Remember the Tamagotchi? Those little monsters were great. A new iOS app called Tep created a Tamagotchi-like app for your phone to help you stay motivated when it comes to working out. Move around if you want to feed your giraffe.
In many ways, Tep works like other popular fitness tracking apps, such as RunKeeper and Runtastic. First, you select your activity, then you hit start and track the distance, duration and pace of your activity. You can also get real-time audio feedback. Tep is available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
Once you’re done, you receive coins that you can spend to make your cute virtual pet happy. You can buy food and upgrade the environment of your pet. It sounds gimmicky, but this tiny giraffe is so adorable.
Optionally, you can sync Tep with your Fitbit or Jawbone device so that the app doesn’t continuously use your GPS. You can even share workout results like any other fitness tracking app.
Arguably, Tamagotchis nailed the free-to-play gaming mechanisms before free-to-play games even existed. You couldn’t do much with your Tamagotchi, but the more time you spent taking care of your monster, the more engaged you were. That’s why you didn’t abandon your Tamagotchi after five days — you already spent time getting to this point so you didn’t want to risk losing it all.
Tamagotchis are a great lesson when it comes to gamification, and Tep is well-aware of that. In addition to this proven formula, Tamagotchis induce nostalgia. People who use fitness tracking apps grew up with Tamagotchis afterall.
On the Apple Watch, you can earn badges if you move every day. But this dry approach to fitness doesn’t work with everyone. I don’t care if I get the perfect week medal, but I care about this cute little giraffe. While RunKeeper helps you run faster and push your limits, Tep helps you run more regularly.