In the age where we may have five different things clamoring for our attention, we’ve all had trouble focusing every now and again. Considering the group chat you were (somewhat unwillingly) invited to ringing off the hook and a myriad of cozy video games calling your name—studying for an upcoming test, finishing work or completing anything productive can be a real struggle.
But what if you could curl up in a cozy, virtual cottage with funky lo-fi, free of distraction?
I’m so glad you asked. 😄 Let me introduce you to the best way to stay focused in this Virtual Cottage review.
Stay Focused With Lo-fi Beats And Cozy Timer
As someone who loves listening to lo-fi when deep diving into studying or work, I found that Virtual Cottage offers a wonderful way to focus and stay on task. Virtual Cottage is a cozy app developed by indie game developer DU&I. This adorable program provides a productivity timer and lo-fi beats in a cozy cottage package. After getting about 8 hours of productivity in, Virtual Cottage got me through weekend work and even some of the writing for this very article.
Granted, you may be able to use any regular timer or lo-fi channel. But, Virtual Cottage offers a way to identify what you need to do, how long you want to spend on it, without the overstimulation that comes with using an internet browser. (All without the disruption of persistent ads.) DU&I created an app that offers just the right amount of animation, settings and interactivity to allow for optimal productivity. All without competing for your attention.
Things To Love
There are so many things to love about Virtual Cottage, not only as a productivity timer but also as an artfully designed app that offers a little bit of everything!
Adorable, Cozy Atmosphere
The artfully designed graphics and cozy vibe of the tiny-house-inspired cottage make for a relaxing studying or writing session. Depending on the time of day, the lighting of your virtual cottage changes from early morning to midday to nighttime. Your virtual cat can even be seen tootling around the cottage!
Of course, Virtual Cottage finds a balance by providing just the right amount of detail to create a comfortable environment and minimize distractions. The darker berry-like colors used for the background are also very easy on the eyes, which I greatly appreciate as a person who uses computers frequently.
It offers a fully customizable timer, where you identify a task, how long you’d like to work, and if you’d like a notification when the time is up. You even get achievements for sticking to it! I honestly found this to be a great feature that not only helps you stay on-task but manage time efficiently.
Handy To-Do List
While the To-Do List wasn’t present in the release of this app, it has proven to be a wonderful addition. This optional feature is super cute and great for larger projects with multiple steps. This To-Do List is essentially a text block where you can record up to three subtasks to complete in your session. (Not to mention everyone loves a good list.) 😊✅
Relaxing Lo-Fi Music Player
Of course, you can’t overlook the lo-fi beats on Virtual Cottage. With the music player at the bottom of the screen, you can play, pause, shuffle and turn up the volume on the app’s selection of songs. This player also provides the name and artist of the song.
Relaxing White Noise
On the right-hand side of the app, you can find a few different options for white noise (if you so wish)! This is a great option for those who work well when listening to predictable, relaxing nature sounds such as snow, rain, fire crackling, and wind. My personal favorite setting combines a medium volume of lo-fi with a low crackling of the fireplace. 💖🔥
Things To Improve
Once I had tried out all the features Virtual Cottage had to offer, it was a challenge to find areas where the app could find room for improvement. However, there were a few (minor) elements that could use some attention.
Improved White Noise
The first element I noticed that could use improvement was the white noise sounds. The fireplace and snow sounds were realistic; however, the rain and wind sounded slightly manufactured—in a way. This could of course come down to simple personal preference but is definitely something to note.
Greater Achievement Focus
Gamification plays a huge role in getting anyone to do anything. This can not only be utilized in video games but everyday tasks as well. For this reason, I think Virtual Cottage could use this video game psychology to the users’ benefit. This could be done by including a more visual or clear achievement system. Right now, you have to travel outside the app and into its Achievements section on Steam to view your progress. However, if users could see their achievement progress while in the app, that might add an extra incentive to get a little more work done!
Larger Music Library
Lastly, while the selection of lo-fi music is wonderful, I wish there was a larger library that Virtual Cottage could pull from. After working on something for about an hour or so, it sounded like the app had run through its playlist already. While ambitious, a live stream of lo-fi music would be a fantastic idea to keep new, fresh music going.
Where can you get Virtual Cottage?
Overall, if you are a gamer and struggle with time management or focusing for longer periods (like myself), Virtual Cottage is an adorable and fun way to get things done. While it may not be your conventional video game, its beautiful graphics and satisfying achievement tree make it an excellent addition to anyone’s game collection.
Like what you read? You can download Virtual Cottage for free on Steam! This productivity app has overwhelmingly positive reviews on this gaming platform, and you can also keep tabs on any new software updates from the developer. But before you go, make sure to give this post a ♥ and subscribe for more video game articles like this Virtual Cottage review. You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook as well!