Is anyone here interested in this game?

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NTM

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I can't say that I have been after Sundered. I was a big fan of Jotun. The visuals, soundtrack, and boss fights really compelled me to see that all the way through (twice mind you, once on PC and again on Xbox One). Sundered on the other hand was disappointing to me, so Spiritfarer coming along, I hadn't really kept up with it. That said, I do know it's on Game Pass and its story is about coping with the loss of family and friends. I don't know much about how it plays, but since it is on Game Pass now, I am going to check it out. How about all of you? Review-wise, I've only seen that GameSpot gave it a 9.0. I am listening to the soundtrack on YouTube, and the composer, Max LL's message below the video says:

Spiritfarer is a project that’s very close to the heart for me and the talented team at Thunder Lotus Games. It’s a positive, colourful and serene adventure about life, grief and compassion, where you guide spirit friends to the afterlife after caring for them in their last moments. It's not only about saying goodbye to characters but reflecting on what they leave after they've gone. It hopes to help us better address and openly discuss the subject of death, a common reality we’re all faced with. The times we are living through have made the experience of writing music for this project all the more meaningful and I feel like Spiritfarer couldn’t have come at a better moment. The connections and relationships we develop with our friends and families stay with us, we have to treasure them, be more compassionate as individuals and a society, and better learn to say goodbye when the time comes.

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Rebel_Scum

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Looks pretty, but hard to say about the gameplay. What exactly is this game? Is the main part of it like a boat building thing and you have to explore and gather resources?

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Goboard

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I played it for about an hour so far and I'm enjoying it a bit. Since I'm still early on it's mostly been tutorializing, but the game revolves around gathering resources to make the structures which allow you to meet the needs/desires of the spirits your taking on. Then on a larger level your trying to accomplish certain goals so that the spirits that join you on the boat can move on. It has platforming of sorts, which is probably the weakest part, but it's mostly just for getting around and it's not a lot of what you do, at least so far. Also you can hug the spirits and your pet cat, which is always nice.

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Y2Ken

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I'm super looking forward to it - the initial reveal trailer ended up putting it pretty high on my "most anticipated" from last year's E3. It looks super pretty and pleasant, which is enough of a selling point for me. Generally the first impressions I'm seeing online are all really positive, too.

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glots

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The part about it being ”management sim” really didn’t perk my interest, but since it’s on Game Pass, I’m going to give it a try.

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Humanity

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@glots: Yah it’s on Game Pass so why not but otherwise I doubt I’d pick this up from everything I’ve seen.

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isomeri

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The visual style looks neat so I might give it a quick try on Game Pass if I find the time.

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AKTANE

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Yeah I think the art and the concept look neat, if the characters and story are good, I'll be happy to do some light chores or some light mgmt as gameplay. I'm curious to see how it plays.

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Mortimer

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Picked this up on Steam after seeing that it was from the Sundered/Jotun people, while also a completely different style of game. I'm enjoying it so far. The writing is on point, both funny and interesting. The art is good. I keep accidentally hugging the cat.

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Brian_

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From the couple of hours I've played so far, the management aspects are very simple and breezy. The entire game is really. There's not any intensive gameplay elements. It's more just a vehicle to deliver cute art and writing.

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hatking

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I played on a whim because it's on Game Pass, and was really surprised by it. I went in with no information. I had never heard of it before, and I think I only saw like one screenshot when I went to go download it.

It's a really chill sweet thing. No real combat. The management aspects are simple, but I could see that getting complicated as you have more guests you're trying to keep happy. You have to feed them all and they all have different requirements. I have one person who will eat anything, but another who can't eat the same thing twice in a row, and another who is vegan. I like the movement and momentum on the character's jump, but it hasn't been particularly demanding. One boss sequence had me jumping from segment to segment of a serpent, but if I missed I just fell in water and could get back to where I was with another jump. That said, I've upgraded the jump ability once already, so my guess is that things will get more demanding on that front.

The best way I can describe it is like the western localization of a Miyazaki movie. It speaks in vague terms, so you're not super clear on exactly what's happening, but everything looks cute and friendly so it's not intimidating. The writing has weird moments where it tries to tell more adult jokes, and that doesn't always land for me.

