Reviewer: Dr Jeremy Steinberg, GP
Date of review: April 2018
Comments: This app (and optional associated website(external link), book and TED(external link) talk) is a tool to help you ‘gamify’ your life in order to reach your physical, mental, emotional and social goals — level up, get power ups, go on quests, make allies and fight bad guys.
At its core the app is a text based list of goals and associated psychological strategies with an overlay of gaming language.
It has been validated in a six week clinical trial(external link) for depression and anxiety, and a second trial(external link) for post-concussion syndrome. It uses proven psychological therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy. The app claims to help with any goal but there is no research to support this.
There is unfortunately limited guidance and non-working hyperlinks in the app. I recommend using the associated website, watching the TED talk and logging on to the browser based ‘secret lab’ to understand the system.
The app has a text based format with minimal visual appeal. There is a lack of utility of the levelling system, and text within the Power Ups, Quests and Bad Guys appear to be all static, not responding to use. There is is also limited cohesion between the different components.
Overall, I would recommend it for anyone interested in a gamification approach who has mild depression, anxiety or post-concussion syndrome. You would need to be already somewhat motivated to change. It could also be used for other goals but it hasn’t been studied in this setting.
Safety concerns: None