has shown uncharacteristic compassion and allowed Rachel Watts to contemplate life.
Rachel Watts

SPECS

Minimum

OS: Ubuntu 14.04 (64-bit)

CPU: Dual-core 64-bit

Memory: 4GB

HDD: 7GB

GPU: OpenGL 3.x capable card.

piritfarer’s lead writer and creative director Nicholas Guérin was at Ubisoft before

She joined Thunder Lotus Games. During his nine years there, he worked on the Assassin’s Creed series as a level designer, creating scenarios that would enable players to efficiently and brutally stab people in the neck in acts of vengeful fun.

Guérin joined Thunder Lotus to develop a game where “everything centred around care” – that approached the topic of death with compassion and openness. Spiritfarer, a life sim about dying, does exactly that.

You play as Stella, an upbeat ferry master who’s responsible for finding and helping wandering spirits pass on into the afterlife. After inviting the spirits to stay on your boat, you take care of them and make sure they live comfortably on your vessel. Then, when they decide they’re ready to move on, you take them to a huge, ominous portal called the Everdoor, and see their journey through to the end. Sometimes the goodbyes are easy but, more often than not, they’re bittersweet farewells to characters you’ve grown to love.

This gentle cycle is made all the more difficult because you take care of each spirit when they board your boat. You’re tasked with crafting a personal space for each character, preparing their preferred foods, and keeping them happy with plenty of hugs. Very much in keeping with the life sim formula, you’ll need to complete little tasks at all the boat’s different stations: cooking, crafting, farming, weaving, smelting and so on.

For example, you know that the majestic deer Gwen loves black coffee and, to give her a pick-me-up, you plan on making her one damn fine cup of joe. First you need to plant the coffee bean seeds, water them until they’re ready to harvest, and then take the beans to the kitchen to make the coffee. Gwen is a pretty serious character, but a cup of java always cheers her up. She’s happy, you’re happy, and you think maybe this game won’t make you cry after all? You’d be very much mistaken.

An exercise in multitasking

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