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cikame

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Toilet thoughts.
"If i was in world war 2 they'd call me Spiritfarer".

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Fezrock

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I started it on Gamepass after not having heard about it before at all. It's not quite what I expected, but it seems kinda neat so far.

The amount of management "plate spinning" has ramped up quite a bit already, and I expect that to continue now. So far I've been getting the sense that the management is the main thrust of the game actually, not the story. Though the writing has been decent. There's also some platforming, but its been super light so far.

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NTM

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#14  Edited By NTM

I played it for about an hour and a half after I posted this. I could tell that it's not really my kind of game so I uninstalled it after I was done playing it. It's not bad; it's fine, but yeah, not for me.

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MocBucket62

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I've only played a couple hours of it. While I haven't gotten much into the game I have really enjoyed my time with it so far. Game is beautiful with its animation and art direction. The music is incredibly pleasant to listen to. And yeah typically I'm not into management games either, but so far I'm digging the management aspects of this game figuring out which meals to prepare for each passenger, deciding which crops to grow and choosing which requests to do. So far its been a delight and I'm curious to see how the management aspect ramps up later in the game.

Will say, the hug mechanic might be the best game mechanic of 2020.

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hatking

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Played more of it over the last couple days. I'm a fan. I'll almost certainly see it through. It's a really endearing and positive take on grief, letting go, and coping with death. I have a friend who is an end-of-life doula, and it reminds me a lot of her work (I've been thinking about sending her this game).

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csl316

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Been trying to set aside time for it, but I might have to wait til I finish Ghost of Tsushima. I want to give this game my full attention.

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MunnyShh

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I was in love with the style when it was first revealed and am quite happy to see it suddenly available. It runs great on the Switch. I'm only a few hours in, but it's quite cozy and just what I've been looking for. Knowing that you were ferrying spirits to the afterlife, coping with loss in a upbeat atmosphere; It's something I know I could use to help keep grounded lately. I'll be playing it in shorts spurts as the weeks go on. I find the Hugs quite satisfying.

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clagnaught

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I still don’t really know what this game is from the Beastcast and watching the three trailers they have on the eShop.

“Oh it’s a narrative game”

“...But you build a boat”

“...And there’s...platforming”

“To send...ghosts...You have to upgrade your boat to have vegetables, and...”

I either need a Quick Look or a fifth “Here’s what this game is” thing. I don’t think it’s a super complicated hybrid game that mixes four different things together, but I just don’t know what you actually do in this game for some reason.

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hatking

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#20  Edited By hatking

@clagnaught: it’s not super complicated, but it does kind of combine those elements. You have a boat that serves as a home base of sorts, which you build facilities and housing on. On your boat, you’re hosting different characters who give you quests (usually revolving around building specific things for them). You sail from island to island to collect materials. This is done through simple tasks like mining, cutting down trees, and fishing. And you navigate the islands with some light platforming.

There are other simple systems around feeding (and hugging) your crew, farming, trading, and finding treasures. It’s all pretty light and whimsical. I don’t think you can really die, or that there are any fail states.

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Goboard

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Played around 8-10 hours so far, didn't realize this game was long, but turns out it's around 30 hours on average? The moment to moment is pretty good, always something to do that moves things forward, or at least feels that way. However I have run into a number of times where either the game expected me to do something or I had to be in the right place at the right time and it takes longer to trigger the next sequence in an event chain causing me to stall and not really know what to do to progress.

So far I've ferried two people, but also took on an additional 5 in the process of doing so. Given how long I've played so far it's still rather cryptic, especially after the first of the two people were taken to the everdoor. I'll likely keep going to the end, but I hope it smooths out the experience because it's starting to become clear why it's so long on average, and if it could avoid those pitfalls it would be a much better game for it.

@clagnaught It's a game about gathering resources, managing time to get and craft those resources so you can build structures on your boat for the passengers ultimately so you can fulfill requests for them so they can move on to the afterlife. The narrative comes in-between the gathering, crafting and building. You do all of this by moving the boat between discoverable islands and locations where the resources and passengers are found.

