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Stella is the spiritfarer, and she captains a large boat to ease the dead into whatever comes next. Most of the characters on the ship, picked up throughout the game’s watercolor world, are Stella’s friends and family. It’s not a restarting point, with a loss of time and progress, as if you’ve run out of life neatly calculated in a counter […] The main character, Stella, becomes a "Spiritfarer" whose job is to ferry spirits of the deceased to the afterlife. Check out Spiritfarer if you are looking for something a little more emotionally soothing between trying to smash your way out of the Underworld in Hades. Spiritfarer, Thunder Lotus’ latest release, bears their established 2D style. Her large, but initially simple, vessel is her way of doing so. I’d prefer not to think about death. Spiritfarer is a cosy management sim where you help the recently dead come to terms with their lost lives. After a brief appearance at the beginning of Spiritfarer, Charon’s own time has come, and he passes along the role of taking the dead on their final journey to you, Stella, and her cat Daffodil. There’s something to be learned about the spirits on the boat with each resource mined or meal served. The dedicated ‘hug’ action says all you need to know about this game. If you want to see the very best of the best for your platform(s) of choice, check out Polygon Essentials. You play as Stella who has been appointed as the new “Spiritfarer”, a modern retelling of Greek Mythology and the River Styx. In 2017, he jumped at the chance to join studio Thunder Lotus to lead the Spiritfarer development team. Their stories unwind as they’re tended to. Because he's already passed through the Everdoor, he can't go again. Death doesn’t come at the tip of a bullet, with numbers accumulating on a scoreboard. Spiritfarer aims less to send a specific message than to explore different angles. It’s not a restarting point, with a loss of time and progress, as if you’ve run out of life neatly calculated in a counter […] Spiritfarer is pitched as a ‘cozy management game about death’. It identifies her as the Spiritfarer, and gives her some special abilities, like using energy as if it were a physical tool. 2020 Has Broken Me So Here’s Grogu Watching All Our Favorite Things on TV, Things We Saw Today: You Can Watch Another Wonder Woman on HBO Max Right Now, 2020 Has Broken Me So Here's Grogu Watching All Our Favorite Things on TV, Nintendo Year in Review Reminds Me of My Saving Grace During a Truly Mentally Taxing Year. We caught up with developers Thunder Lotus Games to discuss how the game tackles death. He ponders whether she was hoping to conquer death or grow accustomed to it for when her time came. Resources collected throughout the world are brought back to the ship and processed through these additions to the boat, whether that’s turning sugar and flour into a cake, or flattening glass into sheets. Spiritfarer Easter Eggs: Star Wars, Dungeons and Dragons, & More. And none of the spirits are purely good or bad; some are people leaving a mess behind for others to grapple with. The spirits talk about what they’re afraid of, or the things they’ve done wrong in their past. However, as an Aries, I love to find a new game to take my attention, and right now, it’s Thunder Lotus Games’ Spiritfarer, and it is full of feels. In Spiritfarer, you play Stella, who is, in essence, a video game version of Charon the ferryman who carries the dead across the River Styx in Greek mythology. Stella is the new Spiritfarer after all, and it’s her job to care for them and to see their final requests fulfilled before they depart forever. OnlySP sat down with Jo-Annie Gauthier, the art director at Thunder Lotus Game, to play through the demo at PAX West 2019. Some people think of death as an ending, while others view it as a beginning. But it's not what you're thinking. Death doesn’t come at the tip of a bullet, with numbers accumulating on a scoreboard. You play as Stella who has been appointed as the new “Spiritfarer”, a modern retelling of Greek Mythology and the River Styx. The act of dying, which we often see in video games, is less important than what happens after death in this story. You play as Stella, whose job is to take dying spirits through the Everdoor to their final death, when they’re ready. One of my favorite things about Spiritfarer, and in a sense the saddest part, is that hugging becomes a way to bond with the spirits. It’s a heavy subject — something I try not to think about usually, since it’s a constant source of dread for me (especially now between a worldwide pandemic and the ever-constant threat of climate change). Some have puzzles gated behind abilities learned later in the game, while others are only necessary for gathering materials. Of course, this is far from the only game to deal with death and grief, but rather than playing as a character who cuts through enemies, struggles to cope with a loss or both , Spiritfarer never basks in the dismal. Spiritfarer launched Aug. 18 on Linux, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One; it is coming later to Google Stadia. Spiritfarer is a game explicitly about death — about confronting it, what the people we lose leave behind, and how we move on without them. In Spiritfarer we explore the mysterious ways of parting with your living self. It is a wonderful complement to the sometimes isolating space that this terrible year has been. And then there’s the oil, necessary for frying the chicken — that must be harvested from sunflower seeds grown from the flowers in the garden, which are crushed down into an oil. These additions, which include orchards and a massive crusher for grinding things to dust, stack precariously on top of one another, a slow game of Tetris, as shapes get more complex and harder to fit in the constrained space of the ship. Stella controls the boat through a map at the ship’s helm, but there’s no need for players to guide it through the world. She can rest assured knowing that she made their journey to the afterlife easier. You get tasked to become the Spiritfarer. Now there’s Spiritfarer, a game about death and grief, a theme developer Thunder Lotus Games led with throughout its development and marketing: “a cozy management game about dying.”