A game in the same vein as Lemmings, Spirits notably has far fewer powers to give your spirits. This is because, unlike Lemmings, Spirits relies upon a sort of physics engine where windspeed is the most important factor, capable of replacing most of those mobility-boosting skills in Lemmings. In theory, by using the capacity to shape windspeed by adding new currents to the mix, you can achieve subtle solutions to a wider range of problems with a smaller number of tools.
... Too bad it doesn't work out.
The main problem is that the game focuses heavily upon "perfection" in getting your spirits out, and that means you can't miss. Unfortunately, the power you have to block wind flows through some areas are a total roll of the dice as to what they will actually do - sometimes, they block a passage you need blocked, other times, they bounce off some miniscule glitch in the geometry, and go flying into some random spot that winds up ruining your whole map, forcing you to reset. Again. And Again. And Again. Because, through no fault of your own, the game bugs up in specific spots, but you get punished for those things beyond your control.
Then, there are missions where you have to blow spirits up and over spikes on the ground, but where there are also spikes on the ceiling - you need to carefully change the airflow to miss both... but then, there's really no means of judging where a spirit will go in those wind streams but for trial and error. And if you mess up, start again.
Did I mention that some of the later stages are quite long, and restarting restarts the whole level, where you can again be forced to reset due to geography glitches because those are, again, not under your control? Yeah.
Which brings me to what I ultimately have to rate the entire concept behind Spirits upon - Lemmings was a game about precision, which is why having very precise, very predictable effects worked for it. Spirits adds in this system that demands precision randomness and a cloudiness where there's really no way to foresee what exact positioning of powers will just barely dodge the traps without trial-and-error gameplay.
The original Lemmings was frustrating but fair.
Spirits is just frustrating.
Posted: December 6th, 2013