Spiritfarer is a cosy management game about dying, developed and published by Thunder Lotus Games, an independent game studio based in Montreal, Canada. The game was released in 2020 for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.


In Spiritfarer, players take on the role of Stella, a young woman who becomes a "Spiritfarer," a ferrymaster for the deceased tasked with guiding spirits to the afterlife.

  • Management: Players must build and manage a boat to accommodate the needs of the spirit passengers, crafting rooms, cooking meals, and fulfilling their final requests.
  • Exploration: The game features a vast, beautiful world to explore, filled with islands to visit, resources to gather, and characters to meet.
  • Relationships: As players care for their spirit passengers, they form deep, emotional connections with them, learning their stories and helping them come to terms with their past and their journey to the afterlife.
  • Minigames: Various minigames, such as fishing, cooking, and crafting, add depth and variety to the gameplay experience.

The game features a stunning, hand-drawn art style, with vibrant colours and detailed characters that bring the world of Spiritfarer to life.

Themes and Emotions

At its core, Spiritfarer is a game about empathy, compassion, and learning to say goodbye. Through the stories of the spirit passengers, the game explores themes of love, loss, regret, and acceptance.

The game's gentle, comforting atmosphere and heartfelt narrative create a unique and emotional experience that resonates with players long after the final credits roll.


Spiritfarer received critical acclaim upon release, with praise directed at its beautiful art style, emotional storytelling, and engaging management gameplay. Critics noted that the game's handling of difficult themes, such as death and grief, was both sensitive and impactful.

The game won several awards, including Games for Impact at The Game Awards 2020 and Best Indie Game at the Famitsu Dengeki Game Awards 2020.

Fun Facts

  • Spiritfarer's development team drew inspiration from personal experiences with loss and grief, as well as various cultural and mythological traditions surrounding death and the afterlife.
  • The game features a diverse cast of characters, each with their own unique personalities, stories, and visual designs.
  • Throughout the game, players can collect "Sprite" creatures, small, adorable animals that can help with various tasks on the boat.
  • Spiritfarer supports cooperative multiplayer, allowing a second player to join as Daffodil, Stella's cat companion, to help with tasks and exploration.

Spiritfarer is a testament to the power of video games as a medium for exploring profound and emotional themes. Its success showcases Thunder Lotus Games' commitment to creating beautiful, meaningful experiences that resonate with players on a deep, personal level.