A few weeks ago we took a look at Chorebuster (review), a complex, yet very powerful chore management tool. Today, one that's been making the rounds around the office is Chore Wars, a seemingly ridiculous concept that attempts to make repetitive tasks like washing the dishes and vacuuming worthwhile for things besides sanitation. Did we mention this is set in a magical universe with monsters, treasure and certain peril?
The concept is simple: users band together in guilds, and give household chores various reward levels. Those rewards translate into character upgrades, in a Web based MMORPG that you play with your friends, family, or roommates. Consider it like a very stripped-down version of World of Warcraft, where leveling up requires some real-life elbow grease.
While it doesn't play like a video game, Chore Wars has a simplified Web interface that lets members of your party create and claim chores. The actual chore creation process is a joy, with a simple Web form that lets you fill in the name of the chore, along with values for gained experience points, gold, and various character attributes. The real fun, however, is thinking up treasure and monsters, which you have the potential to run into every time you claim to have done a chore. This opens up a dialog where you can find out if you've managed the task unscathed, or run into perils you or others have dreamed up.
The real nitty-gritty of Chore Wars is its management system, which lets users easily claim chores using a drop-down menu, or by picking one from the "adventure" page. You can keep track of the chores each user has claimed, as each one gets its own status update (a la Twitter), along with a time stamp to let you know when it was taken care of. What might be the only dampener here, is that as group administrator, there isn't a way to dole out chores to other users, or separate chores that are individual from those that are communal. In this sense, Chore Wars fails. However, if you have kids or roommates who are honest about taking care of things, this honor system works.… Read more