Unpause Asia

Gaming News, Reviews and Pew Pews

Indie Games

Spirittea – Run A Spirited Away Bathhouse

Is there such a thing as too many wholesome management/farming sims? Probably not. Especially ones that involve gorgeous Studio Ghibli themes. Spirittea is a game that’s full of lost spirits causing trouble. How to calm them down? Let’s open a bathhouse.

Much like other wonderful life and management sims you’ll be running a bathhouse. “Every spirit you can help will turn up at your bathhouse, where you can offer them towels, salts, snacks, and a lovely hot soak. Upgrading your bathhouse with new furniture, rooms and baths is key to attracting the most exciting spirits, including elusive Lord Spirits, who take up an entire room each.”

Yes, bring me those Spirited Away vibes!

Originally crowdfunded back in 2020, the game from Cheesemaster Games is being published by indie studio No More Robots. The publisher has announced a ‘Summer 2022’ release date but as of now, we have no exact date.

Spirittea is being developed for the Nintendo Switch and PC. Wishlist it on Steam now to get the updates.


The Premise Of Spirittea

The story of Spirittea is both familiar and fascinatingly original. The game sees you moving to an out-of-the-way, East-Asian-inspired village. You play as a writer who has moved to a small town in the countryside in hopes that the change of scenery will help you finish writing your book.  

Unfortunately for you, this particular town has been going through some difficult times due to natural disasters, strange accidents and mysterious occurrences. After drinking from an ancient teapot or the Spirittea, you gain the ability to temporarily see into the spirit world. It’s here that you discover that the town is haunted by a bunch of angry spirits. It is up to you to re-open the old bathhouse on the mountain where the spirits once rested, and to search high and low to find and convince them to soak their stress away.  


Bathhouse Management Sim

The gameplay will feel quite familiar to most management sim veterans. The first involves locating spirits. Finding the mischievous and angry spirits around town and inviting them to relax in your bathhouse is a major component of Spirittea. Every spirit will have a preferred place where they can be found and will have different criteria for calming them.  It could be as simple as giving a spirit a jar of peanut butter, or as difficult as following clues to dig up their lost treasure. 

Think of other creature-capturing style games, but replace combat with more of a puzzle element. And instead of randomly finding a creature in the tall grass you have to actively follow clues or rumours which can be both time and seasonally dependent.  

The second major component of Spirittea will of course be managing the bathhouse.  Spirits that you have previously found and invited to the bathhouse will show up randomly at the entrance, and it will be your job to ensure they have an enjoyable bathing experience.

A variety of factors can affect their overall experience.  For instance, spirits all belong to a particular season (spring, summer, fall or winter) and typically prefer to sit near spirits of certain seasons more than others.  At the end of their bath, they will reward the player with money depending on how pleased they were with their overall bathing experience.  

Lastly comes the life sim portion of the game where you can befriend locals who will task you with hidden activities or even give you rare items. You’ll be able to undergo some Animal Crossing style pursuits such as fishing, catching bugs and digging for treasure.


Spirittea Will Change Seasonally

To keep the flow of Spirittea ever-evolving things will change as time changes. There’s a day and night cycle as well as a seasonal cycle (spring, summer, autumn, winter).  In addition, the townsfolk in Spirittea will have daily routines.  Learning each character’s schedule and how they like to spend their time can be helpful when trying to befriend them.

Yearly festivals and events will be added to the game as it is being developed.  Some will be recognizable, such as Christmas, while other special events might be unique but partially based on a real-life celebration.