Have you heard of the Lemmings? Lemmings was a videogame in the early 90's that introduced the a primitive form of the new genre of Real Time Strategy games to the world, a genre that has muted and changed a lot since then, but what if a game took the original formula and tried to replicate it as a puzzle game today? Spirits tries to emulate Lemmings in many ways, but tries also to improve on it. It tries to build a game based on the detailed and polished amazing graphics while having basic mechanics. The game has potential. But is it worth your time or not?
Space of Play, an indie game studio based in Germany, released the game in 2012, as they say on their website about this and future games such as Future Unfolding, their games are a mixture of stunning visual worlds and experimental gameplay. Spirits was nominated for various prizes and while his steam version didn't become so popular the mobile version definitely did.
We talked games that are more experiences multiple times but the difference there was the story that brought the game along the way, here the challenge the developers gave to themselves is to replicate that feeling but having it coming from the graphics and music. There will not be a story section due to the nature of the game. Shall we begin?
While the story is missing the gameplay is lacking too. That said this is a puzzle where over various levels your object will be to get as many spirits to the goal possible. You will do so by doing one of four actions with your spirits: creating a bridge, a blowing cloud, blocking wind or digging a tunnel; doing so will "kill" used spirit so your goal as said will be to complete the level with less actions possible. In some levels you will have multiple possibilities of beating the same level but that is limited to a few. Overall the gameplay is a trial and error of trying the different combinations to finish the level with the best score. The difficulty of the game, after the constant trial and error is that not only the puzzles are sometimes non intuitive but rather the controls that with a mouse feel weird and to get a good timing you need to be precise with your mouse more than on a Dark Souls game. The game becomes boring pretty fast but if you play short sessions once in a while it will be enjoyable. While this game is not what you'd first think of as a PC game, and of course it works better on mobile, it can be enjoyed under certain circumstances.
Music and Graphics
The hand drawn art style is gorgeous, the maybe a little bit overused glow effect mixed with the contrast between the elements on screen and the background really do give it a Studio Ghibli feel. With the limited content there is there sure did a great job to polish every element, every animation, everything. This looks good and sound good, the musics are relaxing and a good companion to the experience. But I don't think that this will carry on the whole game, the whole experience.
Worth it or not?
Platform: PC, Mobile- Android/iOS
Price: 3.99 $ as of 28.11.2018
Spirits is an experiment to build a game that is based over the graphics and music while not being a triple a company with ultimate realistic graphics but rather an animated one, very detailed and polished. This is a game to play, but on your phones when you don't have anything to do. The game is 45% worth it.
The worth it scale is set in base of how many people that will play the game will find their time on the game worth it, it doesn't include people not interested in the genre. This rating indicates 4 out of 10 people would find their time well spent, and one will be neutral.