App of the Week: Epic Win

Title: Epic Win
Platform: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
(Requires iOS 3.0 or later)
Cost: $2.99

Let it first be said that I am a list maker. Before my iPhone, I loved using my daily calender to keep my lists of things I needed TO DO. And with my iPhone, I’ve tried various TO DO programs to keep myself organized, but usually end up back with real sticky notes. ‘ I ‘ keep sticky notes by my desk at both work and home so I can add more things to my lists. Trouble is, my little sheets often unstick themselves, disappear, or end up deep under the pile of other notes on stickies. ‘ So I am always on the hunt for a better TO DO app. One that really fits my way of trying to keep organized.

So you can’t imagine how happy I was when I learned about Epic Win when a friend showed me this Pre-Release Trailer. Finally an app that lets users turn their own life into the epic quest it really is. ‘ This app is a To Do List / RPG mash up, and it’s kept me on task for months now.

Like other TO DO apps, Epic Win lets users create lists of items that need to be done (and recent updates have made scheduling regularly occurring items tons easier): things like writing blog posts, finishing a book, sending that birthday card to Aunt Ruth. This part, of course, is nothing new.

What Epic Win does differently is’ integrate this task list into a type of role-playing game, with your life as the roles that need playing. Every task is a quest you must complete in order to go further and level up in the game. Over time, you collect objects, coins, ‘ loot, and gain new status. That’s right, you get virtual prizes and go further and further up the chain, just like certain rather addictive video games! ‘ But you only gain your prizes when you complete your tasks! And the app with notify you when a scheduled quest has yet to be completed. In other words you can’t just sit playing on your Wii all day.

At this point, I should probably admit that quest video games and I have a long, strong history (from Zelda to WoW to Little Big Planet, I’m a sucker for virtual gratification) so it’s no surprise I would find this app intriguing. ‘ Such a smart mash up!

As a user, you choose a name and profile (three avatars are free, while two are paid upgrades) at the beginning of your “epic” adventure. The app could definitely use more variety in these options, but I keep my fingers crossed that this may happen in an upgrade. Then, with each quest, er, task, you select the attribute it best represents: Strength, Stamina, Intellect, Social, or Spirit. You also choose how many points that task will be worth for that attribute. Based on how you rank and qualify tasks, you gain loot and your character’s profile changes. With each accomplishment, you have the option to post the news on Twitter or Facebook.

Since it’s release, RexBox and Supermono (the creators) have incorporated more features including calendar integration and repeated task details. Profiles can also be backed up on line, and the quest history page helps you see just how productive you’ve been. ‘ And while the cost in app terms, is steep, there are no required sign-ups to use it (unless you decide to integrate with Google calendar, Facebook or Twitter) a fact I really appreciate.

For teens or librarians with a gaming streak, this app is the perfect marriage of productivity and play. This app could be featured at a library’s game night as another way to encourage teens to come to the next event, return books on time, or turn in school assignments. Through this app, librarians could post books they have just finished reading to their library’s Facebook or Twitter pages. For this librarian, having Epic Win remind me to “write my blog YALSA post” becomes a real win win. Now off to get my new loot.

About Kate Covintree

Currently working as an Upper School librarian at an independent school in Rhode Island.
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