As with any classic role-playing-style game, EpicWin ($2.99) gives you experience points in a number of categories that help your character gain skills and move through a mystical world. The difference in this game? You have to complete your own real tasks to advance your character.
While task management and to-do lists are nothing new on the iPhone (see OmniFocus or Things), EpicWin puts a new spin on how you treat your responsibilities that may just cause you to get more done. With so many games geared toward farming computer crops, creating made-up mobs, or killing virtual vampires, EpicWin turns your to-do list into a game with real rewards (and some fun fake ones, too).
Setting up your EpicWin world is pretty easy. In fact, it's the first few tasks (renamed "quests" for this game) you must complete on your list the day you install the App. Those tutorial quests set you up to begin your journey toward tackling your tasks and completing them as your new avatar (choose from three free characters or two you can purchase in-App).
Being a tall, lanky dude, I of course chose the skeleton character for my avatar and began creating quests. The cool part about adding tasks to EpicWin (despite the fact that it does not sync with any current task managers or calendar to-do lists you may have) is that you get to determine each quest's level of Epicness.
Once you complete that quest, the Epicness points are added to your avatar's profile, earning valuable skills and moving it through the EpicWin journey. Of course you can totally game the system and get far quickly, but the true purpose of EpicWin is not to beat the game, but rather to get your stuff done in a fun way. As Portland-based comedian and task management iPhone App addict Nate Smith wrote me, "It's the game of life and it only costs $2.99!"
Checking out reviews on the App Store brought up an interesting point about EpicWin though. It does not replace Apps like OmniFocus or Things in terms of functionality. As I mentioned, the inability to sync, combined with the lack of view features and customizable time tables for tasks hinders EpicWin as a total solution for task management. What it does do, however, is gives you a way to be motivated to get what you need to do done--especially if you're a procrastinator like myself.
EpicWin is a great tool to motivate users that have a difficult time getting their daily tasks completed. By giving virtual rewards for real life goal-making, EpicWin solves two problems at once--our need to be entertained and our requirement to finish tasks. For $2.99, it's a more cost-effective (and more fun) way to start being more productive. Once you get in the habit of completing your to-do list each day, you may consider moving to the more functional productivity Apps available, but for now, get EpicWin, create your avatar and a bunch of to-do items, and get stuff done.
Can an RPG game really help you get more done? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!