Five Games That’ll Help You Get Fit (And Do Other Stuff Too)

I’ve got plenty of bad habits. I’m a night owl with morning person tendencies, I don’t work out anywhere near as much as I should (my regime is somewhere between “none” and “not at all”), and I’m a master procrastinator. These are all habits that have been ingrained in me for quite some time – so kicking them isn’t exactly an easy task. I’m sure at least a few of you can relate, no?

[heading]Habit RPG[/heading]

HabitRPG turns self-improvement into a role-playing game. Completing daily quests, tackling to-dos, and engaging in good habits gives your character health, experience points, and gold. That gold can be used to either buy rewards (for example, one game of League of Legends) or to purchase equipment for your character. Each quest also gives you a chance to obtain a rare drop of some kind – an item, a pet, or a piece of awesome gear. It might sound a little strange and corny at first, but in all honesty?

I’ve been using it for about a week or two now, and it’s worked wonders. Completing a quest in HabitRPG carries the same satisfaction as completing a quest in any other game, with the added bonus of knowing I actually accomplished something of note in the real world. Have a look – it’s free.

[heading]Zombies, Run![/heading]

Are you a jogger? Do you want to be? Zombies, Run! is a game that’s right up your alley, then. Designed for both Android and iOS Smartphones, Zombies, Run! puts you in the shoes of someone living during the zombie apocalypse. You’ve established a small, rinky-dink home base; your next step is to build it up into a bulwark against the coming tide of undead. In order to do that, you’re going to need to head out on supply runs – literally.

See where I’m going with this?

Zombies, Run! incentivizes exercise by actually putting your character in mortal danger. If you don’t run fast enough or far enough, you’re zombie chow. If you don’t run regularly, you’ll run out of supplies and starve. Basically, your physical health is directly tied to your character’s well-being. It’s…surprisingly motivating.

[heading]Just Dance 2014[/heading]

Just Dance 2014 is the only entry on the list that isn’t technically designed with self-improvement in mind. It’s just a fun game that lets you dance along to your favorite songs. It’s also incredibly good exercise – if you’re out of shape, you’re going to be breaking a sweat after only a few songs. Try playing a few hours of this every day, and then see if you don’t end up getting fit right quick.


Here’s a little secret – the vast majority of human beings have at least a shred of competitive spirit within them. That’s what Fitocracy taps into. It’s a social fitness RPG that allows you to directly compete with other users. You can check on the progress of your friends and family, boast about your own progress to your rivals, or even duel someone else if the need arises. Should you fail to stick to your exercise routine, you’ll far behind – and whoever you’re competing against will gain bragging rights.


I wasn’t actually sure if I should include Beeminder on the list – it’s definitely less of a game than the other four items. It’s still extremely valuable, though – enough that I decided it was worth mentioning here. See, it’s an app designed to help you achieve whatever goals you desire. How it does that is quite simple – it makes you put your money where your mouth is, literally. Every time you set a new goal, you pony up some cash. If you complete the goal, you’ll get your money back. If you fail, you won’t.

You’ll either learn self-control fairly quickly, or beat the hell out of your wallet. Take your pick.

We’ve all got a few bad habits we want to get rid of.

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