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Quick Look: Spiritfarer

Get yourself a boat, plant some crops, add a few wayward spirits and you've got a great time for everyone.

Sit back and enjoy as the Giant Bomb team takes an unedited look at the latest video games.

Aug. 27 2020

Cast: Vinny, Alex

Posted by: Vinny

In This Episode:

Spiritfarer

41 Comments

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bathala

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this was the video that caught me on the Direct

good thing this is on Gamepass

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WorldDude

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Maybe it speaks more to the state of...everything right now, but this game is exactly what I needed right now. I hope more people get to check this out.

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schonebaby

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Started on Gamepass yesterday, seems pretty fantastic!

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LumpOfDeformity

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Is it just me or does this game have too much content? I've spent 10 hours with it and I've had a blast. Unfortunately, once all the complexity is layered on, the coziness factor kinda disappears. It feels like there's so much left to do, upgrade and explore while I can't shake the feeling I should be entering late game by now.

Is it just me? Am I just entering my boomer years and cool kids love them long-ass treadmills? I kinda feel guilty having this problem but it is what it is.

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Subscryber

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Edited By Subscryber

This game is like Animal Crossing but actually good. The animation and writing are top-notch. If you can't tell, I really do not like these types of games, but the presentation is so good that this just really works for me. It also helps that the mechanics all work together in an excellent loop, so that there's a satisfying, though still relaxing, feeling of juggling tasks.

Everything about this game is incredibly relaxing, but it's not at the cost of thoughtful, unique gameplay.

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ZeroCrescent

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Return of the Hug button!

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development

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Edited By development

Oh, no. This game is gonna make me a cry a lot isn't it?

Everything about the sound design reminds me of Hollow Knight. Wonder if there is some crossover talent there.

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permanentsigh

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Hugging an animal is better than petting it

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dsouvannarath

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I absolutely adore this game.

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hatking

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Edited By hatking

Omg I'm in the final stretch and had no idea this game had coop.

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Y2Ken

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I'm in love with this game's aesthetic, as soon as they showed it at E3 last year I was instantly enamoured. It's just such a... nice thing. Even removed from current circumstance I think I'd have been all for it.

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thepullquotes

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Oh, no. This game is gonna make me a cry a lot isn't it?

very much so.

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GoldGreg

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Edited By GoldGreg

@y2ken: Yes! I instantly fell in love with the look of it. It reminds me of the YAWHG (spelling?) for some reason.

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hatking

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Edited By hatking

@lumpofdeformity: So nothing in this game on its own is all that complex, but when you end up with several passengers and dozens of quests, each with different crafting requirements, and ambiguous directions to islands you're supposed to visit, it gets really overwhelming really quickly. My biggest piece of advice is to focus on one or two passengers. This game isn't about fail states, so if you forget to hug somebody or feed them for a day or two, it's not like they're going to leave the boat. Once you start finishing quest lines, it gets a lot less difficult to manage. At its worst I had around seven passengers while also trying to figure out some of the late game crafting trees, but being restricted from some materials because of missing ship upgrades. I kind of lost that feeling of coziness too, but I think that's because I was trying to "play" it too much like a video game. Instead, just have conversations with characters and follow that through. If you hit a wall, move on to somebody else, reminding yourself that there's no fail state or time limit here, and inevitably you'll start making headway and getting upgrades you need.

I think the game definitely is asking the player to find some peace here. Dying is a messy process, and so when you're trying to comfort these characters in their final moments, you're taking on some of that burden. The game works best when you allow yourself to breathe, and take things on thoughtfully. It's intimidating when it's bundled together, but piece by piece it's very approachable. And I think that's the point.

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WorldDude

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Is it just me or does this game have too much content? I've spent 10 hours with it and I've had a blast. Unfortunately, once all the complexity is layered on, the coziness factor kinda disappears. It feels like there's so much left to do, upgrade and explore while I can't shake the feeling I should be entering late game by now.

Is it just me? Am I just entering my boomer years and cool kids love them long-ass treadmills? I kinda feel guilty having this problem but it is what it is.

I was worried about that happening and it can definitely be a little overwhelming at first, but as Vinny mentioned in the QL, there aren't really any penalties to any of the mechanics and no real time limit to worry about, so I felt comfortable taking my time. Your plants won't die if they aren't watered, you can leave cooked food in the oven as long as you need, etc. The only thing you need to stay on top of is feeding the characters on a regular basis to keep them happy, but even then it's a minimal commitment beyond remembering their likes/dislikes, especially if you build up a large food supply.

As someone who finds games like Stardew Valley very stressful and not relaxing at all, Spiritfarer really scratched the itch of having those key elements but not putting much pressure on you to do anything but play at your own pace.

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ghost_cat

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This looks really cool, and it's on game pass too!

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Scubasteve1974

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Fantastic music in this.

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cognitivedissonance

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I'm slightly disappointed that neither of them had gotten to say goodbye to any character yet, just because I feel like it's a pretty emotional experience (at least it was for me) that goes along with the coziness of the general gameplay. For people considering it, just know that this game also has some very heavy dialogue sequences interspersed in it. Which I think is great, but if you aren't in a place to get emotional you probably won't get the most out of the game.

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MissAshley

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This just shot up to the top of my priority list of games. I'm not sure when I'll be able to make time for it since the semester just started, but make time for it I will.

