May 28, 2024
A pleasant and relaxing music experience, Spirit City: Lofi Sessions is a delightful focus and concentration tool. The Finger Guns review:

I first discovered the wonders of Lo-fi music a couple of years ago, when powering through a particularly taxing period of a year-long training course. Ever since, I’ve regularly found myself returning to Lo-Fi radios on YouTube or finding all sorts of wonderful compilations. The music is ubiquitously soothing, dreamy, melancholic and relaxing all at once.

The idea of incorporating this into a mix of a video game, concentration tool and extensive tracklist was therefore pretty appealing. Spirit City: Lofi Sessions is consequently a strange experience to review. It’s not much of a “game” in the typical sense of the word, given there’s no gameplay to speak of. However, as an experiment of what games can be moulded into, it’s an interesting case study, for sure.

One thing we do know for sure is that it’s worth digging out your headphones and finding a comfortable space to become lost in its wonderful Lo-Fi tracks.

City Of Sounds

Spirit City: Lofi Sessions is best described as a customisable Zen tool. Forget the carnage of Call of Duty, the full-blooded rage of Fifa or the stress-inducing turmoil of Dark Souls. Here, the objective is to kick back, appreciate the music and slow yourself down. Spirit City: Lofi Sessions has four setlists brimming with quaint and delightful songs.

The music is compiled from Homework Radio, which you can find on YouTube (and through the game’s online browser). If you’re a fan of this type of music, or are looking for gentler tunes to help you through that essay or assignment, Spirit City has you covered. I’ve already found myself a few favourites that I’ve bookmarked, and having the setlists at your disposal at any time is great.

Lofi Sessions also gives you the option to add different sounds to varying intensity. From rain and thunder to soft vinyl and white noise, you can conjure up a wealth of ear-teasing melodies. It’s simple, but adding raindrops and the gentle hum of thunder in the background makes everything that much more relaxing.

The tools are easy to navigate and are snappy in the interface, making it a pleasure to whip in and out of as you’re doing other tasks. Which is mostly the point of this game – it’s a handy extension to going about the other activities in your day. Sure, you can just pull up a playlist or a live radio on YouTube, but having the ability to easily add in mix effects (without 600 tabs open) and switch up setlists so quickly is a nice differentiator here.

Spirit City: Lofi Sessions review

Timed To Perfection

Music is certainly the main draw for Spirit City: Lofi Sessions, but it’s not the only one. The game is set up as a work assistant tool too. You can set a to-do list, use a Pomodoro timer, write journal entries and set up a weekly habits planner. It’s all in the spirit of helping you organise your time and activity, alongside a nice soundtrack and aesthetic.

I’m even using said tools while writing this review, as it lends itself to increasing your productivity. As you tick off tasks, log in each day and use the timer, you’ll get bursts of experience points. XP is used to purchase all manner of cosmetic items for your avatar, the room they inhabit and the furniture you can have them animate various activities in.

Again, it’s nothing particularly substantial, but it’s a pleasant wrinkle that adds to Spirit City’s charm. Additionally, you can find new Spirit Companions, adorable little creatures you accrue through using combinations of lighting, sound and activities. Never thought a knitting thread spider could look so cute, but apparently, here we are.

Obviously, if you’re expecting there to be more “game” here, you’re going to be disappointed. This is a companion, background application more than an active video game. Sure, you can level up and customise your cosmetics, but that’s literally it. Aside from the music tracks and minimal interactivity with the small room environment, there are not a lot of other reasons to buy into Spirit City: Lofi Sessions.

Spirit City: Lofi Sessions review

The City That Always Sleeps

All of this ponders the question of whether Spirit City: Lofi Sessions is a game worth your time and money. If you go into it expecting a fully interactable, involved video game, you’ll simply not find it here. However, approach it with an open mind as a suite of tools and resources for a relaxing yet productive time, and you’ll get plenty out of it.

The art style is quaint and charming, the Spirit Companions are enchanting little distractions and the plethora of chill music tracks is wonderful. However, there is an argument that a lot of what makes Spirit City: Lofi Sessions great is freely available via other platforms, not least Homework Radio itself via YouTube.

Having said all of that, it still managed to get me on board despite my initial reservations. I love the selection of music and having the ability to adjust rain noise at any time is awesome. It’s the kind of game you throw on in the background to help you do other things, like having a comforting TV show you’ve watched a thousand times before idling as you go about your day.

The music is the main draw for the game, so if Lo-Fi beats aren’t your thing, Spirit City: Lofi Sessions just won’t be the jam for you. If you do find yourself interested, there are worse ways to spend £10, and you may even get through that written assignment just that bit faster thanks to the timer and cute little spider buddy egging you on.

Spirit City: Lofi Sessions is a pleasant companion tool for increasing your productivity and fostering a more mindful space to focus. It’s not really a video game in the traditional sense, thanks to the lack of interactivity and gameplay. However, it has a wonderful set of relaxing tracks and a charming aesthetic that makes it a welcoming, peaceful addition to your day-to-day routine, even if it’s not a gaming essential.

Spirit City: Lofi Sessions is available now on PC via Steam (review platform).

Developer: Mooncube Games
Publisher: Mooncube Games

Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a promotional copy of the game. For our full review policy, please go here.

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