Version Reviewed: 1.0.5
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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A surprising amount of apps and games like to think that they can change one's life. In reality, a select few can actually accomplish something that huge. Most of the remaining few might change small elements, such as providing encouragement for those trying to exercise more or give up a bad habit. SuperBetter is part of an even smaller group: it wants to change and improve everything about one's life. A lofty ambition but one that I reckon it can accomplish, with the willingness of its users.
One such glimpse into the importance of SuperBetter comes from this Ted video from game designer, Jane McGonigal, explaining just why the app can help so much. It's fascinating stuff and ideal context. Essentially, SuperBetter is about turning life into a game.
Pretty much everyone wants to improve something in their life in some way. Whether it be overcoming a fear or two, or working through chronic pain or depression. In my case, anxiety is the big issue for me, stopping me from accomplishing as much as I'd like.
SuperBetter takes it one step at a time. Allowing users to choose what they want to focus on, it comes up with a list of power-ups: small positive steps that can make a world of difference. These are frequently simple acts, such as drinking a glass of water, taking a walk around the block, or simply thinking positively for a few seconds. It's easy to be clouded by negative thoughts. SuperBetter reminds one of the benefits of thinking about the good things. It sounds a little idealistic, I know, but it makes sense.
Building upon such power-ups, the app then moves onto battling bad guys: more significant issues, but again highly achievable tasks. Often, these tie into smaller tasks, showing how little changes can change a lot. Further on, quests play a role, comprising of other small activities such as reading some of the app's science sections, or even just sit still and feel awesome for 15 seconds. An Ally system encourages users to get their friends involved, as social contact is an important part of improvement, too.
There are a number of different power packs, each relating to different issues and circumstances, with users able to focus on quitting a bad habit, overcoming injuries, becoming more resilient or simply exercising a little more. It's a great system, given that it's possible to combine numerous aims and have plenty to accomplish, each in small, bite-sized pieces that even the busiest person can find time to squeeze into their schedule.
At times, some of the descriptions might be a little vague, and I'd have appreciated iPhone 5 screen support, but otherwise, I adored SuperBetter. It's early days for me, but I can see it potentially proving to be quite beneficial for myself, and others.