Squack, available for iPhone and iPad though the Apple iTunes App Store, is an interesting new way to explore your world. Squack has far more of a competitive nature than the likes of Geocaching, although this shouldn’t put you off the idea, as the competitive side is mild and really can be ignored if you so choose.
I found myself going to areas in my local town that I had never been to before, using this app, as I found the challenge of filling out as many of those pesky squares quite compulsive. Like any app of this nature, please do a little research before going to places that may be dangerous or out-of-bounds. Now, onto those squares…
Squack divides the map of the world into millions and millions of tiny squares, each 1 km square, and it is up to you to try to attempt to change the colour of as many of those squares as possible. The app tracks you as you walk around, and you will no doubt have your local grid filled in pretty quickly, which is where you will then start to explore more and more of your local area.
Trips away or abroad will soon turn into compulsive ‘square hunts’, with the need to change plans to accommodate as many squares as is possible, definitely a potential game changer for those that travel a lot. Even if you choose not to ‘play the game’, then this is still a fascinating way to track your own movements for prolonged periods of time.
Here, straight from the developer, are the app’s best features:
Facebook login or create an in-app login account
– High score list – compare against entire worldwide list of Squackers, or just against your Facebook friends
– Change the color of your squares
– Changing devices? Port your squares to a new device via the cloud! (premium feature)
If you do get into the actual game, then the online leaderboards will be a frequent visit. You can check your progress against the worldwide leaderboard, or more interestingly, your Facebook friends. This element has bags of potential for groups of friends, as you can finally find out who actually travels more each month, and I can see people getting quite addicted to this feature alone.
The app itself is well presented, with a clean and efficient design throughout. The layout is intelligent, and I never had any problems navigating my way around the various features and functions within the app. One thing I would like added is more points of interest within the main map, as this would make finding your way around the world more enjoyable, with the possibility of side quests, such as visit a certain number of tourist locations within a month, enabled.
Overall, this is a surprisingly addictive app, with a brilliant core idea that has been professionally executed. I found this as interesting as Geocaching, but with more of a competitive edge. Highly recommended.