A month or so back, I heard about Habit RPG, which is basically a habit-tracking and To Do List app in the form of a role-playing game. You set up your Habits, Dailies, and To Do List, and begin as a level one character. You get treasure and XP for completing items on your list, but you lose treasure and XP if you fail to complete your Dailies.
It’s not for everyone, but for an old gaming geek like me, it’s worked surprisingly well. I only set up two Dailies: writing at least 1000 words, and working on the dishes (a chore I sometimes neglected). I’ve now got a 36-day streak on dishes and 22 days of at least 1000 words. For Habits, which you don’t necessarily have to complete every day, I set up things like Writing At Least 1500+ words, Exercise, and Reading. I’ve added things to the To Do List as they come up, and it works well as a reminder.
Once you advance a few levels, you unlock the drop feature, and can get eggs, potions, and food when you complete a task. The potions are used to hatch the eggs, and the food helps your new pets grow. I’ve got four pets so far, including the lion below. (Yes, I’m wearing a party hat. But only because they didn’t have a fez.) There are quests you can set up, but I haven’t gotten there yet.
I wish you could do a little more customizing. You can set specific days of the week for your Dailies, but you can’t configure it for something like, “Exercise at least three times/week.” Some of the features require you to pay real-world money for gems, which can be redeemed for other goodies, but you can get along fine without those. And the mobile app is rather bare-bones. But none of these are deal-breakers, especially for a free application.
The best part has been getting my son into the game. I set him up with his own character, and we created his lists. Now instead of hounding him to do his various chores, all I have to do is ask if he’s earned his XP for the day. He pulls up his character and starts running around to feed the dogs, take care of recycling, hang up his jacket, and everything else. It’s not perfect, and if we don’t remind him to check, he forgets. He’s gotten down to about 10% of his hit points before, but he hasn’t died yet. (When you die, you lose a level.) But it’s still a lot more fun than it used to be, and he does his chores with a lot less trouble.
My daughter, being a little older and not a geek, wasn’t interested. But it’s definitely helped my son and I get a little more done, and have a little more fun doing it.