Spiritfarer is one of those firsts for me. I’ve never written about Spiritfarer before. And frankly, I’ve never written about the afterlife in one of the previous articles. Indeed, I’ve had plenty of other dark, morbid and sad themes to explore. Death, suicides and plenty of zombie apocalypses. But not the afterlife.
The Suicide Of Rachel Foster was one of those sad, somber games (and articles) last year. But frankly so were the Halloween articles we’ve had over the years. There’s plenty of death, killings and zombies in all of them. For the Halloween articles… Just go here.
But now it’s time for Spiritfarer.
What Is Spiritfarer? And What’s It All About?
Developed and published by Thunder Lotus Games, Spiritfarer is a cozy management game about dying. As ferrymaster to the deceased, build a boat to explore the world, care for your spirit friends. And release them into the afterlife. Moreover, The main character, Stella, becomes a “Spiritfarer”. Whose job is to ferry spirits of the deceased to the afterlife.
Spiritfarer is available for purchase here at IndieGala. Just click here and get it for yourself or your loved ones. But if you’re not interested in this particular game, then feel free to check out God Of War. It has similar topics and it’s also awesome. But in a different way. Get it here.
Our Curvy Games Winter Sale is still going strong. Check it out here and pick the best game from the sale now. There are over 40 games in the sale and yes. They’re amazing. So go ahead. Click, scroll and pick the one.
But What Are Some Of The Steam Games Saying About Spiritfarer?
We’ll get to the Steam comments in a second. Let’s take a look at the review of some of the finest gaming media outlets:
* “A beautiful and joyous journey about caring for others.” 9.0 – GameSpot
* “A thought-provoking and bittersweet adventure” 85 – PC Gamer
But on that note, Stardust says: The journey is definitely one worth savoring. I highly recommend this game to anyone who still has doubts about getting it.
And VersiusLvl. 100 Ass adds: My heart can’t take the bittersweet stories from each character… AND THEN YOU PUNCHED ME WITH THE ENDING AND CREDIT, I bawled. 10/10 money well spent and 100/10 music..
But let’s get back to the theme of this article. The afterlife. Here in Spiritfarer is a huge theme, but that’s the case of so many other video games, movies and TV shows. Let’s explore some of them.
Indeed. We’re not gonna dive into the religious, philosophical, or any other aspect of the possible existence of the afterlife. Whether you believe in the afterlife, (or don’t) it’s up to you. But right now in this article we’re gonna explore the cultural depiction and perception of the afterlife.
The Afterlife in Video Games
Here’s a fun fact. Published research on the very same theme does exist and yes. It’s already been published online. I was very happy when I found it. But the research has already been done by Kevin Richer, and it’s called GAME OVER… AND THEN? The Representation of Death and the Afterlife in Videogames. It’s a pretty good read I might add. And you can find some interesting points there.
For instance, The depiction of the afterlife in video games differs enormously. Some game worlds are perceived explicitly as the afterlife. While others are only covert or an implicit understanding of the life after. Those depictions are mostly a generic representation of the Christian concept of heaven and hell or Inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy and seldom by Greek mythology.
Greek Mythology And Reincarnation
So yeah, The afterlife has been a source of storytelling for a long time. So it is no surprise that some video games explore the concepts of what happens after people die. Therefore, many versions of the afterlife portrayed in video games are inspired by real-world mythology and religion. As one might assume.
And here are some great examples of the depiction of the afterlife in video games. Deadside From Shadow Man first comes to mind here. Shadow Man is a little-known game that has an African American protagonist in the middle of the story. And a lot of themes are buried from Voodoo practices which of course includes the afterlife. Furthermore, I Am Dead is another great example. It’s a cute, colorful, charming puzzle game about a ghost dog and a ghost, Lupton in the afterlife. Oh and there’s Hades from Kingdom Hearts 2. So of course Hades, the location of the River Styx where souls flow endlessly through the river of the dead is going to make in the article.
