Early Thoughts on Spirittea

An adorable new bathhouse simulator

Early Thoughts on Spirittea
Source: CheeseMaster Games on X.

Spirittea from Cheesemaster Games is, on the surface, another town sim. Instead of farming, you run a bathhouse for the local spirits, and they pay you in currency left at shrines all around town. You can also catch bugs or fish on days the bathhouse needs renovation. It's a nice ASMR experience watching all these different seasonal ghosts come in and out while leaving their coins. Plus, it's the only game where laundry is fun. 

Bath time!

In a town that you can name, as a person you design, you have arrived from the big city, prepared to work on your fantasy novel (this character already understands me). Most of the residents talk about strange happenings like a boat getting vandalized and plants growing in an apartment bathtub. A few are scared, while others note the phenomena with growing frustration. They confide in you while not knowing the answer, and you also wonder what you will do. 

When you drink from the teapot left in your new home, a cat appears. His name is Wonyan, and he is the spirit caretaker for the bathhouse. It turns out that the old human caretaker used to live in your place, and it's your job to help open the baths up for business again. The spirits are causing mischief around the town and are the reason that the locals are dealing with these strange visitations. You have to find each spirit, defuse them, and invite them as a customer to the bathhouse. To see them, however, you need to keep making tea and buying it from the local tea lady, so you better save up your coins!

Source: Press Kit.

Initial impressions

The Spirited Away vibe is strong, and not just because the setting is at a bathhouse with spirits that wish to cleanse themselves of the world that humans have created. You have a character entering a new perspective thanks to a tea that literally provides it, and the means of making both the real and spirit world better with your gestures of kindness. If you want to up the ante, you can invest in upgrades for the bathhouse to ensure everyone has a tub they like, meals on demand, and the space to soak. 

Wonyan is a perfect mentor and tutorial character. He reminds me a lot of Cerberus from Cardcaptor Sakura, being cute and ill-at-ease but providing the knowledge we need as we go around town trying to reason with the spirits and help people on their quests. While we don't know if he has a magnificent form that we will unlock later, we do know that he's on our side and is a good guide. There are hints about his mysterious backstory and what happened to the previous bathhouse human caretaker; I guess time will tell what this scenario will bring to the table. 

Early Thoughts on Spirittea
Source: Press Kit.

I admit that I preferred the bit in the demo where you find the spirits right off the bat rather than waiting a day to meet Wonyan. While I understand why our first quest is to pet the local Shiba Inus (Maru is the best girl, yes she is!) and to meet everyone, the dogs are more approachable than the people. I could feel my social anxiety rising as I had to count off 27 new neighbors to meet and greet before heading to bed. If I wanted to play a game to talk to people, I would be doing Stardew Valley. My goal is to help spirits with a healing bath for the night. The rest of the locals can wait until I am ready to meet them one by one. The dogs are the exception, but that is because we can pet the dogs in-game and they are very worth petting. 

You technically don't have to please anyone. Sure, the game chides you for social anxiety if you try to ask any of the locals out for a meal and chicken out, but it's not an obligation. I did find out that hot chocolate doesn't count as such a meal, though I think it should be for a first date. Every hangout is a choice unless you are trying to be mercenary and recruit some employees. 

The other hard part is chasing down the spirits. Some players reported glitches on a certain one, which I hope will either be fixed in future patches or that we get a guide for it. It took me a few in-game days to solve that particular puzzle; having a proper guide would drastically improve the experience. 

Source: Press Kit.

With that said, I greatly enjoyed myself playing Spirittea. Working in the bathhouse is very relaxing, fitting guests into tubs where they are able to chill and cleanse off the day's worries. I may not ask a neighbor to work at the bathhouse, but I will be spending plenty of time there.

Check out Spirittea on Steam.


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