Version Reviewed: 2.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5/Apple Watch
iPhone Integration Rating:
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Having grown up in the era of the Tomagatchi, and the lesser known knock-offs like Gigapets, I was pretty interested in seeing how Wokamon would combine the virtual pet concept with fitness. I think it’s got the right idea, but some of the implementation needs work.
The point behind Wokamon is very simple: these critters need to be fed, and the only thing they eat is your activity. Each step earns them experience and earns you in-game cash that can be spent on clothing items and upgrades that will in-turn net you even more experience and cash per step. As you set everything up you’ll be asked to decide if you’d like to sync the app with Health, one of several other third-party fitness trackers like FitBit or Moves, or simply use your iPhone’s built-in hardware.
Having so many options is nice but I was surprised to find that synching with Health wasn’t immediate. Even though Health was indeed tracking my steps, I had to manually sync it every time I opened up Wokamon. Granted it’s just a single button tap, but it seems like an odd step. Syncing it directly to my iPhone allowed for more up-to-date information, but when using my phone directly I’ve noticed that it doesn’t always pick up on my movement. For example, I just took a 20 minute walk before I started writing this and the experience meter didn’t budge.
Then there’s the Apple Watch functionality, which is nice to have but not really important. All it does is let you check your Wokamon’s experience levels, level it up if need be, and collect a chest filled with an almost insignificant amount of in-game money. Supposedly you’ll earn more chests the more you walk and the more time passes, but this has been very inconsistent. Sometimes I check it after an few hours and there’s only one, other times I check after a half hour and there are three. Regardless, if you end up going through Health then the Apple Watch functions are completely pointless due to the fact that you can only sync to Health from the main app on your iPhone.
Hiccups and initial release annoyances aside, I can appreciate what Wokamon does and is trying to do. It’s not quite there yet, but I’m confident that once it’s been tweaked a bit it will make for a fun additional excuse to stay active.