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Ulfhedinn

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I've decided to get it being a fan of Stardew Valley and so far so good.

Art style is beautiful and game is relaxing experience with interesting and well written characters, each one possessing different personality.
Also hugging animations are so full of warmth and i just can't stopped hugging them or playing with Daffodil.

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AKTANE

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Only put in a couple hours...Yo this game is really kinda nice and refreshing... especially in COVID times. Helping people, growing, cooking, I mean... Don't get me wrong, a lot of above is pressing A on something. It isn't complicated to play.

Then again I started sort of redesigning my boat to get the best "slope" design to better catch floating evil jellyfish so I guess it can get a little nuanced? Haha.

You really can't beat the simple hand drawn animations, I mean it looks so warm and human, soft edges

10/10 best hugging mechanic as well

I will be playing this as my new animal crossing for a while. Not that it scratches the same itch....in fact even though you've DONE every mechanic in the game, it kind of combines them in a really interesting way? It IS hard to describe actually. And while it isn't confusing, it does feel like you're sort of discovering things on your own because of the 'map? Level?' design.

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AKTANE

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Holy shit you can hug the cat (Daffodil)

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hatking

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#25  Edited By hatking

I’m much further into it now. Probably nearing the end. A few gripes with how particular some demands are and how little direction you have for finding materials. I went through a frustrating process of one character constantly demanding a specific dish, but one of the ingredients was in an area gated by a ship upgrade, which was gated by a story item. It was a lot of being confused about which materials I should be looking for and bouncing between islands I’d already explored until I happened to trigger the correct next part of a story line. This kind of thing exists on a smaller scale too, with a couple of the picky eater characters, who will scold you while you guess which items in your scattered inventory they’re willing to eat. It seems a little weird that somebody wouldn’t just tell me “hey, I love fried food but am allergic to shellfish.” Instead you end up buttoning through the same dialogue again and again. Especially once it begins to be impossible to keep track what you fed people last because nobody will eat the same thing twice in a row.

Minor gripes though mostly. And if you’re a little more patient than me, you might not be bothered by it. Otherwise I’m loving the vibe of the game. Probably my favorite experience of the year. I think this does share some DNA with Animal Crossing, but really highlights where I think AC fails. Characters with personalities that go beyond “I like bugs” and a rhythm that doesn’t feel artificially blown out with tedious wait times and bizarro restrictions (despite what I said earlier about chasing materials). It really does feel like a lived in space with characters you get to know and cohabitate with in a way that feels genuine. And while you’re certainly the captain of the ship, the way your passengers share knowledge and push you in the right direction, makes them all feel a whole lot more competent than neighbors in AC.

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Drachmalius

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I bought it on switch but have been focusing on finishing Yakuza Kiwami 2 before I put more time into Spiritfarer. Based on this thread it'll be a nice change of pace, I'm looking forward to a more chill experience. Animal Crossing isn't my jam but I like the idea of a 2D management game where you talk to and hug cute animals and ride a boat. Art style also is top notch

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Ulfhedinn

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After playing even some more it has become my go to game when I have time to play.
I do have different games to choose but being able to just chill and save and quit and any point is great.

Here's a tip aswell. Bus stations are fast travel points and you'll need them at some point, trust me :)

Have fun in Spiritfarer everyone, I'm having a blast.

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wollywoo

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#29  Edited By wollywoo

I'm a few hours in, and this game is very good. The animation is excellent. I love the main character's design - she is just so damn happy. And the gameplay loop is addicting and relaxing. Taking the basic elements of Harvest Moon and combining it with open exploration was an inspired idea. Some of the mini-games / challenges do get slightly repetitive, though - hopefully it doesn't wear on me too much as it goes on. Here's hoping the game does very well and the team can make a more ambitious sequel.

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Aistan

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I cannot give a recommendation to Spiritfarer.

Its largest problem is there is just way too much video game within it and it dilutes all attempts at story and character building because between each beat is an hour of cutting logs and watering crops and fishing and trying to do an inconsistent double jump between platforms to find secret treasure chests.

