During a media preview for Spiritfarer–an upcoming death positive game that sees you play as Stella, a ferrymaster to the afterlife–I played through a mid-section of the game and spoke to creative director Nicolas Guérin. I asked him what it was like to work on and release a project that deals with mortality and grief during a worldwide pandemic, when death is likely at the forefront of many people’s minds.
“It is scary at first,” Guérin told me. “Scary because it would be entirely possible that people don’t want to hear or talk about death anymore, being that much surrounded by it. But then, taking a step back, I believe maybe, maybe Spiritfarer could be a little bit of help.”
I was a bit surprised at my experience with Spiritfarer. We’ve seen quite a few games that deal with death positivity in the past few years, such as A Mortician’s Tale and Necrobarista. However, Spiritfarer takes on a much more transactional tone in how it asks players to take a hard look at the swirl of emotions that surround dying or caring for the recently deceased.