Review- Spirittea Takes a Supernatural Approach to the Stardew Valley Formula
Image via Cheesemaster Games

Review: Spirittea Takes a Supernatural Approach to the Stardew Valley Formula

Games like Stardew Valley and Story of Seasons helped players realize how comforting a life sim can be, and now Spirittea is around to build on that formula. While this time farming isn’t a part of the equation, the idea of managing a bathhouse and collecting spirits is just as satisfying.

Recommended Videos

Like Stardew Valley and Story of Seasons, Spirittea involves a player moving from the city to a more serene life in the countryside. You’re heading there to write, and a tidy home in a surprisingly bustling small village awaits you. However, not long after moving in you realize that it’s also a community filled with spirits, many of whom forgot who they are due to the nearby bathhouse being out of service. So instead of getting to write the next great novel, you’re catering to supernatural beings’ needs and improving life in the village for everyone. As you find more spirits, earn more money, and settle in, you gradually get a larger, more adept bathhouse and the ability to improve your personal space.

Spirittea Stardew Valley
Image via Cheesemaster Games

Spirittea does task players with being more involved and active than in a similar sort of game like Stardew Valley. Let’s take the actual running of the bathhouse. You need to constantly be aware of certain tasks and elements to keep it running. You need to place spirits in tubs, ideally ones that fit them and are with other supernatural beings they’d want to sit beside. You sometimes need to scrub their backs. You must take used towels and wash them in the basin, then leave them to try for a brief amount of time, all before taking them back to leave in a pile next to the entrance for more spirits. You also need to constantly check the fire below, cutting from the bathhouse tree’s roots when needed, to keep the temperature up for the baths and the towel drying station. 

It’s a lot! I’d almost say it is to Spirittea’s detriment, in a way. While games like Stardew Valley and Story of Seasons also involve taking on a lot of chores, they take far less time to complete each day. It’s easier to deal with a brief bit of farm work each day, compared to keeping a bathhouse open for a substantial period and constantly having your avatar in action to go through a constant to-do list that is never done since you always need more towels, more wood, and more spirits seated. I also found it was easy to fall into a situation where I wouldn’t stop working until the fire actually ran out in the basement, thus eating away at any socializing or spirit investigation.

At least activities outside the bathhouse don’t always involve that much action. In order to get more customers and bring peace to the village, you’ll need to use your spirit vision around town when you see things that aren’t quite right or hear talk about an odd occurrence either in conversations or at the town’s bulletin board. When you do, you’ll then need to head to a certain area to investigate. As an example, you’ll learn from Sujin that someone is vandalizing her boat at night. So if you hang around the boat around 6pm, you can catch it in the act. While some investigations just involve talking to spirits, the one I brought up involving Sujin’s boat also involves a chase segment where you need to hunt the suspects down. 

There are also minigames. Unfortunately, Spirittea often isn’t clear about how these activities, which you can do with a townsperson to increase your friendship levels with them. So while the karaoke one is fairly simple, as you are pressing buttons in time with prompts like any rhythm game, others aren’t quite so clear. However, the sake bomb drinking game isn’t as obvious and may take some trial and error to learn. 

Once you do find a rhythm though, Spirittea is quite an engaging life sim. Especially since there’s some fun pixel art for both the environments and characters. Seeing who the new spirits are and how they look is entertaining, and it prompted me to even look into some Japanese yokai to search for possible inspirations. I also liked the villager character designs, though I would have appreciated a bit more characterization and backstories for some of them so I’d feel more connected to the human members of the cast.

I like the change of pace Spirittea brings, as it offers a Stardew Valley and Story of Seasons sort of experience, but manages to be its own unique game. It might not be as relaxing when you’re actually at work in the bathhouse, due to the number of tasks available, but I found I got accustomed to my new schedule. It’s just delightful to see a different take on a life sim that still feels inviting and hits familiar cues.

Spirittea is available on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC.


Hey human, we've got problems! This town is crawling with troublesome spirits, and you're the only one who can see them. You'd better get that old bathhouse up and running, maybe that'll help them chill out! Switch version reviewed.

Spirittea offers the same sort of satisfaction in experiencing daily chores as games like Stardew Valley and Story of Seasons.

Food for Thought
  • Unfortunately, you can’t romance any of the villagers in Spirittea, but you can befriend them.
  • Since there sometimes aren’t “tells” for every spirit to determine their season and you can’t tell based on when you find them, trial and error is often the best way to see who would get along in the bathhouse.

Siliconera is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Jenni Lada
Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.