But also there isn't really a story. They give you less information about what is going on than any Dark Souls game does. I don't know what this world is, I don't know who Stella is. I don't know why she was given this job. I don't know what any of the background npcs are. I don't know what this cutscene character is or what any of the imagery shown within it means. I barely know anything about the characters that join the boat and you spend hours minutes spread over hours interacting with.

I also didn't really care about the majority of the characters. The first couple you get are pretty good, and there's one or two later that are interesting, but the rest are either just kind of there or are aggressively assholeish in their behavior that I eventually stopped interacting with them entirely other than doing their story quests as fast as I could to get rid of them. The one character I really grew attached to i'm not sure if that's because of the quality of the writing or because she coincidentally shared a name and many many (weirdly many) character traits with my current ttrpg character. If that personal connection wasn't created by the game at all but is just a fluke coincidence.

So when I was surprisingly given the option to end the game despite having three spirits left I haven't completed the stories of I took it, because I just didn't care anymore.

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Ulfhedinn

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@aistan said:

because I just didn't care anymore.

Game made me care about each and every Spirit and learning their stories is what kept me going.

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stantongrouse

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This game ended up leaving me with very mixed feelings. Loved the gameplay, animation and characterisation but felt the gating of new sections was often a drag, making the story nature of it too broken up. At at times to me it seemed like it couldn't quite decide exactly what it wanted to be, so is a very light version of many things rather than more focused game; sometimes that works, but here I felt the balance was a bit off. And, although I loved the characters and the writing for them, the narrative of the game seemed like it couldn't decide whether it was going to be overtly vague or overtly explicit with its wider story arc. At the end of the game I found myself feeling like I could have been told more by the writers, rather than less - I'm certainly not adverse to leaving things to the player to make up in their own mind, but the writers seem to have already created such a well realised universe for these characters it seemed a shame to leave so much for me to assume or conjure up in my own mind.

However, storytelling and narrative features are massively personal issues, and I can completely see how my personal gripes are another's reason to love this game. At two thirds of the way through playing this game I would have given it a hearty recommendation, by the end I still would - just with a couple of caveats attached. As a Gamepass game though, it's hard not to say give it a whirl.

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AKTANE

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@stantongrouse: we just beat it a couple days ago and I agree. The actual game / chore part of this game gets in the way of the massively good writing sometimes, mostly because it breaks it up too much when a quest needs you to do too many things that require planning or layered chores. I actually think (I say this very very seldom) a little more linearity and nudging on the open world would help. Towards the end I had a few tasks left but they felt like chores, at the beginning it felt more like spinning plates which was fun. If I'd have found one of those character earlier I think it would have been better. I also agree they don't quite explain enough but honestly I'm okay with that, it worked enough for me.

The game is also mad long! Like maybe a bit too long. Maybe.

But boy what a refreshing game it is! I absolutely loved the writing and I struggle to think of a game that is much better written than this one, it's top notch. I love the games tone, how the game simply doesn't let you kill things, and how high quality the animation truly is, and somehow you ALWAYS have something to do, you're never waiting for a crop to grow forever or getting bored. I didn't 100% it, though I could have and got real close. It's one of those games you end because it just feels right when you do.

Also the way the game makes you feel, the management part definitely plays into the story in a meaningful way and it is super effective. It really does help you let go in a positive way. I maintain the game is very special despite it's flaws.

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Aistan

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@aistan said:

because I just didn't care anymore.

Game made me care about each and every Spirit and learning their stories is what kept me going.

Cool

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BladeOfCreation

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This isn't really my kind of game, but I've been watching my roommate play it and enjoying it that way. The art is beautiful and the writing seems pretty good, although a lot of the characters come across as entitled pricks. I do agree with what @aistan about how it seems like there's more video game here than is necessary, but since I'm not the one playing it, it doesn't bother me that much.

