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Spiritfarer looks like utterly magical heartbreak

Floating friends

Fishing at sunrise in Spiritfarer
Image credit: Thunder Lotus Games

I wouldn’t blame you for having missed Spiritfarer’s trailer at E3 this week, which came right after Keanu Reeves’ surprise appearance at the Microsoft press conference. But still, now that it’s the weekend and things are calming down a bit, it’s the perfect time to take a look at its pleasant management-y-ness and beautiful skybox. According to its trailer, which you can see below, its key verbs are “build, care, explore,” which are all lovely. And you can hug a deer, a long term ambition of mine.

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Look at it all! It's gorgeous, and you can build up your boat village, make friends with all kinds of talking animals, bake cakes, pull weeds, find strange monuments, get caught up in some kind of lightning storm, and—

Excuse me? "Learn how to say goodbye?"

Yes, death is an ever-present spectre in Spiritfarer. But it’s still a “cozy" game, developers Thunder Lotus Games insist. Though you’ll be carrying your spirit friends towards the afterlife, it’ll be nice to spend time with them while you do so, before kindly letting them go onto whatever comes next. As a premise, it still seems nicer than the unceremonious way Animal Crossing villagers abandon you for greener pastures, so I think I'll be able to get over the losses. I love how cheery our protagonist is throughout, too, giving me hope that they can balance the sweetness and the sadness in the game.

Oh, and you can play as the cat, Daffodil, in co-op, so all is forgiven.

Spiritfarer is scheduled to release in 2020, but you can find out more by whisking yourself away to its Steam page.

See our E3 2019 tag for more news, previews, opinions, and increasingly surreal liveblogs.

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