Fog of the World

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This app is probably the best download I have ever made. I have heard Burnie Burns (from Rooster Teeth) talk about this a few times on their podcast, and I went to purchase it and it happened to be the free app of the day. Everything was pointing towards me getting this app, so it was an obvious choice. 

I spend a lot of my time traveling, or planning my next trips. The only other thing I spend most of my time doing is getting achievements, so combining the two is a no-brainer.

So, first, let me explain what Fog of the World even is. Most gamers will be familiar with the "fog of war" concept. Only your immediate surroundings may be viewable, but as your character moves through the game, fog-shrouded or otherwise obscured areas become visible. Fog of World basically obscures the areas on a map that you haven’t yet visited. You leave the app on as you travel anywhere from your local shop, to the other side of the world. It then tracks you and unlocks the fog as you go. An example of this is in the image above, which I snapped early today from my phone. 

There is a red record button at the bottom of the map, which is greyed out when the app is not tracking you. You activate it and the app is then constantly running in the background, Fog of World will track your movements via GPS. You don't need 3G, 4G or WIFI to do this. You simply need GPS. This is ideal for when you are traveling. The more fog you unlock, the more points you get. I am level 14 and I have basically been around the city, and on 3 quick trips outside of the city. 

You unlock achievements for traveling to new countries, continents and distances. For example, there is one achievement called "Nordic Traveller" which simply activates when you've visited all 5 Nordic countries. There is a "traveler" achievement for reaching level 50. There is also an achievement called "King of the World" and to unlock this you need to explore 1% of the planet. It doesn't sound tough, but so far I've only unlocked 0.000000140540203% of the world. 

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You can see all of your stats, live. You can see how far you've gone overall, your world area that has been explored and the percent of the world that you have explored, too. Another good feature is to see which countries and continents you have visited. There are badges for each country, which is inside a badge for each continent. 

You can see my stats on the left. Now, I obviously haven't gone far since I got the app, but I'm sure that if you travel often then you will level up fast. 

This app is motivating me to travel more (which is always a good thing) and see more and do more, it can also act as a great resource to keep track of the places you've been too. I have several examples of this. First of all, I now take different routes home each time, just so I can unlock more fog. I've seen more of this city since I got the app than I ever have in all my time coming here and living her put together. Secondly, at the end of this year I am attending a wedding in Portugal and then traveling to Spain, London and America. This app will be with me the entire time, not just so I can unlock for, but so I can actually show my friends and family the path we took and where we went when I tell them the stories of the travels. 

With any app, there is a few downsides. Fog of World works best if it always running in the background, GPS on, recording your progress. You can use an external GPS device, but your every day person doesn't really have something like that. To have Fog of World track all of my progress all of the time, I have to have it running every time I leave the apartment and I leave it going until I get home. I have a portable charger for my phone, but for those who don't, they will be heavily burdened by how quickly this app drains a battery. In saying that, that is not really the apps fault, and the developers have given us a way around this, so I won't punish the app purely based on this. 

If you want, you can use another GPS device and then import the data later. You can also backup all your data in Dropbox, and merge it with other devices you use. You are not restricted to simply using your phone. This is not a feasible method of fixing a problem, but there is not much else that can be done. I have used fitness apps in the past that track my walking and running and they drain my battery just as quickly. My phone was not built to be a GPS device, it simply has the ability to facility GPS requirements. 

All this said and done, Fog of World turns your everyday life and travels into a game, and gives you more inspiration to get out of the house. This app has changed the way I think about getting to a location. It keeps me motivated and inspired to keep moving and to go further. It also motivates me to go to places that I have been before pre-fog of the world. If you like to travel, or maybe if you don't but you want motivation to do something, then this is the key to unlocking that for you. This is truly the best way to combine fitness, travel and exploration with the heart of a true gamer and achievement hunter. 

Overall Score: 10/10