Spiritfarer
ALL THE GAMES! If you're into the sportsball and moving the thing into the place, talk about it here. Or maybe you'd rather just lob some rockets and tally some headshots - in that case, I'll show you to your white room after you put on this white long-sleeve coat.

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Neo
The One
Posts: 11005
Joined: 30 Jan 2004, 16:44
Location: Plano, TX

Spiritfarer

by Neo » 05 Feb 2024, 09:45



Spiritfarer is a "cozy management game about dying". What a tagline, eh? But it is exactly that. It's a very chill game where you take over the captain's duty from Charon of ferrying spirits through their afterlife to the "everdoor". And you get to do it with a CAT as a pet (and local co-op 2nd player option)!

Along the way, you meet up with around a dozen different characters who have a different perspective on their past life, and work with them as they come to terms with their own mortality. Some offer minigames to award specific resources, some gift you things randomly during the journey, and some have requests that bring you to special events.

As you board more characters to your boat, you earn the tokens to unlock more abilities, allowing you to access hard-to-reach parts of locations. As you disembark the characters, you earn the tokens to improve your boat's buildings, size, and abilities allowing you to reach obstructed parts of the map.

You can grow a garden, field, and orchard; raise cows & sheep; craft various types of materials; and/or just sit and fish from the back of the boat when ever you want. You get to make food for the characters to discover their likes, dislikes, and favorites; build them houses and improvements to houses; and some will even give you new buildings you can't get otherwise.

It's available on Nintendo Switch, XBOX, Playstation, and Steam.
"Because I choose to."
[[Neo]]

User avatar
Neo
The One
Posts: 11005
Joined: 30 Jan 2004, 16:44
Location: Plano, TX

Re: Spiritfarer

by Neo » 05 Feb 2024, 10:06

===== Spoilers have been hidden below. Highlight/Select the text to reveal them. =====

I started playing this game on my Steam Deck as an emulated game (before realizing it was available on Steam), and aside from the bugs that come with emulation, this was a great game. I enjoyed the music, the art, the chill nature where nothing matters all that much, and the struggle to get resources is purely because you have to go find them the first time. Resource propagation thereafter makes everything a smooth ride.

At first, I found myself wanting to fish, then garden and cook, and eventually I was just trying to complete all the quests because I had more resources (except for one) than I needed. The game consumed much of my free time and made the Steam Deck purchase completely worthwhile. At 175 hours, I had done all of the content up through the v1.8 that was in my emulated game, but there was still 1/3 of the map that I hadn't explored. Looking into it, it turned out I was missing an update they released, thinking that v1.8 was newer than v1.14 (I guess because that's not how decimals work, and it's been so long since I have numbered versions). That portion of the map never gets revealed (a couple new islands are added to the existing map instead), but the updates do add 3 new characters, and a little more than 4 hours of content (that is, if you've already got tons of resources from effectively beating the game prior to their release).

Just under 180 hours: that is how long it took to complete Spiritfarer.

During the last couple in-game days I noticed that when you return to the "Everdoor" waters, the ghosts appear next to their respective houses, and you can hug them. I don't know if this was always the case, or if it was part of the update, or if it's triggered after delivering a number of spirits to the end. This was especially poignant for me having just faced the reality that I will have to go through the door myself at some point to end the game. Having played it for so many hours, and contemplating the implications of the game, I got a little choked up as I went to hug the ones that I had already delivered from earlier in the game (which felt so long ago by this point).

I managed to knock out the 3 new characters' requests from the intervening updates in a couple IRL days, and after delivering them to the Everdoor, and seeing my Request Completion reaching 98% (with a few remaining quests to cleanup) I started trying to get everything done that I wanted to before ending the game. For example, I tried to craft all my fabric supplies into cloth, but there was just SO much stuff, and when you have to sell every piece with an individual button click, it just wasn't worth it at the end. I had over 500k in currency, but had a TON of stuff left over to sell. There was no point to selling it because I couldn't do anything with the currency or the items; it was the actual end of the game with nothing more to do. It was a very real pointer to "Why? You can't take it with you. So what does it matter?"

I tried to cook the favorite food of the remaining character and offer it, but they had already eaten recently and I couldn't give it to them. I decided none of it mattered much anymore, and I'd go ahead and end the game. It never occured to me until then, but since you can't overfeed or over-hug them, this time it served as a soft "you're done here, let's go..." wall/hinderance. As I was about to end the game, another quest appeared in the mailbox, so I went ahead and did that one as well. It happened to also be the last one in the series, so that added a good bit of finality to it all.

I went to hug all the ghosts one last time, but unlike the first time I did it (where it was a sad reminder of the gametime past), this time it was a somewhat happy feeling. It was strange how that feeling changed, and it made ending the game feel slightly more enjoyable (as I don't really like to end games if I can keep going for some reason).

When it was time, I boarded the little boat with the cat and rowed to the Everdoor. The trip there was silent, since there wasn't anyone talking to the character. It gives you time to think about the journey, all the trips before, and the finality of what's about to happen. I was surprisingly unmoved by this journey to the door, it just seemed to linger. That was until the character got up to hug the cat. I swear these hugs seem to linger for an extra second or two. It hit me harder, seeing that the cat and I were going together at the end, and that the cat probably had no idea what was going on for any of it. They both ascended, then the constellation drew out the cat followed by the star hat around it, and finally the credits roll with actual lyrics to the song that had been playing the whole game. It was really moving, and I just sat there until it rolled back to the main menu.

I think the last game I completed to the end on a console controller was probably NES's Legend of Zelda back in the 90s. I can't think of another game at all that was as moving. I don't remember why I had wanted to play it on my wife's Switch. I know that I enjoyed the art direction, and was interested in the concept of just floating along on a boat you can customize. I probably thought I about how I would arrange the boat differently, and I have always enjoyed resource management games and stuff.

This was a good game.
"Because I choose to."
[[Neo]]

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