Spirittea is an indie game that’s currently looking for funding on Kickstarter. It’s a game that recreates the feeling of trying to relax, but in reality you need to do a really stressful job that sort of ruins your holiday, whilst also making it so much better in a very odd way. Like all the Kickstarter projects I cover, I really love the look of this game, but you really need to read the ins and outs before you can make a proper judgement on it. Check out the trailer for Spirittea below and read on for more details.
In Spirittea you play as a writer who has moved to a small town in the countryside, with hopes of finishing your book thanks to the peaceful surroundings and tranquil environment. Sadly though, a set of natural disasters have meant that the town has experienced some tough times recently, with strange incidents and mysterious accidents cropping up everywhere. Since you’re the adventurous type, you go ahead and drink from an ancient teapot, which gives you the ability to temporarily see spirits, which reveals that the entire town is plagued with evil ones.
As a result of this new found gift, you head off into the nearby hills to open up the local bath house once again. This is where the spirits should go to wash off the stresses of the day, but because it has been in disrepair for so long they haven’t been able to, and so the spirits have turned evil. It’s down to you to locate all of these spirits, bring them to the bath house, and then soak the evil out of them in the hopes of restoring some good to the town.
Part of why I’m so excited about Spirittea is the gameplay, which revolves around you finishing this book. However, in order to write you need inspiration, and you only get that from completing different tasks throughout the day. One task can be locating a spirit, each of which has a preferred location where they hang out, and a specific criteria for both being captured, and being lured into relaxation. For some spirits you might just need to tempt them into the bath house with a jar of something yummy, like peanut butter, while others require more complicated solutions, like a treasure being found from scraps of map, and then dug up. This is the meat of the gameplay, and replaces any combat that would normally exist, forcing players to use their brains and uncover these spirits through clues in the world.
Another key component of Spirittea is managing the bath house. You can invite the spirits in, but once they’re through the doors it’s down to you to make sure they get the right treatments. A number of factors can influence what a spirit needs, and that in turn can affect the rewards you get from treating them in the bath house. If you do a bad job, you’ll get poor rewards, but do a good job and you’ll get some nice goodies, and maybe some clues to other spirits. This side of things really reminds me of the Studio Ghibli anime Spirited Away, which is amazing and you should watch it.
Spirittea is set in a small town, and just like any small town in a game, it’s filled with locals to get to know. These locals can give you information, but they’re also the source of new activities, like fishing, and ultimately they’ll become your friends if you work hard enough on them. Even if you don’t like people, it’s worth talking to people so that you can try out the other activities, such as digging for buried treasure, and catching bugs, just so you can be really sure that you hate them.
Other aspects of Spirittea include collectibles, and a charming minigame in which you control one of the town’s inhabitants as they head out to gather the tea leaves you need for your bath house treatments. The game is filled with other nuances, but I don’t want to spoil everything here for you. I think there’s a beauty to the discovery of mechanics in games like this, so all I’ll say is that this is the Kickstarter, and you should give it a look.
Spirittea Release Date
Right now, as long as the Kickstarter is successful, the plan is for Spirittea to launch in early access in January 2022. That might seem like a long way away, but you need to bear in mind that this is an ambitious game being built by one man. The early access will allow the game to be shaped by updates from players who care about it, and I think that’s the best way for indie games to release.
Let me know your thoughts on Spirittea in the comments.