Another highlight from Microsoft’s E3 conference is Spiritfarer. The developer is Thunder Lotus, the studio behind Jotun and Sundered. Spiritfarer maintains the same detailed and appealing art style as Thunder Lotus’ other games, but with a more upbeat tone.
In Spiritfarer, you play as Stella, a woman whose job is to ferry the deceased to their final destination. The goal is to “build a boat to explore the world, then befriend and care for spirits before finally releasing them into the afterlife. Farm, mine, fish, harvest, cook, and craft your way across mystical seas. Join the adventure as Daffodil the cat, in two-player cooperative play. Spend relaxing quality time with your spirit passengers, create lasting memories, and, ultimately, learn how to say goodbye to your cherished friends.”
Despite the boat-building and resource-foraging aspects, Spiritfarer seems focused more on its emotional connections between the player and the spirits Stella ferries from one side of the mortal coil to the next. Players can upgrade their boat and get to know their passengers before having to say goodbye. The game’s creative director, Nicolas Guérin, describes Spiritfarer as “a positive game about loss, friendship, empathy, and what is left behind”.
A trademark of Thunder Lotus’ other titles, Spiritfarer also has a strong emphasis on its presentation. From the vibrant colours, to the energetic animation to the emotional score, the game is maintaining the high artistic standards set by Sundered and Jotun.
Spiritfarer is scheduled to release on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch in 2020.