What do you get when you cross Stardew Valley with 2003 Studio Ghibli movie Spirited Away? The answer’s Spirittea, a new indie game in development where you play a writer struggling to finish their book, who moves to a small country town and takes over a bath house – only to discover it’s populated with grumpy spirits that need some help.
Spirittea has landed on Kickstarter with a fundraising campaign and is developed by Cheesemaster Games, creator of Fables of Talumos. The game’s premise is pretty simple – you need to track down troubled spirits around the town and offer them some assistance by completing tasks and inviting them to the the bath house you’ve re-opened. However, while you might be able to help some spirits just by gifting them a simple jar of peanut butter, others will require a little more effort, in the form of treasure hunts and puzzles that can be “seasonally-dependent.”
All the while you’ll need to manage the bath house successfully, with spirits rewarding you with money depending on how their stay was. You’ll also need get your novel written, but don’t worry – your experiences in the town should provide you with all the inspiration you need.
Similarly to Stardew Valley, you’ll also get to explore the town and surroundings in Spirittea, make friends with the locals, and jump into activities like fishing, bug catching, and digging for treasure. There’s even a platform-style mini game where you’ll collect tea leaves – and avoid the pesky wildlife trying to stop you.
Dan Beckerton, the Canada-based dev behind Cheesemaster, says he plans to release Spirittea initially on Steam in Early Access, with an anticipated release date of January 2022, though “it’s possible the game will be ready for Early Access before then.” He says he wants to “ensure that Spirittea contains hours of unique content by the time it is launched into Early Access (with regular content patches to follow).”
Spirittea has already gained £1,903 ($2,495) of its £10,530 ($13,804) funding goal at the time of writing, with 22 days to go before the January 31 deadline. To find out more about the Spirittea Kickstarter campaign, head over to its page here, and check out some screenshots, details on backer rewards, and more.