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Goboard

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I finished it a week ago and with how high on it I was at the start compared to the low at the end I decided to give it time before trying to give my final thoughts. The first three hours are the best the game had to offer. Gwen, Summer and the early moments with Atul gave an impression that the remainder of the game could not sustain. It's ultimately a game where each of it's parts were at odds with another and was too long for it's own good. Due to all of that it became a game of disappointment by a thousand cuts.

The character that typified one aspect of my disappointment was Atul. He was one of the first 4 spirits I found and one of the last 5 to leave because a specific resource you need is tied to finding Stanley via fishing. He was on the ship so long and I could not progress any part of his story until I was able to get that resource that I gave up on him. I had not fished for several hours because I had caught or found so many I just didn't need to anymore, which needlessly held up Atul's progress for hours. In the end he "disappears" and you never get to take him to the Everdoor. If there is an in-game explanation for this it's lost on me because all of the above pushed away engagement with him that might have otherwise elucidated what happened. I instead had to read a wiki to find out, and even then I still don't know whether I missed something or if I just needed to harass him to talk to me to get the explanation.

During that time I learned that not feeding the spirits didn't impact the game in a meaningful way at all, just building their house/interior and fulfilling their quests so I stopped cooking. Mood only affects some small bonuses, which only sometimes materialize into resources, often ones I had more than enough of. This usually required talking to the spirit to even get the resource from a mood bonus, which would sometimes be prompted by a short blurb to call attention, other times not. You only need to feed the sheep so they don't screw-up your progress by eating cotton or linen you have growing.

But damn will Atul lose his shit when you enter a lightning storm, while also bringing the boat to a complete stop even if you don't need to do the event. The game goes hard to force your attention to those resource gathering events. Only option to avoid this is to chart a route around by setting a destination, waiting until your just outside the area that will trigger the event, then setting another. This is especially a problem in the early game where the boat is slow and you have very few bus stops to expedite movement. Bus Stops are also something that you wouldn't really want to engage with early on because that's when you really need to do most of the crafting.

Then there are the bugs, that put an extra hour to my playtime. The most egregious were the spirit quest progress ones. Giovanni and Elena were the two characters that this happened for, and Elena was by far the worst (she was also the second to last spirit I took to the Everdoor). For both of them there were instances where they had the exclamation for quest progress, I'd talk with them, their quest would progress via the notification in the upper right and in the quest menu. Then they would proceed to not go to the boat when I arrived at the Everdoor location. Quitting, going to a different area on the map, actually getting on the small boat to go to and then leave a location, nothing fixed it without doing one of those three things numerous times. I must have had a profoundly broken time with the game because I've not seen anyone else relay the same experience.

Stella can also get stuck under that small boat if you jump into the water next to it and the ice-like momentum of being in water slides her underneath it. Gotta quit and reload to fix that. In a number of cases, unless Stella is a certain height above a platform she can land on, she'll instead just fall through it. The first jump onto a roof during the tutorial was my first frustrating intro to the poor platforming in the game.

All of these things happen in a game where it's clear the priority is resource gathering and crafting over fulfilling the initial impression of it's premise. So little of it's mechanics do a successful of reinforcing the kind of care taking/giving that it's premise implies. Were the game shorter, had less resources, and centered more of the mechanics on regular and fulfilling interactions with the spirits I would have more than likely come away from it more positive, instead it just feels hollow. I gave the game far too much credit because of it's premise and my initial impression.

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Gundato

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#38  Edited By Gundato

Kind of surprised there is so much negativity toward it.

But I guess to add my own:

I only played for a few hours (just built the house for the sheep person) but mostly bounced off. I love the vibe even if it does the "cool/sophisitcated people smoke" bit that irks me massively (I acknowledge that is more a me thing but it is still an obnoxious shorthand) and building out your ship and managing crops was fun

But I just felt like it was too linear. Maybe it opened up later on but it felt like there were very specific rooms and upgrades I needed to progress and everything was geared toward getting that upgrade. And while the fun shaped rooms was cool at the start it very quickly became clear that these were more like puzzle pieces and there were "correct" layouts to fit everything. While not as egregious, it reminded me of Graveyard Keeper in that there is a very clearly defined path to progress along and deviating just wastes my time.

