The indie game developer Thunder Lotus Games authored three games, including Spiritfarer, which has a free demo on Steam. The demo is a delightful glimpse into what Steam calls a “cozy management game about dying.” Let’s talk about it.
Thunder Lotus Games
Thunder Lotus Games, the developers of Jotun and Sundered, pride themselves on creating AAA quality games with an indie heart. The games are hand-drawn and beautifully animated, with the theme of death coming up often.
Spiritfarer also talks about death, but it does so kindly and without any terror. The demo shows how the game is going to handle this topic.
A video game protagonist wakes up in an on-fire science lab with nothing but an AI and a high-tech gun to…
Spiritfarer’s Style and Gameplay
In Spiritfarer, you play as Stella, who seems to possess a magic sphere that helps them out in a lot of situations. A sweet cat Daffodil with a similar sphere follows you around, and the loading screen shows the cutest animation of Daffodil playing with the sphere. It is absolutely adorable.
Stella is clearly full of life and has a can-do attitude. Their movement is effortless and feels great to control. They can run, jump, slide down slopes, and even glide on their hat. Just moving around in this game is a lot of fun, and it feels like it helps us to understand who Stella is.
Stella can do a lot of things. You, as a player, are invited to fish, farm, cook, and direct your ferry toward new destinations. In the few locations you visit during the demo, you can trade, talk with strangers, and run around. You might also be able to collect some items.
To progress, you will build a couple extensions for the ferry, and you need to gain an extra skill to complete a couple quests.
Overall, the demo does a good job of demonstrating the key mechanics, but do not expect to be able to play around with them. You might be able to cook a couple meals and fish a little, but you will only be able to build two expansions and travel to two destinations. It might not be enough to figure out if you like the management aspects of the game, although it will probably leave you craving some more.
While short, the demo also offers a sweet story. Your friend, who is an ambiguous snake-like creature, is planning to leave this world, and they ask you for help. You help their dreams come true and direct your ferry to the unknown.
On the way, you also talk to other friends and find that their personalities are very different. Those personalities are shown through interactions with them, one of which is a hug. For such a small demo, there is a lot of character development.
Overall, the demo is worth experiencing despite its shortness. You should not judge Spiritfarer by the demo, but you can definitely get a taste of the storyline and mechanics and figure out if the game is for you.
Overall, the demo offers a sweet short story about friendship and saying goodbye, which is told in a gentle, soothing way by a kind character who is very pleasant to play as.
You can find the demo on Steam and play for yourself.