Video Game HealBot Turns World Of Warcraft Into A Dream

Video Game HealBot Turns World Of Warcraft Into A Dream

HealBot is a video game that you are supposed to play in order to get better at another video game. Imagine that.

People debate whether video games can train people to be better soldiers and worse drivers in real life. How narrow their imaginations! Let us explore this idea that games can make us better at games. Visualise a jumping game that makes you better at Super Mario. Picture a finger-sliding game that lets you improve your Angry Birds skills.


You should try HealBot, an iOS game that is supposed to make you better at World of Warcraft. Specifically, according to the Trip Hop Clan, the people who made it: “HealBot 1.0 lets you practice the WoW healing mechanic anywhere you have your iPhone or iPad — no need to be anywhere near your computer.”

Right on. I don’t even play World of Warcraft, yet I can now get better at playing World of Warcraft. The game is simple. You are show six health bars. The top one belongs to an unseen enemy boss character. The botom one is for you, the healer. The middle four are for your allies: a tank, two a melee fighter and two ranged fighters. These bars slowly lose health, as chronicled in a damage log that scrolls at the bottom of the screen. The only thing you can do is pick which member of your party to heal and cast one of three spells on them to heal them. Then wait. Let more damage dent the party. Heal them more. Keep doing it until the boss dies. (By default, you lose if one of your party members dies.)

The theory is that this makes you a better WoW player, and like most training courses you can’t expect it to be that fun. But intentionally or not, HealBot does something wonderful. It compels its player to imagine a WoW battle in their mind. I can’t see a boss health bar taking damage without imagining some excellent gargoyle of an enemy. I can’t see my tank lose half his health without imagining some massive, damaging blow knocking him down. In other words, I can’t help but visualise an amazing version of World of Warcraft in my mind — the best-looking World of Warcraft I’ve ever imagined.

HealBot winds up doing what great text adventures do. It eschews the graphics of the screen to delightfully trigger the graphics of the mind. I don’t think that was the Trip Hop Clan’s intent, but since when did we only care about intent? Give the free HealBot a shot and see what type of WoW you can see.

HealBot [iTunes]


  • Hell maybe they should expand it and make whole raid dungeons in such an interface where actual people play each of the characters.
    Would be perfect for Facebook.

  • As a recovering WoW player, this is pretty much how boss fights are. You don’t see any of the pretty stuff on the screen, you need to be focussed on the data (depending on class/role):

    – who’s about to die?
    – am I going to lose aggro?
    – what’s next in my cast rotation?
    – I’m a rogue(rouge) – why am I not top DPS?

    There are addons for all of this and more, and you end up not even seeing the beautiful effects Blizzard has thrown on-screen for the player’s delecation until you review the video to see whose fault the wipe was.

  • As an ex-healer, I lol’d. Hard. Mostly because they’re serious.

    You have more than three spells to keep track off, environmental effects and procs to look out for, and you need to manage mana. This is like playing time crisis to learn how to be flash James Bond.

    note to self: Dust off time crisis later.

    Of course, the laughing was quickly followed by crying as they’ve replicated the healers view of the game perfectly – you don’t actually look at the game, you look at the interface.

  • “- I’m a rogue(rouge) – why am I not top DPS?”

    Because there’s an spriest owning your top spot?

  • You know what they should do? Have a lobby where you can hook this into an auto-following WoW empty player. That means
    a) You’ve got someone far away who is purely focusing on the healing of the party and not worrying about moving around or the graphics, and
    b) you’ll have more dedicated healers ready for PUGs.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!