Spiritfarer, Nirvana, Afterlife…
Oh, we’re not done. Next, there’s Nirvana – Game of Life. Which focuses on reincarnation, living different lives, exploring different choices, being a supreme being and trying to break the cycle of life and death. And of course, there’s Afterlife. Where you have the assistance of Aria Goodhalo, an angel. And Jasper Wordsworth, a demon. But you play as a semi-omnipotent being known as a Demiurge, helping the powers that be, create a functional Heaven and Hell. Only to reward or punish the residents of these two places, allowing the afterlife to function properly. Which yeah. It does sound grim but amazing at the same time.
Evergate, Afterparty, Grim Fandango, God Of War….
Hey. We’re not done yet.…. Are you ready for more? You are? Good. Evergate takes you on a journey, looking at existence and trying to make sense of it. Or the meaning of life, or potential life lessons. And it depicts a type of afterlife that is both charming and punishing at the same time. Which is a nice and hopeful way of looking at the theme I might add.
Afterparty does fit the narrative, as it explores the afterlife. Also, Afterparty tries to answer the bigger questions with its own original view of a darkly funny afterlife, looking at relationships, growing up, and what it means to be a good person.
And let’s not forget about God Of War. Which we do have here at IndieGala and it’s just waiting for you to purchase it. But In God of War’s version of Hell, souls appear to be falling from the sky all the time while screaming in terror. Are you up for it? Good. Here it is. Dante’s Inferno is another great one. And so is the Doom game series, to be honest. Which we do also have here at IndieGala, and which we already wrote about. But I can’t help but mention Grim Fandango. And oldie game, but oh so good. In fact, it’s a personal favorite, and I’m only sorry that I discovered it later in life. It’s soo good. And It really acerbated my love for adventure games, that’s for sure.
Spiritfarer: The Afterlife In Movies And TV?
Well, the afterlife is a rather different story in movies and on TV. Compared to the gaming industry, the depiction and presentation… yeah it differs a lot. It’s not that nuanced, and a lot more creatively depicted. I guess the medium itself allows it. But it’s dominant in different types of genres. Not just in horror and fantasy. You can find the afterlife as a theme in comedies like Defending Your Life with Meryl Streep in the lead role. And in Disney’s Coco too. But one can’t forget perhaps the most famous depiction of the afterlife.
The classic that is A Christmas Carol. Indeed. There have been many adaptations of the iconic book, both on TV and on the silver screen and yes. We think it belongs here. Ghost is another classic example from the ’90s and so is the Sixth Sense. But when it comes to old Hollywood, one must not forget the Hollywood classic It’s a Wonderful Life. Is this Christmas classic about the afterlife? Sure it is! Jimmy Stewart’s character is visited by an angel, during a low part of his life, and you’ll easily find this movie on a very afterlife-themed list. But you can find Beetlejuice, All Dogs Go To Heaven, What Dreams May Come on the list too.
And what about the TV shows?
Well, there are some obvious choices here. And things are not that different from the movie section. Pretty much the same rules apply here, but it’s a much lengthy concept. Afterlife is a great example, and we’re thinking of the British series with Lesley Sharp in the lead role. The Returned is also a great one, but one of my favorites is and always will be Pushing Daisies. The Bryan Fuller TV series deals with bringing the dead back to life, resurrection and the afterlife. And it has the talented Lee Pace in the lead role. What’s not to like? The Good Place is also a good choice here. And so is Constantine. Which honestly could fit in both of the brackets. Movies and TV since there’s a movie adaptation of the iconic comic book. And a TV one too as you may already know.
But when it comes to the personal favorites, Dead Like Me has to be on the top. It’s a quirky, funny and thought-provoking TV show (another Bryan Fuller one) despite being filled with dead people. And yeah. Supernatural fits nicely here, and Medium too. Do you remember Medium? It was a great TV show I might add. But from one of the more current ones, I’d have to go with The Leftovers and Russian Doll. How great is Natasha Lyonne as the woman who’s stuck in an endless loop of death and reincarnation? Amazing.
Spiritfarer: Are You A Fan?
Let us know if you are a fan of Spiritfarer. And what’s your favorite video game that has the afterlife as a theme? We’d love to know all about it.