I think this app is probably meant for children, but I like it. Its ridiculous complexity of currencies and redemptions grew on me, and I found myself more invested in the game than I expected, which might not be great for an app that’s meant to discourage you from using your mobile device.
Although I can obviously just stop any app and do what I want or just not use my phone through sheer force of will, it’s a nice reminder when I’m a little distracted that I was just working on something. Like this post! When I pick up my phone and see that marching little adventurer, it’s a cartoony and quick redirect back to my chores, writing, etc.
Focus Quest is an app meant to encourage you to get off your phone and do stuff off mobile. It’s probably theoretically meant to keep you “IRL” but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t start the timer then use my computer sometimes.
The app has too many game mechanisms though. It has too many for a game, let alone a productivity app, and especially for an app that’s supposed to keep you off your phone. It could be simple enough, where you set the focus timer and earn points, then come back to progress through an adventure. That would be very cute.
And that is how it works! There are a few other nice things too. You can categorize the times you’ve focused, and then see little line or pie charts. Another good mechanism is the whitelist. Of course it’s totally reasonable that you may want to use one of the apps on your phone while focusing, so it lets you set a few you can use. But it costs in-game currency (earned from focusing).
But there’s Even More. You can earn and equip gear. You can also forge new gear with recipes. There are battles and boss fights. There are quests, but also daily and weekly quests. You can use a different currency to train and level up at things like HP, Attack, and Skill Attack. Then there are skills which are different from training somehow. And then also a “glyph” to add specific points for the training things again (HP etc.). You can also choose a class. There are events. There’s a cabin where you get some random prize. This is where it’s too much and I find myself wondering why the app to not use my phone is encouraging me to spend more time in it.
It recently introduced some more timer features which are both more forgiving and less. Now instead of setting the timer and coming back when it’s complete, you can just start a stopwatch-type timer and end it any time, while still earning points. With the standard timer option, you’d lose everything if you ended it even one second before the timer finishes. Now I can safely earn points in my sleep, which is surely what the app is meant for. Wait.