Review – Spiritfarer is one of the prettiest games to play in 2020

by Nathan Dutil

Marcelo Jabulas | @mjabulas – The mythological vision of Charon, the boatman of Hades, is dark and frightening. In his canoe, he takes souls beyond the world. Throughout history, the character has always been portrayed in a playful manner. The representation of Charon in Michelangelo’s fresco The Last Judgment reveals a grotesque and miserly being.

In Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, the boatman is a hideous creature with fiery eyes, who always reaches out his left hand to collect the tribute of the dead. However, it was in this being of little sympathy that Thunder Lotus Games created Stella, the protagonist of Spiritfarer, a game that debuted in the second half of August for PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch and Google. Stadia.

The story

In Spiritfarer, Stella is the boatman of souls. But the young girl has neither fiery eyes nor bestial forms described by Florentine geniuses. Rather the opposite. Stella was chosen to be the Spiritualist, which literally translates to Spiritualist.

Your mission is to navigate in search of spirits and lead them to Heaven. The young Argonaut has the company of Jonquille, a cat, which we can say is the representation of the Cerberus, the dog with several heads, who does not let the dead escape from hell.

the cat and the boat

But the daffodil, which is the name of the narcissus flower in Portuguese, is far from a monstrous creature. In fact, everything in Spiritfarer is simple. Even the good-natured bull who runs the shipyard, where Stella can improve her ship.

Spiritfarer, game by Thunder Lotus

And speaking of the boat, Stella’s ship is a surreal vehicle in which she can build different rooms and facilities to satisfy the desires of the spirits, which are shaped like hominid animals. Over time, the ship becomes a sort of village.

Gameplay

In order to deliver the last wills of these lost souls across the map, the player must collect resources. Fish, cultivate, obtain wood and other inputs. Just like any strategy or survival game. However, with a very light theme. They are the ones who guarantee the expansion of the ship.

The protagonist has a sphere of light that transforms into different tools. Fishing rod, rowing and everything she needs to help her in her mission. Its cartoonish graphics, as well as the smooth soundtrack, create a simple environment. There is no violence in the game. Even in night navigation, when it is possible to collect specters, the game is not scary.

Reaching the goals is not difficult. The game offers a lot of dialogue which is worth reading. Although not translated into Portuguese, the conversations give meaning to the game. They reveal the dramas of the characters and enrich the story. Without them, it would be just to take one element here, another there, build there and that’s it.

Spiritfarer, game by Thunder Lotus

Last word

Spiritfarer is a different game from the usual productions. He has his own dynamic, he doesn’t race against the clock or put the player on the ropes all the time. It talks about death, which is a constant element in the vast majority of games. Death, like in many games, runs the storyline, but in a different way. Stella does not destroy her enemies.

In this game, death is not the hero’s punishment on the villain or the stronger on the weaker. On the contrary, it saves spirits, is deployed for those who grant their last wishes. It is a game that opens up a space for philosophical discussions on the subject.

In a way, this is what the boatman has always tried to show in mythology, but without the proper recognition of the story. After all, fearing death is easier than trying to figure it out.

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