Like I said, I loved the vibes and think this is the kind of game the world needs right now. I just... don't like it as a game.

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AKTANE

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@gundato: I have to say I don't agree with the puzzle pieces comment, I always had way more room than I had anything to do with and just kind of made my boat however I wanted. I didnt get any lift out of min-maxing things, but also I guess I'm a "upgrade once you have the materials" kind of person so maybe thats why? But I beat the game and didn't feel like the order or shape or even proximity of the buildings played any role in the game whatsover... I don't even know what an "incorrect" layout would be

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Aistan

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#40  Edited By Aistan

Yeah the one thing I will say about the boat space is that if you're upgrading size regularly you will never run out. At the end of the game I had the entire top 1/3 of the buildable area completely empty.

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Ulfhedinn

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There's more then enough space when you get the biggest boat, it's just optimization.
Also puzzles didn't give me any headache but I see people talking about Elena's puzzles being the worst but I still haven't met her in my journey.

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Nodima

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Picked this up alongside Tony Hawk a couple weeks ago and finally getting around to it; I mostly really like it! My only real problem so far is that the Errands the traveling merchant sends you on and the lack of automation (at least to this point) on anything means I am constantly scrambling to be farming as many resources as possible from as many sources as possible, but that just means I now have certain people asking certain things of me that require materials I just don't have the ability to craft yet and they are constantly nagging me for it.

I've also got locations on the map marked New! that are behind tech gates and that's driving me pretty crazy as well. I wish when I needed certain things like, say, linen threads for this kitchen upgrade, I could highlight that item and find out exactly what I need to acquire that material. I enjoy most of the mini-games though I feel like they pop up too frequently, especially stuff like the quartz dragon who supplies me with a material I don't currently have any use for but I already have more than 100 of...maybe that'll pay off later?

None of my annoyances are deal breaking but I can tell it means I'm going to spend way more time with this game than most reasonable people do. I just can't resist stopping at every single spot that's renewed their resources so I'm really not fast traveling either since I could just fish and farm the long trips from bay to bay...

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frytup

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Finished it on Xbox this weekend. Based on achievement stats a really tiny percentage of people are getting anywhere near the end, which is a shame.

Some of the busywork could have been streamlined and I found the timing on a couple of the shrine abilities a bit annoying (screw you, bounce), but ultimately a really enjoyable game.

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SethMode

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@frytup: I imagine I'm similar to those dropping off. I love so much about the game, but just couldn't stand the busywork aspect especially when it falls into this unbalanced version of "play the video game/do the busy work" and "continue the story". It's a beautiful game in a lot of ways, but I don't know if I'll ever actually finish it.

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frytup

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@sethmode said:

@frytup: I imagine I'm similar to those dropping off. I love so much about the game, but just couldn't stand the busywork aspect especially when it falls into this unbalanced version of "play the video game/do the busy work" and "continue the story". It's a beautiful game in a lot of ways, but I don't know if I'll ever actually finish it.

Understandable. I have a fairly high tolerance for repetitive tasks if the game is clicking for me.

Not to drag the thread off topic, but if you're looking for a zero busywork game with a tight story and some good puzzle platforming, check out The Touryst. Also on Game Pass right now.

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SethMode

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@frytup: Thanks! I will probably need something to balance out my Spelunky 2 rage, so always looking for suggestions.

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Ulfhedinn

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It's all about routine and also who sleeps during night right? :D
I usually do traveling/requests and watering/picking up my produce during day and during night I smelt/smite/work in sawmill/fish
Currently working on my last upgrade so I can reach foggy areas so I'm close to the end.

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SepticShock

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I picked this up on gamepass and have been really enjoying it. I ran into what seems to be a game breaking bug though. The "guide line" that appears on the logs in the sawmill has disappeared. I can still cut the wood, but I usually just end up with a load of sawdust, because I can't properly see the guide line. Anyone else run into this?

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hatking

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@septicshock: did it disappear or was it never there? In order to get it to appear you have to talk to Atol. He’ll teach you how to use it, and then the marker appears. If you already did this, maybe try it again? Idk. That sounds rough.

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