So I finally decided to give this app a try. Picking up the pace as you leave the safety of Abel Township, your guide Sam (funny right? Sam guiding Samy!) details your latest mission through the zombie-infested wilderness. Combining actual running with an engaging storyline and GPS-fueled undead chases, Zombies, Run! is an interactive fitness app that provides excellent motivation to get up and get moving.
Gameplay is simple. Slip on your headphones, swipe your phone’s screen to start your mission, and commence running. In your first mission you’ll be introduced to Abel Township, an oasis of humanity in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. As the newest arrival to the fortified farm, you assume the role of Runner 5, one of a group of athletic couriers and messengers sent out in search of supplies and news.
The story plays out completely through well-acted voice overs with no need to look at the screen. As you start each run, Sam lets you know if you’ll be searching for a lost child, combing a nearby hospital for supplies, or luring the shambling dead away from the jammed entry gates. When Sam’s briefing is complete, the game plays a song from your chosen playlist followed by another segment of the story. During the music segments, voice overs notify you when you have collected an item to take to base. From boxes of 9mm bullets to bandages, laptops, and even packs of clean underwear, these supplies upgrade the township and unlock additional missions. Depending on the length of your songs, each mission typically lasts between 20-35 minutes.
As for the undead, you can decide to play with or without random zombie mob encounters. Treadmill runners can still play the game, but with encounters switched off. With encounters on, occasionally you’ll need to pick up the pace to evade a crew of braineaters. Voice overs warn you if zombies have been detected, followed by a series of beeps. As the dead get closer, the beeping grows faster, and as they catch up to you, you’ll hear zombie moans and growls. If you can’t get away in time you’ll lose some of your collected supplies, dumping them as distractions. The game uses the phone’s GPS to track your speed, so you don’t need to be a world-class runner to escape. According to the developers, you need to increase your speed about 20% from base pace for about a minute to get away.
In the event you finish your mission before your actual run is complete, the game switches to radio mode. Hosts Jack and Eugene treat you to a post-apocalyptic radio show serving songs from your playlist, interjecting commentary, jokes, and news in between tunes. When you are ready to stop your run, you tap “Stop Mission” on your phone. The game presents a summary of your run stored permanently in a log, including total time, distance, and pace, along with a listing of items and zombie mobs encountered. Returning to the base screen you then allocate supplies to different buildings in the township, upgrading the armory, communications station, and more. While you can assign any item to any area, the buildings will upgrade faster if you allocate supplies specific to their needs, such as med kits to the hospital. As the township improves and the population grows, you’ll unlock new missions.
Between the engaging story line collecting supplies, upgrading base, and of course, the adrenaline-infused zombie chases, Zombies, Run! makes you look forward to your next run and hearing what happens next at Abel Township. If you’re looking for extra motivation to exercise, I recommend you download Zombies, Run!
Remember – in the zombie apocalypse, you don’t have to be the fastest runner, you just can’t be the slowest!
PS: I ran with my mother and she smoked me. 2 Miles in I had to let her go on without me! I will definitely use this app as motivation to start running more frequently. To see stats on my latest run (and the app in general) check out these links: