Spirit of the North
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|6/10, based on 1 review
|7.6/10 - 9 votes
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|Best Casual Games, Puzzle Games, Best Indie Games, Fox Games
Video games have evolved to the point they are no longer just for fun, but they also are artistic experiences to behold. Spirit of the North is one of the games that proves just how far these artistic experiences have come. Developed by the small indie game developer Infuse Studio along with Merge Games, it’s a narrative experience unique in its kind.
These artistic games have become almost a genre of their own, and they are always taking us into new incredible experiences. These titles often rely on the narrative, emotional impact, and the narrative to move on the game experience. And Spirit of the North is one of these games. But is it anything more than a pretty game to watch? Well, let's talk about it and see if the game is up to its beauty.
Spirit of the North is more of an artistic experience than a video game. Its setting is based on nordic folklore, and it aims more to guide the experience through basic actions and interactions with the environment. We start this adventure not knowing anything about why we are in the middle of the snow, or how we even got there. Playing as a fox, we follow the mysterious crimson stele in the night sky.
A complete mystery
The complete environment and story of Spirit of the North is a mystery, we don't get explanations early on in the story. And we don't even get any dialogue as the game progresses, we just keep moving forward in the fantastic oniric adventure. There's no narrative line, leaving the plot very open for the players' interpretation.
Since there's really no explanation, dialogue, nor even narration, we don't fully get to understand what it is all about. But the fantasy beings that guide our adventure seem to be aiming at some sort of soul-redeeming story.
While no dialogues guide us in the game, a spirit fox is guiding us in the wild and through the oniric experience. This will also help us when later on we obtain new abilities and powers that will aid us in our travels. We also use these abilities to solve the very basic puzzles we encounter at varied points throughout the experience.
Spirit of the North is a really beautiful game, a visually stunning experience, and a lovely adventure. However it does fall short in many aspects, even though it is really easy, the controls are stiff and a bit awkward. We play as a fox, and we'd expect some level of agile and fast move, that's lacking here.
These kinds of games are always compared with the standard quality level of the artistic experiences in gaming: Journey. Both share incredible visual styles, but Journey still takes it all to the next level, and even without dialogues, it delivers a clearer story and experience.
Spirit of the North is, at some level, a walking simulator game, and as such, it depends on a lot of different elements to make it not boring. It looks beautiful, that's for sure, but there's really not much of a narrative. The soundtrack is solid, but it can get pretty repetitive and, while beautiful, it gets old really fast.
- Visually beautiful
- Interesting oniric setting
- Nice soundtrack
- Jaggy performance
- Slow gameplay
- Too easy
- Repetitive, yet beautiful, soundtrack
- Below average controls