The Market / To Self

Product Feature: Plant Nanny

Plant Nanny Pros:

  • Plant Nanny is living healthfully while having fun in the process.¬†Take care of various cute plants by watering them in amounts equivalent to what you drink.
  • Your weight and lifestyle are taken into consideration to calculate the amount of water you need everyday.
  • Customize various glass measures according to the amounts of water you usually drink.
  • Customize your background and pots.
  • Have a garden full of well-cared for plants of different species.

Plant Nanny Cons:

  • While weight and lifestyle are considered, the parameters of the latter can be more detailed.
  • Also, the climate you live in isn’t taken into consideration.

Did you ever have a Tamagotchi? I did, and it was one of the best toys I ever had. The concept of caring for a virtual pet Рhaving a pet without most of the usual hassles of having a physical pet (except for the small, egg-shaped apparatus that fits easily in a pocket anyway) Рis something that appeals to me even until today, manifested most in the virtual Pokémon I train while playing the Pokémon games.

When I first got full touchscreen smartphones, virtual pet apps were one of the first kinds I looked for. My brother had Last Day of Work’s¬†Fish Tycoon¬†on his iPhone, where you breed and cross-breed various kinds of fish to complete an entire class, including seven “Magic Fish” that give various powers. I used to play Pet Society on Facebook, where you feed and bathe (among others) a pet you create, as well as fix up their house. Captivating though these were, the problem with virtual pets games is that they might end up taking a lot of your time – especially if the pets are prone to doing something while asleep, for instance – and so I stopped.

With this one, though, I don’t think I’ll stop – in fact, my very life feeds the way I play this game. Say hello to Plant Nanny.

Fourdesire/Google Play

Fourdesire/Google Play

Plant Nanny is a game that promotes both fun and healthy living. The premise is simple: you raise a plant. How do plants grow? Well, by being watered! So you¬†virtually water the plant. But that’s not all! You water the plant based on the actual amount of water you’re drinking. So, if you’re drinking 1 cup (250 mL) of water right now, at the same time, you feed your plant one 250 mL-cup of water as well.

Screenshot_2015-02-10-14-31-28

Screenshot by Allister Roy S. Chua (2015)

Fourdesire

Why is this important? Well, you’ve heard of the 8-glasses-a-day rule. Plant Nanny helps you reach that goal. But we are all¬†different human beings, and Plant Nanny thankfully reflects this – to some degree. Well, as is turns out, 8 glasses a day is too general. We need to take into consideration our weight – because a huge portion of our bodies is made up of water – and our lifestyle. Plant Nanny lets you do this (you can even change it midway), although the only choices of lifestyle are “Sedentary”, “Regular”, and “Active”. It will even graph your progress for you, letting know if you’ve reached your daily quota or fell short of it.

Unfortunately, climate also plays a role in how much water we need to drink Рhot, humid climates, like my own, will also compel more water intake the same way sweaty activities like exercise or sports do. I hope Fourdesire, the developers of Plant Nanny, take this into consideration in a future update.

Since you can set how often your phone or tablet will notify you to drink water (the game won’t do so between 10 pm and 6 am, though), Plant Nanny is a very handy – and entertaining – way to keep your water-drinking habits in check.

In late 2013, it was reported that out of 15,000 Americans, 43% of 20-¬†to¬†50-year-old men did not meet the US Institute of Medicine’s recommended standards of 8 pints a day, as well as¬†41% of women (6 pints a day). Elders¬†were actually worse off; 95% of men and 83% of women beyond 71 did not reach said daily quotas. And this is already considering that the water intake wasn’t limited to drinking water, but also to other water-based beverages and foods. Furthermore, sense of thirst is not an accurate way of telling how much (or little) water you’ve drank; it apparently fades over age.

Screenshot by Allister Roy S. Chua (2015)Fourdesire

Screenshot by Allister Roy S. Chua (2015)

Fourdesire

Not drinking enough water will result in a plethora of negative consequences for the body. Since about 70% of our bodies are made up of water, dehydration can actually kill. Headaches, joint pains, digestion problems, temperature problems, and fatigue are only several of the symptoms.

Sometimes, we tend to forget to drink enough or more water, especially if we’re running around like headless chickens or are in “intense” mode at work or play. Plant Nanny is here to help, and not only does it let you take care of a plant: you also get to¬†choose the species, select its pot’s design, and even change the background wallpaper!

Once you’ve watered the plant enough, it will gain a level and grow. Fully-grown plants can be transferred to the garden, and you can then buy a new plant. There is an in-game store where you can buy (with virtual currency), among others, new pots, new backdrops, and even Water of Life, which speeds up growth.

One of the nice features for me, though, is the selection of glasses and drinking vessels. Not only do you get to choose from a selection of drinking containers with pre-made measurements, you also get to change said measurements to suit your conveniences at home. I personally use 250 mL (to represent our regular drinking glasses), 350 mL (for mugs), 450 mL (tumblers), and 550 mL (the bigger tumbler I bought on a cruise two years back). You can even register one of them as your “favorite” cup, meaning it will stay as an icon on the bottom right of the screen, eliminating the need to swipe up to reveal the other glasses.

Screenshot by Allister Roy S. Chua (2015)    Fourdesire

Screenshot by Allister Roy S. Chua (2015)

Fourdesire

And you can name your plant. I’m naming mine after languages; my first plant, a Devil’s Ivy, is called English. (Allow me some indulgences please.)

To help you keep track – and inspire you – the game also features the usual achievements. But the motivation of caring for a plant that survives on primarily water is enough inspiration for me to drink up. In fairness, since I’ve started using Plant Nanny, my water intake seems to have increased – I already indicate I live a “regular” lifestyle (I’m actually somewhere between sedentary and regular, leaning towards the former), but I still end up drinking more than enough water (the game will issue a warning, and the plant will look like it is in danger of drowning).

So, I invite you¬†to download Plant Nanny, care for cute plants, and maintain their water-drinking quotas in the process. Share your plants’ photos – yes, you can take photos of them – in the comments below if you will!


Featured Photo copyright Fourdesire and published on Google Play.

Plant Nanny is available on the iOS App Store (link goes to US store) and the Google Play Store for free.

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