Reviewed: February 4, 2011
Released: January 7, 2011
App Store Price: $4.99
Spirits is one of the more ethereal experiences I’ve had on my iPad this past year thanks to its minimalist graphics and haunting, yet beautiful music. The presentation is enough to put you in a trance if it wasn’t for the mind-boggling puzzles you’ll need to be solving to get these ghostly little Lemmings home.|
And yes, I did say “Lemmings” because at its core that is exactly what Spirits is, a mindless bunch of follow-the-leader creatures that you can assign specific roles to overcome certain obstacles. Often, those roles will doom the Spirit, thus denying him the escape of his brothers, but there are acceptable losses, even in the spirit world. Just don’t lose or waste too many spirits or you might not get those perfect rankings for each level.
There are more than 40 challenging levels that slowly ramp up in difficulty from the very start. The game is so soothing that if you put on some quality headphones you will literally lose track of time. Spirits is the new form of electronic mobile meditation.
The orchestration is magical creating a combination of music and environmental effects. Ponder the best solution as you assign tasks and watch your spirits grow leafy bridges or dig tunnels to help them reach the exit portal. The animation seems to almost sync with the audio, with dusty particles floating on an invisible breeze, or even the spirits themselves, catching the wind and floating along like a jellyfish in an ocean current.
There are plenty of ways to solve each challenging level and just as many ways to fail, but the fun is all in the trying, figuring out just how to get the spirits to their destination with minimal casualties. It truly is one of the more addicting games I have stumbled upon this year, and I highly encourage anyone who enjoys puzzles and Zen-like experiences to take part in this hypnotic game.