The Spirit and the Mouse physical edition review - Cosy and relaxing spiritual adventure

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Lila the mouse walking along a pipe in The Spirit and the Mouse.

The genre of cosy games is only on the rise. Gone are the days of players wanting bombastic, action-packed, triple-A behemoths - these days there's just as much appetite for something straightforward and relaxing.

Developed by Alblune, The Spirit and the Mouse is exactly that. In fact, when we reviewed its digital release back in late 2022, we remarked on just how special a game it is. Fast-forward to the present, and Super Rare Games presents a much-requested physical release to give The Spirit and the Mouse prime position on your shelf.

If you've yet to try it out, this new release of The Spirit and the Mouse is the perfect opportunity to do so. It's beautifully presented and as endearing as it's ever been, making for a delightfully cathartic time.

Lila walking alongside a Kibblin in The Spirit and the Mouse.
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The setup of The Spirit and the Mouse is incredibly straightforward, making it the perfect game for relaxation, or a good starting point to newcomers to gaming. You play as the eponymous mouse, Lila, in the sleepy French village of Sainte-et-Claire. It's a regular day of sifting through bins and scouring the cobbled streets. This all changes when you encounter a magical Kibblin called Lumion - one of the many sightless Spirit Guardians that quietly help make humans' lives better from behind the scenes. The sticking point? Lumion is trapped, and needs Lila's help to complete the evening's tasks.

It's a very easy setup to grasp, as The Spirit and the Mouse focuses more on its atmosphere and general tone over the progression of its story. There is a clear beginning, middle, and end here, but it all tends to zip by passively in the three-to-four hour playtime it'll take you to see the credits.

In some ways, it reminded me of the story in Super Mario Odyssey - not in its themes or narrative, but instead how it's presented across different districts, with vignette-style missions that feel self-contained and rewarding in themselves. The plot is sweet but never saccharine, and more than does the job.

Lila collecting an orb of happiness in The Spirit and the Mouse.
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From a gameplay standpoint, The Spirit and the Mouse is a fairly linear open-world sandbox adventure. Your overall goal is to provide Lumion with enough happiness to free him and send him home, which you'll accrue by completing tasks to help out humans. This ranges from fixing electric cables so the pizzeria owner can watch his favourite show to ensuring a student finishes her thesis on time. To do that, you'll have to fix power boxes across Sainte-et-Claire, done by herding Kibblins back to their power generators by performing errands.

In total you'll play through well over 20 of these across all the districts, and it's a fun way of segmenting the gameplay while also ensuring things move along quickly. It never takes too long to complete a single objective, which makes it very easy to lose yourself in the satisfying progression.

Lila walking along a wooden plank in The Spirit and the Mouse.
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In my time with the game I did encounter some performance issues, however. The frame rate had a habit of dropping when loading into larger sandboxes, or when Lila performs her signature electric shock move, which you'll often do to earn currency or solve puzzles. It was never too much of a problem, but get ready for the occasional dip.


Playing on Nintendo Switch OLED, The Spirit and the Mouse does look lovely. The colours pop in this twilight-enriched French town, complete with gas-burning street lamps, stunning diegetic music, and a kooky art style that doesn't lean too hard into realism. It's a very pretty world that feels oddly comforting and never too overwhelming, which perfectly fits the cosy aesthetic.

The human Juliette in a window in The Spirit and the Mouse.
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Physical release

The Spirit and the Mouse is a fun time on its own, but this new physical release from Super Rare Games is very impressive. It comes with a bespoke game manual, which in itself is a treat to see in a physical release for Nintendo's console. You'll also get plenty of collectible cards adorned with familiar faces from the game, which makes it feel like a very premium package overall. There may not be any new gameplay features, but if you want the ultimate experience with this game, the physical version is the way to go.

The Spirit and the Mouse isn't a game-changer, but it's a lovely entry into the fledgling 'cosy games' subgenre that excels in setting a relaxing mood with gameplay that's simple to grasp, but enjoyable as well. You may see some technical issues when it runs on full cylinders, but you're bound to enjoy some delightful downtime with The Spirit and the Mouse.

The Spirit and the Mouse physical edition
The Spirit and the Mouse is a relaxing blast through a quaint French town, which doesn't reinvent the wheel but provides a very laidback atmosphere.
Nintendo Switch

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch. A review copy was provided by the publisher.