Platform: Android (Available via Google Play)
Publisher: Spaces of Play
A delightful and engaging little puzzler running towards the same ledge as Lemmings (in a good way), Spaces of Play’s Spirits is a winner. The earthy, Ghibli-esque art style is balanced by a light and airy sound track, making a relaxing experience embodied by an easy and accessible pick-up-and-play game.
Spirits starts you off simply and easily, getting you used to the gameplay of selecting one spirit to turn into a wind generator, a tunnel digger, a stalk of plant to walk up like stairs, or a wind break for guiding air currents. The object is to safely guide as many spirits as possible through each level to the exit. Tutorial levels let you know how to use these elements, but the game gets off the training wheels pretty quickly, which is excellent. There are also plants to collect on the way, adding a subtle, yet challenging, layer to the game.
One of the strongest aspects of this game is the organic motion of the sprites. The simple motion of them being blown in the wind is pretty uplifting, if you’ll excuse the pun. But seriously, if you were ever that kid that had a hard time getting your kite in the air, and then a nice gust of wind picked it up and sent it flying, well… this is pretty close to that.
Spirits is fun to play, the controls are solid, and there are a lot of levels, but if you plug in your earphones and give it a listen while your little guys get blown around, the magic really comes alive. There are no sound effects to speak of, but what is there is a dynamic sound track that follows cues from what is happening in the game. There isn’t a ton of differentiation in the sound track, but as this is a mobile game meant for pick-up-and-play, it doesn’t need a large library of tracks. The music starts up in the menu and helps to envelope you in the game, giving an immersive experience even for a game so simple.
There aren’t any real flaws to the game itself. The controls and physics are spot on, there are almost fifty levels (hopefully more will come), and the music creates a wonderfully relaxing atmosphere.
Spirits is available on Google Play for $2.99. I was able to snag it for $.99 during the final days of summer sale, so you might be able to wait for another a sale. While the price may be a deal breaker for some, Spirits is an excellent game that has won several awards, and if you loved Lemmings as a kid, then this is right up your alley.