PAX West 2019: Spiritfarer

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

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Spiritfarer | Isle Ahoy

Spiritfarer is a very different take on death. Normally we shun and avoid death, but in Spiritfarer, the story is all about welcoming and coming to terms with death. Which is a very different take from the fine folks at Thunder Lotus. But it makes sense, since you can only do edgy, violent games about life and death for so long without getting a bit worn out. So as much as I personally love games like Sundered, I’ve come to really respect what Spiritfarer is trying to accomplish.

Spiritfarer | Shopkeep

I won’t bore you by recounting what I’ve already covered about the game. Instead, this article will focus on how Spiritfarer is faring (see what I did there?) as of the PAX West demo. One of the cool things about the game was that I got to play it co-op with the lead creative force behind the art, Jo-Annie Gauthier. Since her art is part of the reason I was drawn to the game, it was especially cool interacting with her. The first time I played Spiritfarer, I was trying single player, but the game also works perfectly well with a pal. You can even have one player control most of the navigation aspects of the game, and the other can just enjoy the ride.

Spiritfarer | Night

Also different, this time I got to see the more climactic episodes available in the game. One took place when a swarm of ethereal jellyfish rushed our ship, and we were tasked with collecting several of them. That was as simple as touching them, but since these jellyfish could literally fly, this sequence took some quick platforming. I double jumped and hovered into swarms of them, since Spiritfarer is not a game where you have to fear dying.

Spiritfarer | Mining Ore

Another cool sequence happened when we came upon a sea dragon who was acting strange. Some sort of crystalline growths were harming it, so we had to leapfrog up its body and smash the crystals to pieces with our magic pickaxes. Both sections had wonderfully emotional music, and I was intrigued by all the strange happenings in the world of Spiritfarer. I noticed the ominous elements were colored a dark purple, and asked if that indicated some corruption, but was told that it more indicated sadness.

Spiritfarer | Goodbye

All in all, I had a fun time playing Spiritfarer, and can see it will be worth the hype. If you like laid back adventures with meaningful themes, you can eventually pick it up for PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One.


About Josh Speer

Josh is a passionate gamer, finding time to clock in around 30-40 hours of gaming a week. He discovered Operation Rainfall while avidly following the localization of the Big 3 Wii RPGs. He enjoys SHMUPS, Platformers, RPGs, Roguelikes and the occasional Fighter. He’s also an unashamedly giant Mega Man fan, having played the series since he was eight. As Head Editor and Review Manager, he spends far too much time editing reviews and random articles. In his limited spare time he devours indies whole and anticipates the release of quirky, unpredictable and innovative games.