. You build your own boat and explore this new world, befriending and caring for spirits before helping them pass on into the afterlife. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Spiritfarer.. As the Spiritfarer, Stella meets a variety of spirits that are on their way to the afterlife. Spiritfarer, developed and published by Thunder Lotus Games, is a relaxing management game about death. Spiritfarer, an upcoming indie adventure game from Thunder Lotus, is all about dealing with death. Honestly, it might seem silly in these times to be soothed by a game about death, but Spiritfarer seems oddly necessary. Spiritfarer, a life sim about dying, does exactly that. Every spirit Stella takes on has to pass through the Evergate, their death no less inevitable in this strange purgatory they’ve all found themselves within. Now it has received a surprise release, with a portion of the games media having been playing it for the past two weeks. Spiritfarer has a lot to say about both life and death, and the way it says it is largely well done. In Spiritfarer you play as Stella, a young girl with the eponymous job of Spiritfarer, helping a fantastic cast of animal passengers to be content and tie up loose ends before their final voyage beyond death and through the Everdoor. When we award a game the Polygon Recommends badge, it’s because we believe the title is uniquely thought-provoking, entertaining, inventive or fun — and worth fitting into your schedule. But they do help the spirits come to terms with their deaths, and ease them into the afterlife as they work through their own grief, anger, and confusion. Instead, Stella learned about Buck through her sister, who was friends with him before his untimely death during their teenage years. Each has their own story with challenges to overcome or memories that make it difficult to move on. Almost every day, I am thankful for my Nintendo Switch. I know that death is not neat, that there is no bow to tie up my own personal grief. Death doesn’t come at the tip of a bullet, with numbers accumulating on a scoreboard. When medicine could no longer help them. Despite the sombre content, Spiritfarer is a joy to play. In Spiritfarer, you play Stella, who is, in essence, a video game version of Charon the ferryman who carries the dead across the River Styx in Greek mythology. Death is natural. You play Spiritfarer Stella, the mistress of the ferry to the deceased. When Stella reaches her destination, she’s able to hop on a dinghy to reach the islands, which vary in what they offer. Thunder Lotus Games’ Spiritfarer is described as a "cozy game about death," and it’s an apt description. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. One of the oldest embodiments of death is the ancient Greek boatman Charon, who ferried souls across the River Styx and into the underworld. Stella is the spiritfarer, and she captains a large boat to ease the dead into whatever comes next. The main character, Stella, becomes a "Spiritfarer" whose job is to ferry spirits of the deceased to the afterlife. Atul, Stella’s late uncle that appears as a frog, loves pork chops and fried chicken. That might seem a little grim for a simulation game, but Spiritfarer isn’t a typical entry in the genre. Email us. Some are not, but each has something they need — something Stella must provide. The game was reviewed on PC using a download code provided by Thunder Lotus. Gwen grew up in a dysfunctional yet aristocratic household, having a strained relationship with her father. Stella. The play may seem mundane and repetitive, but the role of the spiritfarer, caring for these people in their deaths, gives each action depth. Sit down and speak to the flowers when you can. Hugging is one of the few things you can’t do in Animal Crossing, so doing it in this game honestly makes me so happy. Helping a spirit become ready to go involves cooking for them, hugging them, and building them a home on your enormous houseboat. Some people think of death as an ending, while others view it as a beginning. The concept of death usually isn’t a comfortable one. Spiritfarer uses a soft, watercolor style to introduce a darker concept of death, a concept that should not actually be considered dark after all. In 2017, he jumped at the chance to join studio Thunder Lotus to lead the Spiritfarer development team. Next: Spiritfarer: Where to Find Every Gem Location Spiritfarer is … In Spiritfarer you play as Stella, a young girl with the eponymous job of Spiritfarer, helping a fantastic cast of animal passengers to be content and tie up loose ends before their final voyage beyond death and through the Everdoor. While this is a story of death and loss on its face, this game gives us a path of living life in its minutia, all the way to the end. It’s the perfect game. You play as Stella, whose job is to take dying spirits through the Everdoor to their final death, when they’re ready. We have connections that we could be building and nurturing even as we maintain social distance—which is important because there are still people we love here. Spiritfarer is an indie management sim and sandbox action game developed and published by Canadian studio Thunder Lotus Games and released for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Stadia on August 18, 2020. Spiritfarer aims less to send a specific message than to explore different angles. This is where the “cozy management” of “a cozy management game about dying” comes in. She can come off as sarcastic and apathetic, likely an armor she wore since a young age. 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