Thunder Lotus Games is a name you might’ve heard in passing a while back, likely around the release of their game Jotun, where the hand drawn, frame-by-frame art style wowed and dazzled players. \n \nNow, it seems like they’re back to their tricks given the E3 trailer debut of Spiritfarer, a game that is, quote, “a cozy management game about dying.” \n \nWith a tagline like that, it’s easy to suspect it of being a surprise horror fable like what we’ve seen of past games like Doki Doki Literature Club, but Thunder Lotus is a firm believer of face value. \n \nIn Spiritfarer, you play as Stella, the titular Spiritfarer, a sort of ferrymaster of the dead, minus the tattered cloak and giant scythe. Your job is the build and expand your boat across the endless seas. Mine, fish, cook, craft, and more as you care for your spirit passengers, with your cat Daffodil able to join in for two-player co-op, creating a “unique, endlessly varied adventure.” \n \nThe story is where Spiritfarer shines best, each spirit having their own tale to tell, their own relationship to build. While the game is billed as relaxing and cozy, the hardest part of the game isn’t the gameplay itself. It’s about the ultimate task we all learn at some point; how to let go. \n \n \n \nAs shown in the trailer, Spiritfarer is truly intent on tugging your heartstrings; as much as you love your companions, your relationship with them isn’t permanent. \n \nYou’re there to make their transition into the afterlife that much easier, and saying goodbye is never easy. \n \n \n \nThunder Lotus is also looking to bring more guided hands to the ship—their actual one. Currently they’re on the search for a Game Director and an Art Director. \n \nIf you think you have the skills and dedication, considering taking them up on their offer. \n \n \n \nThe studio says they’re built on three pillars; respect for the player, respect for the team, and respect for the craft. \n \nThere are certainly worse foundations for a studio to be built on, and their transparency and passion for who they are and what they do certainly sets them apart from the faceless giants or the studios who see only numbers rather than people. \n \nSpiritfarer is shaping up to be quite a sleeper hit, and will see a 2020 release date for Steam, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. As the game also asks, “what will you leave behind?” Until such a time that question can be answered, stay and play savvy, gamers.