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  • Writer's pictureBig Rick Stuart

Ignore your fitness tracker and walk to Mordor instead

Fantasy Hike is a beautiful walking tracker for fantasy nerds and everyone that loves adventure. Start your quest today. All steps you take will let your halfling avatar progress through a beautiful fantasy adventure, from your comfy halfling hole all the way to Mount Fire. Compete with your friends and see their progress in the fantasy world and on the map.

See how far you've walked since your journey started. Fantasy Hike lets you appreciate and be proud of your complete walking distance. Walk your dog, take a morning jog, or "run" between meeting rooms. No matter what you are doing Fantasy Hike supports and motivates you to a healthy lifestyle.

from The Verge

...that person was looking at their Fantasy Hike data. The app uses your health data to track a quest to Mount Fire — a copyright-friendly version of Mount Doom in Mordor. They were competing with another halfling named Mr. Underhill, aka Frodo Baggins’ traveling alias.

Fantasy Hike is not the most complicated app. It runs in the background and integrates with Apple Health to track your walking and running data. (Sadly, it doesn’t seem like there’s an Android version.) You can see your little avatar traversing through not-Middle Earth. (The app changes most of the names, but since I haven’t finished my quest yet it’s hard to say if it’s all of the names.) Every so often, ghostly wights pop up behind you.

You get achievements when you’ve crossed from one region to the next — Hillside End to Halfing Country, and so on. You also get notifications when you hit a momentous plot event — like when Old Tom (Bombadil) rescues you.

Aside from Mr. Underhill, you can compete against other copyright-friendly fantasy heroes. There’s Jon Snowflake (he knows nothing), Alice Wonderfoot, and Hairyfoot Potter. And unlike Mr. Underhill, who’s a speedy bugger, the other heroes go at different paces.

It sounds silly, but it works. In the roughly 1.5 months I’ve been using it, I’ve noticed a change in my mindset. I’m dwelling less on how much speed I’ve lost. Instead of griping how tired I am, I’ll get off a stop earlier on the bus so I can shorten the pathetic 337-mile lead Mr. Underhill currently resting in Riverdale has over me.

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