Walkr - A Gamified Fitness App

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
Walkr - A Gamified Fitness App App Poster Image
Combine space-travel gaming with real-life steps tracking.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Develop healthy fitness habits by tracking daily steps.

Ease of Play

Easy to earn points: Just keep your phone in your pocket and walk or run. Not so easy to know where your spaceship -- or the game -- is going. Complicated game based on a simple concept.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

In-app purchases in the store range from $1.99 to $99.99, and there's no parent gate.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Walkr - A Gamified Fitness App is a space-themed adventure game in which players earn energy points for their spaceship by walking in real life. Steps are recorded via the player's phone pedometer, and they show up in the game as available points to use to fuel the spaceship. A little alien gives instructions via text-like bubbles. It's not a game that's played and completed in a few sessions: There are more than 30 missions, 25 planets, dozens of creatures, and upgraded spaceships for players to acquire. Exploration and spaceship upgrades require steps and time, and some missions require teams formed with other people on social media also using the app. Note that there are various options to speed up progress, some available via in-app purchase, and there's no parent gate. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

To use WALKR - A GAMIFIED FITNESS APP, watch the intro, follow its written instructions, and watch the on-screen hand to swipe. Explore outer space by using "walking energy" to reduce the time needed to travel. Check the upper left corner of the screen to see how much walking energy you've accumulated, and tap Boost (which will cost you points) to speed exploration. Use points to feed creatures and create needed objects like a "super blender." Some options to speed progress, like Cubes, are available through in-app purchase with no parent gate. To access missions that let players collaborate, users can link to friends on social media who also use the app.

Is it any good?

This fitness-oriented game might motivate, but the game elements can be confusing. Walkr - A Gamified Fitness App is meant to help users "get in shape and have fun at the same time," as the developer asserts. Walking or running steps make it easy to earn points; just keep your phone in your pocket. What's not so easy is knowing where the game is going. With so many options and so much going on -- sometimes you need coins, sometimes cubes, some missions require more than one player, others you can achieve solo -- it can begin to feel simply too complicated. Still, for tweens and teens who like games with lots of levels, missions, achievements, characters, and more, it could be an app that remains on their phone for a very long time and boosts their motivation to move. For other players who just want a fun way to record their steps, this app may feel more like running in circles than moving forward into fitness.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how to use Walkr - A Gamified Fitness App to develop the habit of walking as much as possible daily; a good goal is 10,000 steps per day.

  • Encourage your tween or teen to avoid the temptation to buy in-app purchase points to move through the game faster. Brainstorm ways together to get more steps!

  • Many tweens and teens feel pressure to develop the perfect physique (read Common Sense Media's How can media affect kids' body image?). Walkr - A Gamified Fitness app is one way to make getting in better (not perfect) shape more fun and take the focus off body image and onto fun and health.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Skills: Health & Fitness: exercise, fitness
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to Try (in-app purchases $1.99 to $99.99 for Cubes and Super Pilot status)
  • Subscription price: $1.99 for Super Pilot status
  • Release date: January 7, 2018
  • Category: Health & Fitness
  • Size: 197.10 MB
  • Publisher: FOURDESIRE CO.
  • Version: 4.2.3
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later; Android 4.1 and up

For kids who love movement and the outdoors

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