Wouldn’t doing the dishes be more appealing if it felt more like an epic quest? That’s the premise behind EpicWin, a new iPhone app that aims to make everyday activities feel more important. It’s not necessarily a game, but instead a handy to-do list that tacks on some role playing game elements to try and make it more fun to get what needs doing done.
At its core EpicWin is simply an app that lets you keep track of things that you need to do. You can write out what the task is and assign a date to it, and check it off once it’s complete. But the game doesn’t call them tasks. Instead they’re quests. And in addition to choosing what the quest is and when it needs to be completed, you’ll also have to decide how much experience it’s worth and what type of skill it requires. Is doing the laundry a feat of strength or intellect? And is it worth 50 or 300 XP? The decision is up to you. Since each quest is unique and created by you, you’ll have to answer these questions yourself. In this way it’s possible to cheat the game — assigning simple tasks high levels of XP — but that mostly defeats the purpose of the app.
Your progress is represented in two ways. You have an avatar that will level up as you complete quests and earn points in five different skill categories. Progress is very slow, however, and moving from one level to the next will take quite some time. There’s also a map screen, and as you complete quests your character will move forward across the map. You can check just how many miles you’ve moved and at certain points you’ll come across loot. These items don’t actually do anything, that is, aside from tap into your compulsive need to collect things. There’s a list that reveals the large list of items you can find, each represented with a blank silhouette. As you collect loot, these silouhettes will then be replaced by an image of whatever it is you found.
What makes EpicWin so appealing is its sense of charm. The art — done by Rex Crowle of LittleBigPlanet fame — simply looks great, especially when it comes to the avatars, which range from a skeleton knight to a giant tree man. And as an app that’s all about making everyday tasks feel epic, EpicWin smartly doesn’t take itself too seriously. The loot you’ll find ranges from a pet flea to a squirrel pelt, each accompanied by a lovely cartoon image. EpicWin also has some nice social integration, letting you share when you level up or find loot on both Twitter and Facebook.
EpicWin isn’t a game, but instead it’s a way to make your life feel more like one. Finding loot, earning experience, and progressing across a map, these are all simply incentives to help you get through the more mundane chores that are apart of everyday life. Now how much experience should I get for finishing this review?