Spirits (PC) Review

By Athanasios 02.08.2019

Review for Spirits on PC

Long before it eventually became Rockstar North (yes, that Rockstar North), DMA crafted one of the biggest classics of the puzzle genre, the 1991 Lemmings. A good game? Certainly! A successful one? Yup! A must-have? …Not really. Lemmings is a niche puzzler that some will love, and some will hate, mainly due to how demanding it was, requiring pixel-perfect accuracy from the player. Spirits tries to be a "spiritual" (pun shamefully intended) sequel of sorts, with little cute and bright, well, spirits (duh), rather than a bunch of rodents with funny hair. The most important bit, though, isn't the change of cast, and all around look, but how different the gameplay is, despite these two basically following the shame concept, of having to lead a team of creatures towards a portal.

The goal in Lemmings? Help the titular, pixel-y animals reach the exit of the stage. The problem? Once they started walking, these suicidal morons could not stop on their own volition. The only way to change direction? Have another lemming block their path, build a staircase, dig a hole in the ground, and many, many, many more. Spirits is pretty much the same deal, with the difference that the eponymous beings aren't that skilled.

These bright fellows only have a handful of abilities, which revolve around creating stairs, digging through obstacles, and manipulating wind. This makes the gameplay less complicated, but it also oversimplifies everything by not leaving much room for experimentation, which was one of the best elements of the aforementioned classic puzzler. Yes, this time around the player can also choose the direction that abilities will be used towards, but in the end that doesn't really help much.

Screenshot for Spirits on PC

Ok, so this is a lot simpler than Lemmings. Is that really such a big deal? After all, great level design can make even the simplest of games shine. Does that happen here? Sadly, the answer is no. In all honesty, though, the mediocre level design isn't the biggest issue here - the challenge is, or, more specifically, the way challenge is handled. You see, Spirits mostly revolves around physics, namely wind... and wind is everything but a predictable element.

Lemmings could be unbelievably tough at times - but it was fair. It required insane accuracy from the player, but its game mechanics were trustworthy. In here you are a slave to gusts of wind that are very hard to "read," a problem that essentially turns this into an annoying trial-and-error experience, with luck being quite the strong factor, something that rarely goes well in a puzzle game, especially one such as this. Just stick to Lemmings... it even looks better despite its age.

Screenshot for Spirits on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Sadly, Spirits is nothing more than a mediocre Lemmings rip-off; one that's has less variety in its mechanics and overall look (1991 pixel art FTW!), but mostly one that's just not that fun to play, mostly because of how it relies more in trial-and-error-ing through its badly implemented physics, rather than smart, skilful planning.

Developer

Spaces of Play UG

Publisher

Spaces of Play UG

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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