Review: Spiritfarer explained to parents

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What parents need to know

Spiritfarer is a Montreal-based indie management game about death in a poetic and colorful universe. You play as Stella, a soul smuggler accompanied by her cat Daffodil. Stella is entrusted by Charon with the mission of accompanying souls to eternal rest. Aboard her ship, she will sail the mysterious seas of the in-between world in search of wandering souls and resources. His main quest will be to take care of the spirits before guiding them to the afterlife.

This game gives you the opportunity to grow, fish, harvest so you can cook and make everything you will need to cross the mystical seas of the interworld. Relax for hours in front of a cozy and relaxing game. Spiritfarer also gives the option to experience the adventure in a two-player cooperative game as Daffodil, Stella’s faithful companion. Our character can move from left to right, jump, run, hover, slide and use different tools.

In this adventure, we are immersed in a magical and comforting world despite the theme. The graphics are beautiful and they remind us of animated films. Storytelling is at the heart of this adventure game between platform and management. In this adventure, our heroine Stella will be entrusted with a boat that we will be able to improve throughout the game in order to best welcome souls in search of eternal rest. Each soul encountered is unique. They are in the form of a totem animal corresponding to its past life and have a personality and a history of their own. Over the course of the adventures, we will meet different spirits whose stories will allow us to advance in the game. Our main role is to help these souls fulfill their last wishes before moving on to the afterlife. We are therefore entrusted with many quests and we will also ensure the comfort of the souls staying aboard our boat. Stella must therefore satisfy the needs of her guests on a daily basis. This involves building and improving their homes, but also preparing their favorite dishes and chatting with them. The social dimension is very important here. The stories are profound, touching and full of humanity. Souls are revealed through the adventures and quests entrusted to us.

The management of the ship is one of the essential points of the game. Indeed, there are many daily tasks to complete on board. Time is punctuated by a cycle of day and night during which we will navigate, complete quests and collect different resources that we will be able to transform later. These materials will make it possible to improve our ship and build housing and other amenities such as the kitchen, the vegetable garden or the sawmill. We will be able to combine our food resources in order to prepare good dishes for our guests.

As a Spiritfarer you will be able to explore a magical and mysterious world. By navigating between the different points on the map. We will be able to go to different places such as villages with wonderful scenery to meet its inhabitants and merchants or meet new souls to guide. Other places are just harvesting points where you can recover various resources such as wood or minerals. As you explore the waters, the map is gradually revealed. Some areas are blocked and will be accessible by improving our boat. Beyond taking care of your residents or harvesting resources, it is interesting to explore this world in depth. The positive point is that between two destinations you can optimize your time by doing other activities on board such as fishing for example.

The world of the game strongly evokes the animated films of Ghibli and Disney studios taking us back to our childhood. This plunges us into a certain nostalgia contributing strongly to the whole poetic dimension of Spiritfarer. The beautiful music is also very soft and melancholic and is always in perfect coherence with the moments of the game.


Release date: 18 August 2020

Developed by: Thunder Lotus Games
Published by: Thunder Lotus Games
Available on: Nintendo Switch (tested version), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, MacOS, Linux, IOS and Android (for Netflix users).

Game Type: Management / Adventure
Theme: Death, mourning
Total life of the game: about 30 hours to finish the game and about a hundred hours to discover everything the game has to offer you.

Business model: Unit sale

Available languages: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese
Number of players: 1-2 (offers a cooperative mode)

Available in digital format (download on console or computer)

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Violence, fear, nudity?
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The game does not feature any scenes of violence.

Minimum reading level required
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Storytelling and dialogue are at the heart of the game. This is done in rather short sentences.

Language level used
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A very varied language ranging from very sustained to rude depending on the character of the NPCs.

Positive message
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Positive message about death and grief. The game advocates beautiful values such as empathy, listening and mutual aid. However, we note the presence of tobacco in some NPCs.

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Easy. The game is intuitive even for neophytes and a catalog of help and tips is available to players in the pause menu.

Minimum level of execution on the controller required
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Does not require so much execution to evolve in the game. It’s pretty easy to handle for those who have never played. The controls are well explained and it’s intuitive.

Additional costs ?
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Our opinion

We were able to test on the Nintendo Switch console. Previously, this game only existed in digital version. The physical version was released a year after its release. The Farwell Edition is the final version of the game including the base game, its three free updates as well as new content.

Our character controls himself very well and it will be possible to unlock certain abilities by evolving in the game such as gliding. This will give you access to previously inaccessible areas of the game. One of the great highlights of the game is its beauty. Indeed, Spiritfarer offers you a colorful visual reminiscent of animated films and hand-drawn graphics plunging us into a dreamlike dimension. The game is very fluid and takes on a horizontal platform game aspect scrolling. We take great pleasure in running through the platforming levels and exploring this world with sublime scenery very well thought out by its creators.

Spiritfarer seems to be previously thought in solo mode, but still offers a two-player cooperative mode by embodying the cat Daffodil. What is well thought out in this mode is that instead of splitting the screen in two the field of vision widens. Both players can explore freely and divide tasks while enjoying the beautiful landscapes. On the first version of the game, we could encounter bugs during the co-op mode, but these have been fixed in the last updates. Each activity on board is in the form of a mini game, the downside is that with a large amount of materials to transform it can become redundant. As we move forward in the game, the moments of navigation can also sometimes seem a little long despite the proposed solutions speeding up our journey such as the bus.

The creators of Spiritfarer characterize it as “A game to learn how to say goodbye”. Indeed, here we deal with the theme of death and mourning. This theme, which may seem difficult at first, has been very well addressed. Melancholy is certainly present in the game, but it gives it a moving and poetic dimension. Here, we learn notions such as separation, grief and acceptance. Souls take the form of animals and are all endowed with a story and personality of their own. We gradually learn to discover them and we end up getting attached to them knowing that we will have to say goodbye to them. The role of the Spiritfarer is to accompany souls, but also, to help them welcome death by leaving their past and their regrets. The social dimension is therefore very important. The dialogues are neat and bring a dimension of emotions and depth to the game.

Spiritfarer offers us a unique experience. The game is of great beauty both by its visual aspect and the message delivered. It is also of great playability and will allow you to live a poetic adventure and full of emotions. It is a mature game that is aimed more at a teen to adult audience. I also recommend it if you are a beginner player. Indeed, the designers have thought of everything! A catalog of help and tips is now available in the pause menu. Spiritfarer is perfect for a moment of relaxation however if you are looking for an action or fighting game, this is not what you will find here. Indeed, it is a game devoid of violence, based on mutual aid and empathy. We evolve in serenity, contemplation and exploration while sharing good times with complex and endearing characters. Spiritfarer offers us a universe perfectly balanced between sweetness and bitterness, helping to deliver a beautiful message. We strongly encourage you to try it and in addition it is a Quebec creation!

More info about the game: Official website of the game