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Hug your spirit friends in the demo for Spiritfarer, a game about the afterlife

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A demo for upcoming adventure and management game Spiritfarer is free to download on Steam for a few days as part of the Spring Game Festival, and if you're in the mood for hugging, it's the demo for you.

In Spiritfarer, you play as an infinitely cheerful ferrymaster who shuttles spirits around before releasing them into the afterlife. The section available in the demo is full of activities: You can fish off the back of your ferry, cook up your catches, chat and share meals with your spirit passengers, pet your cat, ring your boat's bell (very important), do some light gardening, and, of course, offer hugs. Having a dedicated hug option in the interaction menu is decidedly charming. 

This is just a small bite of Spiritfarer, which the developers say will take at least 30 hours to finish, and "hundreds" of hours to fully explore. We'll see if that claim holds up when it releases, but regardless of its length, the demo is promising. It's easy to see how meeting new spirits, forming friendships, hopping around platforming levels, and improving our ferry could be engrossing.

Spiritfarer should release sometime later this year, and the demo will be available for four days. For more, Lauren wrote about her experience with the game at PAX West last year.

Speaking of conventions, GDC 2020 would've taken place in San Francisco this week, but was cancelled due to the coronavirus emergency. The Steam demos releasing this week represent an alternative way indie games can be discovered, and you can find more of them in the Steam Game Festival hub.

Tyler Wilde
Tyler Wilde

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley alongside Apple and Microsoft, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early personal computers his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. After work, he practices boxing and adds to his 1,200 hours in Rocket League.