Developer: Victor Baro
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★½☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Imagine the pitch for this app:

“Hey, I know you wake up at 6:30am each morning and your alarm is the bane of your life, but how would you like to elongate the alarm process by having to complete a mini-game to turn it off, while still deep in slumber?”

That. Sounds. Like. A. Nightmare. In theory it’s a potential day-ruiner, but it’s nowhere near as bad as it sounds (the 6:30am part is still pretty awful though).

Sporting a variety of colorful themes, WakeUp Challenge has a wonderfully simple interface that is easy to use and even more pleasing to the eye. The home screen displays the current time, location, and weather conditions, while a swipe to the left or right shows the alarm time and game type; both of which are set by holding a finger on the screen.

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There are 4 game types available: a memory pairing game, a reaction game, a mathematical game, and a memory sequence game. All of them require some form of concentration, so I’d suggest selecting the one appropriate for the alarm time. Sure I can do mathematical equations on a Sunday after I’ve woken up at 11am, but 6:30am on a Monday I’ll take the memory card-pairing game every time. It would be nice to have the option of not having to set a game every time, since the 4 available alarm sounds are so soothing, whereas the grating music for each mini-game can turn a pleasant awakening into an irritated one. It’s a feature that will probably stop WakeUp Challenge from becoming most peoples’ alarm app of choice, which it could easily be if the games were optional. There’s no way people will want to use the gaming function every morning, so it limits the overall re-use value of the app.

Still, WakeUp Challenge is a unique and interesting alarm app that will get brains working way before they have any right to be functional. It all depends on whether users are morning people or not. For those who always sleep on the right side of the bed, this is a brain-teasing way to start the day.

Posted in: iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews, Utilities

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