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LumpOfDeformity

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This game is like Animal Crossing but actually good.

Everything about this game is incredibly relaxing, but it's not at the cost of thoughtful, unique gameplay.

I'd say the new Animal Crossing is much better at structuring stress-free progression and not overwhelming you with 50 different things you will have to grind for. Challenging grind goals was never the part that stresses me about games, having a lot of these goals to keep track of is what gives me anxiety :P Having said that, a lot of people seem to find it relaxing nonetheless so I may just be the weird one out :)

As someone who finds games like Stardew Valley very stressful and not relaxing at all, Spiritfarer really scratched the itch of having those key elements but not putting much pressure on you to do anything but play at your own pace.

I'm on the opposite side of that spectrum. Stardew or Astroneer are so chill because there's hardly anything propelling you forward apart from the goals you set for yourself. Having a story is making me so stressed that I'm doing things wrong. Fucking things up suddenly matters a lot when the well-being of my family-friends is on the line :)

Ultimately, not loving Spiritfarer is primarily my own fault. I love Dark Souls so it's not like I can't do anxiety-inducing. I saw the screenshot and primed myself for a purely chill experience and Spiritfarer is this weird hybrid of hardcore survival games and chill narrative experiences :) If that sounds good to anyone reading this, I can recommend it 100% despite personal reservations :)

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alternate

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Shut up Karen!

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Achenar

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Looking forward to the podcast when they help someone pass over. Also when Alex gets fast travel working.

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Booger89

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Super chill and fun game. God i love gamepass more and more

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VinniyH

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Is it just me or does this game have too much content? I've spent 10 hours with it and I've had a blast. Unfortunately, once all the complexity is layered on, the coziness factor kinda disappears. It feels like there's so much left to do, upgrade and explore while I can't shake the feeling I should be entering late game by now.

Is it just me? Am I just entering my boomer years and cool kids love them long-ass treadmills? I kinda feel guilty having this problem but it is what it is.

I felt the same and for all Thunder Lotus games (Sundered and I spent 35 hours and for this one I am already close to 20 hours) especially they are most not full-price games. So I guess my expectation was blown out from the price tag where I was expecting something like Journey.

The game does wear out after I figure out how to get the resource for upgrading the ship to get to the place you can't access on the map, and now I am more focusing on progressing the story but still in a chill fashion. However, all the upgrade/resource/mini-games just become a somewhat 'painful' chore. This is more exploration and emotional story game and the farm part eventually just becomes dull.

I happened to do the same as Alex, play the game chunk by chunk. I find it is really enjoyable and I do get bored if I play it longer than 2 hours. For story games, I am usually a one sitting start to finish kind of person. As for the long-ass game these days, they do grow in size tremendously. From not being able to fit in one sitting to not being able to fit for the weekend(consider a dedicated player can spend 10-15 hours when a new game released where these long games are easily 40+ hours). I felt that we are going in the wrong direction for a super long-ass story game as the most recent Shawn Layden comment on long games.

That could also be just how I approach these games where my other friends who play them at a more casual pace doesn't seem to have this problem.

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MovieFlask

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Had no clue there was co-op until this Quick Look. Really chill game I play about 1-2 hours a night and then move onto something else. The characters are all really unique and the game is now really opening up for me (I just took my first character to the bridge). The music will stick in your head too. Especially if you take some time at night to play/sing to your crops.

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DrStrangepork

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Man, I need to get my eyes checked. I thought it said Squirtfarter.

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casual_alcoholic

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This was one of my favorite games of the year, super addicting game play loop and felt pretty engaged all the way through. I clocked the last achievement a little over the 30 hour mark, and I absolutely would have kept playing if there had been more to do.

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adamcboyd

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The UX for this game is great! I am not into the gameplay at all but the design is very thought out. I like that.

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Mortimer

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Edited By Mortimer

This game, courtesy of Gwen, has my all time favourite insult:

"You are the reason people have middle fingers."

She is my god damn spirit animal.

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iconclastman

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@vinny Fishing tip (I learned online as I was having trouble). Instead of fully releasing, tap the button to ease pressure but still keep the fish from going further away.

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99bajakid

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Hugging an animal is better than petting it

truth! I had a husky growing up that would hug me back (well put it's front paws over my shoulders), it was some of my favorite memories of that dog.. that and it pulling me on my roller blades as a kid :D

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bludgeonParagon

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If you're looking for a good time with a sedate experience and have Game Pass, this game is an absolute no-brainer. Tonally it has this really incredible marriage between cozy whimsy and heavier themes (family, regret, death and loss etc.) that remind me a lot of a Miyazaki or Hosoda production. (The music also really helps in this regard)

This is very much 100% a session game though - couple hours at a time, I would not expect people to stay engaged for long enough to constantly binge this. The narrative just has too much down-time for that to be reasonable.

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TreesPlease

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Hug That Crazy Psychopomp!

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Aires

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Oh, I'm going to get this for the Switch. This just seems great.

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Rigas

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geirr

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Remember the hug button from the remake of A Boy and his Blob? Good times.

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Limeade_5

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Bring your friends. This is some warm, fuzzy content.

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jamjarjar

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The character animations are gorgeous

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watershreder

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i just know when alex and vinny meet in person, a hug will be involved cat or not. this is a good game.

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108

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Spitfarter.