A full ‘Zombies, Run!’ post has been a long time in coming. The time is now, and this is the perfect week for one, because they’ve just released ‘Zombies, Run! 2’. So far, the second version appears to be a massive upgrade for an already outstanding app.
‘Zombies, Run!’ is a smartphone app available for iPhone and Droid in which your jogs are accompanied by a fictional zombie apocalypse that adds just enough extra fun and motivation that it could just be what gives you that extra push you need to get off of your ass and run.
I started using the app when I realized just how fat I was getting, combined with the fact that all research shows that regular exercise is really good for helping with depression. This was last May, and since then I’ve run around 370 miles (it would have been even more if not losing two months to illness), and lost over 20 pounds! I can’t overstate just how out of shape I was when I started.
When I bought the app, I was hesitant to spend the $7.99 it was going to cost me. That’s a lot for an app! In hindsight, based on how helpful the app has been, I would have paid $40 or $50 happily. I’m not exaggerating. The app has been that important in helping me keep going out there consistently, helping me build the habit that now can sustain itself without the app’s help. FYI, right now the app is on sale for $3.99!
The app includes all of the features a normal running app features. It keeps track of distance and time, maps your run, syncs with a website you can use to track your progress on your computer, etc.
What ‘Zombies, Run!’ offers that other running apps don’t is extra gamification that turns boring runs into mini-adventures. With a solid voice cast, the folks who created this game have written an episodic story surrounding Abel Township, a small group of survivors trying not to succumb to the zombie plague. You are Runner 5, a newcomer to Abel who has to prove yourself and earn your keep, running outside the town gates to collect resources, lead zombies away from town, and complete other various missions, all with your trusty guide Sam Yao speaking into your headset from the communications tower.
You need those supplies, which you will “pick up” randomly as you run, as they are used to keep improving Abel Township. The base building feature on the new version of the app is so much more fun than the original, and it appears they’ve got some tricks up their sleeve that will create enhanced importance for how your base will impact your runs.
Season One of the episodic story had 23 episodes, and Season Two promises to feature more than double that when you include new side missions. The new season will include some free episodes, and some that require purchase, and all will be released over time in truly episodic fashion. I bought access to the entire second season as it becomes available for five bucks, but that is half price, and will go up after this week. Definitely worth it to me.
Even if you aren’t into zombies, you should consider getting this app. It’s not scary, just fun, and is largely responsible for for me being in wildly better shape than I was this time last year, with even more improvement on the horizon!
Hooray for Zombies, Run!