Fitness & Sorcery: The Game That Oughtta Be

We, here at this humble house we like to call AZ, deal daily with apps and games galore. And we also deal with readers, and users, and PRs, and bots (cross this out), and developers known and as yet unknown alike. And these people often ask for this or that game, or where were those apps, or why that is or isn’t or was or will be.

There, just there, in the realm of uncertainty, sometimes a magic spark mates with fae dust and a flabbergasting idea is born. And everybody looks at each other, and smiles with wide open eyes, wondering and daydreaming about what shall we do with the money we’ll earn selling that un-hunted bear fur.

Then we go back to whatever awesome we were doing, because we are not developers. Our skills are otherwise.

This doesn’t mean that all that mana was wasted in vain. We deem it a wise to share such app ideas here for free, so anyone can come and grab them.

In the end, ideas that are kept in a locked vault are like birds hold in a cage: they’re gorgeous, but it’s far better to watch them fly, even if that implies they don’t belong to you anymore (if, indeed, they ever did).

To start with, we’ve chosen Fitness & Sorcery.

We could also name it Sword & Fitness. It doesn’t matter at this stage.

It would be a pretty standard dungeon crawler, something between classic Gauntlet and Diablo (for example, Gameloft’s Dungeon Hunter IV or Glu’s Eternity Warriors III). You create your character, initially an emaciated and unequipped adventurer, and roam a dungeon looking for loot and experience.

As you progress through the game and explore the depths of the maze, enemies will be more powerful and dangerous, and treasure will be more interesting. However, your character won’t get better only by amassing experience points. You will actually have to build yourself up in real life for changes to be reflected into your virtual alter ego.

These prowess improvements would come as IRL minigames. The main premise is to gamify working out in order to advance further in the game, in conjunction with a workout tracker like Atlasor the Dash, or to a lesser extent, with a fitness wristband like Fitbit.

Zombies Run! has been a great inspiration for this game-that-should-be

For example:

  • In a way similar to Zombies, Run!, your character is being chased by some kind of undead demon dragon (sounds scary, doesn’t it?). Run away for a mile not only evades such a hideous and dangerous creature, but also boosts your agility, thus improving your character’s speed and dodge chance. If you dare to fulfill a special 5 mile quest, it could also raise your Health and Resistance.
  • Weightlifting, squats and push-ups shall raise your Strength ability, so your character will deal more damage in hand to hand combat. Along with a Workout Trainer, incarnated by some annoying gnome coach or any other motivational character (perhaps an Elven sidekick).
  • Random IQ and trivia tests make your character cleverer, thus able to learn more skills/spells/stuff. Every school of magic may have a related sort of test, ranging from Math to general Trivia.

Girl, wanna wear a plate bikini 8AC and wield the mighty igneous 2-handed vorpal sword? Earn it. Pic from League of Angels.

  • Perception minigames make PCs wiser = more mana points to spend, more chance to detect secret doors and hidden traps. Any “4 pictures, one word,” find-the-difference, and/or spatial puzzle games (“How many cubes are there?”) will do the trick.
  • Checking into IRL places unlocks lore and maps. Mana potions bought at a Starbucks or any other affiliated franchise earn 10% efficiency. If this Foursquare-ness can be upgraded with VR system a la Wikitude or Ingress, or even Google Glass, could superpose a fantastic layer into your surroundings. Just imagine.
  • Luring new friends into the game raises your Charisma, hence improving NPC reactions towards you and getting discounts in both in-game and IRL shops.
  • A Zumba Dancing tie-in.

The storyline and different scenarios would add diversity and thrill to the game. Pic from Dungeon Hunter IV.

A “vacation mode” would keep your character and storyline (because there will be a storyline about a princess and an evil necromancer or whatever, that’s a big incentive) frozen till you came back from the Realm of Laziness and Unconcern.

The first stages would play both as a tutorial and and test to adjust difficulty and guide the player, avoiding those stages they are not fit enough to attempt.

In addition, players would be able to upload their progress to an online leaderboard (player has run two miles from Shark Cliff to Hollow Hills in 12'30") and contests could be announced over time.

Added value:

  • Poweful use of Fitbit and other hardware features
  • Gamification of everything and introduction of RPG-like games to non-RPG players and Fitness apps to “unhealthy” people.
  • Nerd, get your ass out that chair now!
  • Comprehensive game, justifying the purchase of hardware or a dedicated device on its won.

Boss battles will encourage meeting goals. Pic from Eternity Warriors III.

Money comes from:

  • Sponsors
  • Additional scenarios in-app purchaseable (dare to go beyond the River-that-drenches-it-all to reach the Desert-that-burns-it-all, adventurer?)

Additional features:

  • Running can be voiced-over by a busty Elven enchantress or a handsome High Man troubadour sidekick instead of that annoying gnome. Motivation Imladris-style. You can also get a rude and ruthless Orc coach for cheap.
  • Dreaming a little bit further, it could be combined with Tellspec, to gamify diet and calorie consumption. You wouldn’t want your character to die of starvation, but he or she must not get fat.

Peter, you REALLY need Fitness & Sorcery to come true

Have your own game-that-oughtta-be, and feel too lazy to learn to code and design, to commercialize and promote? rush to the comment section below. Our guys will forward it to an editor to appraise it properly.

Originally published at It’s published here as it was back on March 31st, 2014.