With many cozy games featuring various romanceable NPCs, gamers might be asking themselves whether the new bathhouse cozy game, Spirittea, includes romance. Relationships may be central to this game, but does that mean you’ll be able to fall in love?
Spirittea has attracted a good bit of interest with its comparisons to the Studio Ghibli film Spirited Away and the cozy pixelated game Stardew Valley. The game is now available to play on Switch, Xbox, and Steam, which means players are asking themselves… can I go on a date with this intriguing local I just met?
Does Spirittea Have Romance?
The short answer to the question is no, Spirittea does not have traditional romance. While you can build up your relationship level with characters, this is a reflection of friendship only, and the game doesn’t feature any mechanics for dating, flirting with, or getting married.
Building relationships with the people (and spirits) you meet is still a key part of Spirttea. Just not in the romantic sense.
Building Relationships with Locals in Spirittea
In Spirittea, your job as the bathhouse keeper is to take care of the spirits, which means that interacting with them is a key part of gameplay.
However, there are plenty of living NPCs you’ll get to meet and befriend in the game, as well. In fact, one of your first tasks in the game is to run around town introducing yourself to everyone, so you’ll have a pretty good sense of the town’s (living) inhabitants from early on.
Throughout the game, you can build your relationship with the locals by talking to them and even engaging in their hobbies with them, such as going fishing or doing karaoke. Each character has a storyline that you’ll slowly unfold as you get to know them, as well, so you’ll be able to learn more about that person and the mysterious things that have happened to them in this haunted town.
You’ll see a friendship meter pop up whenever you interact with the locals. This meter measures your relationship with them and pops up whenever you build points with that character. There’s also a cute sound that plays when the meter level increases. When the meter fills up, you earn a heart, taking you to a new level of friendship.
Once you reach a Great Friendship level with a local, they’ll offer you occasional gifts (yes, even the local dog has presents to share).
Using The Notebook to Track Details about Locals
In addition to watching your relationship meter, you can keep tabs on what you know about the locals by visiting your Notebook in the game. You unlock the notebook once you’ve completed the bathhouse tutorial at the start of the game and gone to bed. When you wake up the next morning, Wonyon will walk you through how to access your notebook by opening your back and then switching to the notebook feature.
From the notebook, you can flip through your notes about each of the locals. Here, you can see the character’s name, where they live, their hobbies, and anything they’ve told you that might be related to spirit activity in town. These notes get added automatically as you engage with the characters. For forgetful gamers like me, this is a super handy tool to keep in mind as you’re getting to know the various people in town and searching for more spirits to recruit as customers for your bathhouse.
Even though it doesn’t look like we’ll have romance in Spirittea, it’s still fun getting to know the various locals around town and helping them out with their spirit problems. In fact, it’s kind of refreshing to have a game that puts friendships and platonic relationships at the center.