Leap: Better Living Through Scavenger Hunts

By Greg Kumparak , written on March 22, 2012

From The News Desk

Do you ever wish you were more...I don't know...awesome? Wish you remembered to hit the gym more often, or floss your teeth daily, or to call your mom once a week to say hello?

Don't worry. Me too. We can do it together. Well, we'd each floss our own teeth and call our own respective mothers, but you get what I mean. Hell, we'll make a game of it.

That's the idea behind Leap, a new scavenger hunt-esque iPhone app. You challenge your friends to simple tasks, battling for bragging rights by way of photographic evidence of completion.

Leap launched a few weeks back on February 29th (Leap day. I know. Adorable.) and has managed to grow to around 25,000 users in the weeks since. Not too shabby for an app that's seen next to no coverage so far and was built on just $20,000 in a seed round from The Brandery. They're clearly onto something here. I'm planning on chatting with the founders for a Debrief on the launch (and other bits like their decision to move across the country for the app) sometime in the next week or so. Still not gettin' the idea? Take one of their pre-provided challenges for example: Inbox Zero. At the end of each day, you want your inbox's "Unread" count to sit at 0. If it is, snap a photo to prove it and get a point. First person amongst those you've challenged to hit 7 points wins. Other examples provided by the company: eating a serving of veggies, reading a book, or finding signs that make for good "That's what she said" material.

As it's a game played amongst circles of friends and the points don't really, you know, matter, it's all self-moderated. If the implied honesty policy doesn't keep people playing fair, other members of a challenge can vote to nullify a point. If half the players vote against a point, it's cancelled.

While this isn't the first app we've seen that tries to take on the scavenger hunt idea, it's the first I've seen that really seems to be aimed in the right direction. They keep it simple (in that the UI gets the hell out of your way rather than trying to slam silly things like check-ins in your way), light-hearted, and free.

And, as a bonus, here are some challenge ideas I came up with while writing this article:

    • Pet a puppy each day. It's good for your soul. First to pet 10 different puppies wins. No pet stores allowed. Shelters okay.
    • Get into 4 different "Members Only" clubs. Double points if this "Members Only" club requires masks.
    • Don't die. Each day you don't die, you get a point. Everyone wins! (Hopefully.)
    • Seriously, call your mom.
You can find Leap for free in the iOS App Store right here.