If you haven’t heard of Zombies, Run!, you haven’t been paying attention. It’s becoming the hottest fitness app out there by combining one of everyone’s favourite things —zombies— with one of everyone’s least favourites— running. For $7.99, you can have your own zombie-escaping adventure on your iDevice or Android smartphone.
Simply put, Zombies, Run! is a running app that has you running from zombies. Less simply put, it’s a story-based game in which you are a newcomer to Abel Township. After your helicopter is shot down, you are designated Runner 5, one of the group of fleet-footed people assigned to retrieve supplies on runs. But there are bigger mysteries: who shot you down? Why was the helicopter only carrying half of the supplies it said it had? Where did a nearby settlement vanish to? What’s the real deal with your last base?
As you walk or run, you’ll automatically pick up supplies like pants, axes, and cans of food, which you can later assign to areas of the township. (What’s extra nice is that this can be done right on your phone as you play or on your computer through ZombieLink when you get home.
The game also allows you to play music from a playlist as you run. If you do this, the storyline is played only between songs, though you’ll continue to pick up supplies while the music is playing. (Also, if you choose to have random zombies, they’ll pop up during songs as well, so keep your ears open.)
Last night was my first night with it, as it only came out for Android yesterday. J and I pulled on our comfy shoes and went out as the sun set, me hobbling on painful quads. As we walked, our headphones introduced us to the story; we heard our helicopters crash, were asked to check out a hospital for supplies, and had to evade zombies by running down the street.
After the first mission, we were back home, sweaty, and it was dark. But we decided to press on with the second mission, which had us exploring the area directly outside the township. We retrieved supplies from a government drop, learned more about the area, and had to escape a group of slow-moving zombies. We also had to wonder why I had picked up three overcoats and he had found three axes. Weird.
All in all, I’m very excited to continue the game. And I hate running. But when you hear that voice say, “Warning: Zombies 100 meters,” you run. You run like you’ve never run before. You sprint down bike paths, take corners a little too sharp, and look constantly at your phone to see if they’re gone yet. I would recommend this to everyone looking to get fit in a fun way!
- Buy the game. Do it.
- Sign up for ZombieLink (on the Zombies, Run! website) to track your runs and assign supplies on your computer.
- Find a good place to run. You don’t want to get stuck waiting to cross a busy road when a swarm of zombies is gaining on you. Also, it’s a lot of fun running outside at night, when you can almost believe that there really are zombies after you.