by Marisa Seager
Virtual Cottage is a free-to-play game available on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS. Although it is listed as a game, it’s really a desktop app meant to help you with tasks and to bring you into a relaxed state of mind. If you have big tasks to complete and especially ones that you have been putting off for some time now, this is made to help you start them.
The cottage has three main attributes that it is known for. First, it has a relaxing lo-fi soundtrack. All of the music within the game is amazing and features various talented artists. Any time a song is played both the artist and song title are displayed so you can find them outside of the cottage. To accompany the soundtrack, there is also a rain sound that can be toggled on or off to help with relaxation. Of course, there is also the option to toggle the music and other sound effects on or off to avoid distractions entirely.
Second, the cottage is wherever you are. This meaning that the game automatically syncs up to your local time and will then display light accordingly. Of course, if you are a night owl, there is also the option to change the in-game clock which will change the graphics. One might also do this just based on how the game looks at nighttime. More recently, additional customizations have been added to the game such as weather, background, and the option between having a cat or dog as a study partner.
Third, the cottage helps you get things done. Once you are in the game, you can pause the timer but you cannot stop it completely without quitting the game. This feature was implemented to help users get started and stay committed once beginning an activity. If that isn’t enough to keep your productivity flowing, there are also achievements for using this tool through the Steam store. Achievements are given for spending anywhere from 5 minutes to 100 hours in game.
So, what are you waiting for? Open the game, set a goal, and enjoy the atmosphere of Virtual Cottage.