The following 4 (free) augmented reality games take the boring, sucky parts of life and make slogging through them an adventure.
Everybody has a complicated relationship with exercise. And whether you’re currently loving or hating it, Fitocracy can keep things moving forward. It’s a simple set up: log your workouts, rack up points with every push-up or jog, compete against your friends, and level up. Every so often the site hands you a challenge you must complete before you can get to the next level. You can earn awards and complete quests too. Fitocracy also has a strong community built in to add some moral support from the internet with forums and groups for every interest.
Chore Wars is exactly what it sounds like: you compete against family, roommates, or office buddies to complete more mundane chores and earn more points. Every player creates a personal character complete with natural talents and an avatar. The game comes with a set of basic household chores, but everything is customizable allowing you to create chores, decide how often they need to be performed, and determine how many points each is worth. All the points can be earned and spent, allowing for a real-life reward system. The old-school Warcraft style of this game makes it simultaneously the most silly and the most awesome of all.
Innovation often comes from struggle and SuperBetter was created when Jane McGonigal, game designer and author, had one hell of a time recovering from a nasty concussion. SuperBetter breaks the recovery process down into small steps, giving you rewards along the way. It also identifies your enemies (the obstacles in your path, even if that’s yourself) and gives you a few sidekicks (your friends or family) to give you the help you need. There are also quests to complete, power ups to uncover, and epic wins to, well, win. SuperBetter is brand new and still invite-only, so get on the waiting list now.
This one is still only for the iPhone and iPad, but if you have an Apple device it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Epic Win is a to-do list made awesome. You choose a character and then start making quests for yourself. You decide whether it’s a feat of strength, stamina, intellect, social, or spirit and then put the level of points the quest wins depending on how much you don’t want to do it. Laundry? Probably 50 points. Job searching? Give yourself at least 200. To complete a quest, just hold down the point badge to the triumphant music until the quest explodes. You can look back at the quests you’ve beaten, see what loot you’ve collected, and track your character’s progress. Epic Win might not be life changing, but it’s guaranteed to make finishing your taxes just a little less soul-leaching.