I had high hopes for Epic Win from the trailer. Here was an iPhone app that promised to mix a task manager in the style of Getting Things Done with a game-based reward system.
So when it was released a few days ago I was quick to download it and give it a go.
Sadly it isn’t quite up to scratch yet. And here’s why.
Ignoring the common problems that plague first release apps on the iPhone, especially when we are still in the early days of iOS4 – the random crashes and load issues – there are some fundamental flaws.
First, there is no importing of tasks from, say your existing calendar. Now that wouldn’t be such a problem if I could publish them out the opposite way. But the way it works not, I have to enter the tasks manually as I go. No doubt this will be fixed in future versions as I expect everyone who has downloaded the app is clamouring about this. (There’s also the rather annoying but minor issue of the inability to see the ‘day of the week’ when setting a date for a task). This leads to the next core problem.
Most importantly though, I can’t share tasks with my friends. This is a critical flaw, especially as I’d love to use it with my teams at work. I should be able to set hierarchical tasks and then share with others who have to complete them with me – then we can collectively benefit form the encouragement of the Epic Win game engine.
Now taking these two problems together, we get to the need for an ‘ecosystem’ – a way of importing and exporting tasks from a range of calendaring platforms, and then sharing/inviting others to take part in and accept tasks. No doubt then we’d need a way of logging tasks via a standard web interface on other devices too. Sound familiar? Hmmm . . . . see any generic calendaring/task platform.
Still I think that the general idea of combining a task manager and calendaring app with the leveling up and quest-focus of a RPG is genius and I’m willing to hold out for improvements in future versions.
At the moment Epic Win is a lot of nice cartoon-y graphics and some interesting game elements with a very very rudimentary calendar tool underneath it. If the developers spend a fair bit of time working on the feature-set of the calendaring app it might become an indispensable app.
Imagine if they partnered with Remember The Milk . . .