Spiritfall Review – Bashing Faces For Spiritual Enlightenment

I’ll be the first person to admit that Roguelike titles are getting dangerously close to being overdone, but I’ll be damned if I don’t just keep enjoying them. Many take an already established, fun set of mechanics and enhance them in interesting ways while delivering a creative and fun atmosphere to boot. Spiritfall is yet another roguelike that captivates me, and I’ll say it’s one of the more creative ones I’ve seen yet, too.

Spiritfall Fight
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

Spiritfall is a roguelike game that tasks you with reawakening ancient spirits and preventing their extinction by rogue forces. In typical roguelike fashion, it sends you out into procedurally generated rooms, picking up a different array of buffs and currencies and attempting to defeat a series of increasingly difficult bosses and levels, growing stronger in death as you buy permanent upgrades using the materials found in each run.

One of the first things I noticed about Spiritfall is that, to my absolute delight, the game does not want to hold your hand. By playing, you will learn how to play the game, including identifying each buff, currency, room, enemy type, etc. Though you’ll usually get it the first time you see something, there’s also an optional little journal to read to fully understand each new concept you run into.

For some games, this could be an absolute disaster. Still, Spiritfall is the right mix of simple and complicated to make discovering new mechanics, enemy types, spirits to empower you, etc, a fun experience. It encourages almost a sense of exploration each time you run into a new thing and adds to the overall excitement of the game.

Spiritfall Upgrades
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

Spiritfall stands out from a cookie-cutter roguelike with its combat mechanics. Spiritfall is a platforming beat-up, taking clear inspiration from giants in the genre and making great use of what they learned.

I could almost describe Spiritfall as Super Smash Bros with a roguelike twist.

Like its genre inspirations, Spiritfall has a pretty nuanced combat system. While it may seem simple at first, each of the game’s five weapons has its own movements, uses direction inputs, and launches attacks. Mastering the system for one weapon is a challenge on its own. The game even heavily incorporates air dashing, air attacks, and bouncing enemies off walls.

Spiritfall Fire
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

Beyond the gameplay, I’m a big fan of how the game presents itself. The whole thing has heavily spiritual undertones, connecting you to the spirits of nature and harnessing their gifts as you battle through the super-unique enemy types faced throughout the game. Even the weapons are original, operating outside the norm of how you expect them to in other games. My favorite example is the scythe, in which you fling the blade at foes and then whip them with the handle as if it were a staff.

I also appreciate the constant unspooling thread of things to unlock in the game. You’ve got new weapons, upgrades to said weapons, and passive upgrades from the spirits, which then unlock new masks with passive abilities and an upgrade track of their own. There’s a lot to do, constantly giving you something to work towards besides just finishing the game.

That being said, I was a little disappointed by the alternate, unlockable forms of the weapons. They seem to just ditch the game’s combo system for more directional-based inputs. If that doesn’t make sense, it’s because I didn’t really get it myself, but I was bummed after unlocking a few and finding out they were pretty similar.

I was most surprised by the game’s choices of bosses, which are both interesting mechanically and as characters. None more so than the ninja warriors you face in the second level. These three really caught my attention for some reason. Perhaps each one had to be defeated, and the order of which is a strategic choice in itself, as the last one becomes way stronger in the absence of his allies.

I’ll wrap up my near-endless praise of the game by saying that I also really, really enjoyed the music. At times, I would stop and just dash back and forth, vibing to the soundtrack. Dancing, if you will.

I’m not sure if this comparison will track, but Spiritfall reminded me of something you might find on Newgrounds back in the day. Something about the music, the art, the gameplay, it just harkons back to the feeling of finding some hidden gem on that website back then. Maybe the overwhelming sense of creativity reminds me of a community I valued for just that very thing.

Oh, and a message to the developers, should they be reading: I love Yara. I buy her mystery concoction every time, even knowing it’s probably going to debuff me.

Spiritfall Yara
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

The spiritual undertones, original weapons, and nuanced combat system contribute to the unique and enjoyable, Spiritful experience. The constant stream of unlockables, intriguing bosses, and a delightful soundtrack contribute to an overall enjoyable experience already set in stone by the love and solid mechanics put in by the devs. While I wasn’t in love with the unlockable extra weapon forms, my biggest complaint was that I wanted even more of what the game already offered.

The Final Word

Spiritfall is not just another roguelike; it’s a testament to the genre’s potential for innovation and enjoyment. With an exciting roadmap already teasing even more content to come, I’m excited to see more of the game, and I’m eagerly anticipating my next run.


9

Try Hard Guides was provided with a PC review copy of this game. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website! Spiritfall is available on Steam.

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