I’ll be the first to admit that my motivation for many of my runs was not simply to stay in shape but to assure I’m in top physical condition for the Zombie Apocalypse. You can imagine my excitement when I learned that there is an App out there that places you in the midst of a Zombie Outbreak where you complete missions by running.
Zombies Run! is a Six To Start application that has garnered a lot of popularity among the running community. The app relies on gamification, using game playing elements to other areas of activity, for players to experience a simulated zombie environment to collect items, complete missions, and build towns to protect themselves against the zombie horde. I touched a bit upon my experience with Zombies Run! in my marathon training and mentioned just how enjoyable it was to be immersed in a fictitious story while jogging
So what’s the story? You start off as a runner who just survived a helicopter crash. You are given the name, “Runner 5”, and must jog around to gather supplies and do rescue missions for the town of Abel. Listening to the mission’s dialog is pretty entertaining. Typically there are two narrators who guide you on your journey to both motivate and entertain you throughout the mission. The Radio Mode gives you two other wise-cracking narrators who play the DJ roles while making light about the apocalypse. You must venture to restore what’s left of humanity, defend yourself against enemies, and try to survive the endless swarm of zombies that surround you.
One of the great parts about this application is its ability to divide up your music’s playlist with the application’s audio. When you are not listening to any dialog throughout your run you are able to listen to music on a software music application, such as Pandora, or load songs directly from your playlist. Throughout your missions the story will pause the music to provide a narrative
When you aren’t running there’s a second half of the game to keep you busy. Whatever supplies you gather from your missions can be used to fortify the town of Abel to better withstand the horde. The more supplies you collect the more you can level up your town.
My favorite part of the application though is the Application’s GPS tracking system. Unlike many running apps out there, this application will provide you markers for each mile ran. This became a great way for me to track my pace as it provided me total time ran each mile I hit. However, don’t rely on this application too heavily. On a cloudy day the GPS tracking can get pretty fuzzy and may tell you you hit your first mile in the impossible time of two minutes. For the most part, the GPS tracking provides a really accurate report of your run. Zombies Run! also logs all your runs from the beginning so you can look back at your progress.
If you really want to push yourself you can enable Chase mode where you’ll need to pick up the pace to avoid being taken away by zombies. In the chase mode a runner will need to sprint at least 20% their average pace for a solid minute to evade being zombie chow. A great option for those who wish to work interval training. For the individuals who are new to running, the Six to Start also has a Couch to 5k version that trains you up from novice to 5k runner.
Speaking of 5k Runs, if you are interested in competing in a race, Six to Start is hosting a Virtual 5k Race in late March. Thousands of runners will get exclusive running gear, such as a sweet Runner 5 Tee, and a Finisher’s medal. Come join many other runners on a quest to battle against Zombies.