In a short introductory text, Kena: Bridge of Spirits sketches out its world, before throwing you right into its midst. A beautiful forest, and you, Kena, a spirit guide. You know how it goes: spirits are mostly happy enough to go to their final resting place, though a few are not, bound to the forest by their regrets. It’s Kena’s role to find them, give them a good whacking and then help them move on. The spirit’s negativity also takes a physical form – rot, which infects the forest and attracts other unhappy spirits. However, to Kena the rot is also a friend, and whenever she finds little rot creatures, they are happy to join her to aid with combat and various puzzles.

Puzzles is perhaps a generous term for what you do outside of combat – mostly, the rot will carry a misplaced object such as a platform or an energy crystal to the right place for you to use. At certain points, rot can also temporarily transform into a large creature than can clear rot away that’s blocking a path. Generally, however, you travel the forest until you get to a large, rot-infested clearing, an enemy will spawn for you to defeat, and afterwards you will clear the rot away by destroying a large rot flower.

Some of these areas will turn out to contain a boss – it’s kind of difficult to tell where, making boss fights seem less like special occasions and more like a way to break up the humdrum of fighting the same enemies in every clearing. Enemies will drop a spirits’ memento – once you’ve collected enough mementos, you can call the spirit, deal with their protests the old-fashioned way and then allow them to find peace.

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