Zombies, RUN!

The tag line says: “Get Fit. Escape Zombies. Become a Hero.” I was intrigued…but would it be worth the hefty £5.49 price tag on iTunes? I umm-ed and ahh-ed for a couple of days before taking the plunge and buying the app for my iPhone. After using the app for three runs, I am now ready to write my review of Zombies, Run!

What exactly is it about?
It is at heart, a running app, with a game element built in on top of it. It provides GPS tracking for your outdoor runs, while layering on a world-has-been-taken-over-by-zombies story which centers around you as a runner in this apocalyptic world. The story is divided into missions (lasting 30 mins or 1 hour, you decide) which is played out for you by human voice actors (and zombies) in between your running tracks. You also have the option to incorporate some fartlek training into your run as there is a switch which allows you to enable “zombie chases”, which basically does what it says on the tin – if this is switched on, you get sporadic incidences where zombies chase you as part of the storyline, and whom you need to out run. If you do get caught, you lose all the supply items you pick up along your run (also randomly), which you should use after your run to build up your communities’ base.

To summarise, it’s basically a running app that is meant to motivate you to actually get out and run!

The good
– I love games, any sort of games, and I hate losing, even if my opponents are zombies and do not exist in real life. Silly as it sounds, this app does actually motivate me to run faster in order to outrun the zombies!
– I like the way the story is broken up into missions. This means that you start itching to do your next run (almost immediately!!), just so you can continue listening to the story in order to find out what the hell is going on
– The Zombielink community looks great! (It’s basically Garmin Connect with cooler graphics and zombies)
– I like the random supply item pick ups. It makes me continue running for longer just so I get a higher chance of picking up random items, in order to build my base and open new missions. Sweet. Even if the items are pretty darn random like “a pack of underwear”…

Zombies, RUN! : Detailed log of tonight’s run including mission clip, music played and supplies picked up

The bad
– Quite a large mismatch between the GPS distance shown on the app vs. my Garmin Forerunner 610. I do not think you can use the app for accurate training runs
– The zombie chase mode does not always work as it should. Zombies do sometimes manage to get me, eventhough I’m sprinting at high speed! I would say it works 85% of the time. Bloody annoying when it doesn’t though, and you lose all the loot you’ve been collecting for the past 20 minutes!
– A little buggy in places. My music just stopped playing after about 40 minutes. This should not have happened. The in-built music player for the app is not accessible once you start a mission. I therefore could not reset it without stopping my mission which would’ve been a waste
– The biggest gripe for me was the high price!

Zombies, RUN! : Building up the base with supplies picked up from my run this evening. I would’ve gotten more loot if the zombie chase had worked properly… :(

All in all, I guess it does give me that extra kick to get me out of my flat on a cold night to do a run, so it does work. It would be way better at a slightly lower price though (considering the bugs)!

Cold night. Needed a kick. Great opportunity to wear my new Nike running jacket though! ;)

Results from my run tonight were not good but not bad either. 3 consecutive fartlek runs (on Monday, Tuesday and today) have tired me out, which shows in my overall time.

Not my best. Ended up feeling really tired towards the end, bar the last lap when I decided to give it a final push.

Dinner was a relatively simple affair of cottage cheese with pure peanut butter, and a side of plain edamame beans.

Yes, that is my dinner. No, it does not taste as bad as it looks…

Your thoughts?