Steam Gaming: Spirit City LoFi Sessions

Posted on June 17, 2024 by Aywren

Spirit City was one of the demos I tried out during the Steam Next Fest back in February of this year. At the time, I thought it was quite cute, with a lot of customization and atmosphere as far as focus tools go. I’ve never tried to use a digital focus tool, much less one that gamified and encouraged focus with lofi music and a cozy aesthetic.

I felt like the demo was impressive, however, I couldn’t see myself actually using it for day-to-day task completion. Once the full program released a few months later, and I saw it popping up here and there with overwhelmingly positive reviews, I decided to take another look at it.

41 hours worth of use later, I can say that I don’t regret picking up this focus tool.

Focusing with the Tool

I really don’t use it half as much as I should, but it does help me sit down and block out time for things like journaling, art, writing blog posts, reading, and sometimes even tasks at work. I’m easily distracted by all the things I have to do on my daily list, so telling myself that I am not allowed to do anything but this one task as long as the Spirit City timer is rolling does help me buckle in and get things done.

I like the features that the program offers – such as habit trackers and daily tasks – but there are still some things I wish it had to make it a fully complete tracker/planner for someone like me. The lack of a calendar feature, for one, is a huge area that it’s missing. Also, the fact that daily tasks don’t clear at the end of each day makes it somewhat less useable for what it’s meant to do.

I have a physical planner for all of this, anyhow, so this isn’t really a deal breaker for me. Add to it that users have already had an opportunity to fill out a survey provided by the developers that asked about these very things – what elements need to be included to make Spirit City a more robust tool. If they actually do act on some of these suggestions and include things like calendars and repeatable dailies, then I would be over the moon about using this far more often on a daily basis.

Gamification of Focus

I do want to stress that the gamification Spirit City provides is very good. You can do a lot to customize your room, your avatar, and there’s a good selection of spirit companions to choose from.

You unlock new spirits as you level and lure them to you by spending time in a specific state within the game that matches that spirit’s preference. For example, you might need to sit by the fireplace with it lit during the evening with the wind sound effect turned on in the background – do this long enough, and a spirit will unlock.

I thought this might be difficult to figure out at first, but I learned quickly that the hints given for unlocking new spirits have always been good enough for me to make a guess at what combinations I need for the unlock. When you do encounter a proper combination, the game gives you an indication that you’ve found one, and that given time and patience (basically, let the game run), that spirit will appear.

Once you unlock a spirit, you can select that spirit to be your companion if you like. Each spirit has different color palettes and appearances, with some being free and other rarer ones needing to be purchased with the in-game tickets you earn just from leveling up and being there.

You can also use these tickets to customize your avatar, buy new decorations for your room, and just make things look the way you want. All of these tickets are completely earnable by spending time using the focus tool and completing goals. There’s no in-game shop to sully the experience, thankfully.

I was pleased that we’ve already had one update since launch that introduced new spirits, a new limited time spring playlist, new clothing for warm weather, and some nice quality of life improvements. I was happy to see the concept of limited time playlists, because I’m really hoping we’ll have options for holiday-type lofi (maybe even decorations), especially around Halloween and Christmas!

My overall impression is that Spirit City is a chill, useful focus tool with a lot to like about it. It has room to grow, and I’m excited to see how the devs support it going forward. If we could get some additional tools, such as calendar and repeatable to-do lists, it will make an excellent companion to my physical planner.

*|* {June} *|* {2024} *|* {Steam Gaming} *|*