The creative director of Spiritfarer, Nicholas Guérin, was at Ubisoft before he joined Thunder Lotus Games. During his time there, he worked on the Assassin’s Creed series, creating scenarios that would let players stab people in the neck in acts of vengeful fun. Wanting to create something nicer, Guérin joined Thunder Lotus to develop a game that approached the topic of death with compassion. Spiritfarer, a life sim about dying, does just 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. 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 are bittersweet farewells to characters you’ve grown to love.
You’re tasked with crafting a personal space for each resident, 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, etc.
Running around your boat to different stations, especially when you upgrade your boat a couple of sizes, is always a frenzied platforming spree of spinning, jumping, and gliding. Each station has a mini-game to keep things fun, like timing your weaving to make sure the needle lands on the target, or keeping the temperature in between two dials when you’re smelting. For a mostly peaceful game, there’s always a flurry of activity.
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