We here at Sparked are going to be looking at ways to keep up our exercises, ’cause I’m particularly lazy and I’m training for TOUGH MUDDER and will need a lot of help. Woo-Wah! So what better way to get motivated than zombies chasing you.
That’s right, I said zombies. Now, I’m struggling at running the most in my training and Tough Mudder, being a 10-12 miles obstacle course, will challenge my stamina, which needs a lot of work. Yet I love a good zombie-anything: story (the book World War Z especially), films – I’ve been obsessed with them since I was wee, discussions (about what would actually happen if there was a zombie apocalypse) and, of course, the Walking Dead series! So it was obvious that bringing my odd love for zombie-everything into my runs might just give me a bit of a boost.
I stumbled across Zombies Run 3 on my android phone and I was intrigued, dubious, but still intrigued. With the thought: “Well, I might as well try it”, I downloaded the running game and got ready for a run around the park. And man, was I not disapointed. Now, I’ve only just finished the first few missions (there’s 23) and I’m already psyched to go out for a run again. This game is immersive, developed and published by Six To Start with the author Naomi Alderson. Apparently Naomi got the inspiration for the story from a running class she attended where their coach asked “What are you running for?” and someone responded “To escape the zombie horde!”. See? Inspiration is everywhere.
Zombies Run was released in 2012 and it’s available on android and iOS. It was first funded on Kickstarter campaign and even raised more than was expected (fives times more to be exact – $72,627).
The story? Well, you start off in a helicopter, on a mission to take supplies to a base (but there seems to be more to this “Project Green Chute” that you don’t know yet). As I slipped on my trainers and did some warm up moves, I listened to the helicopter blades spin around me and the pilot talking away to a base we are due to start our mission in. She asks me questions too, although my character never replies. The story starts to unfold as everything goes wrong.
You play as Runner 5 and you stay in contact with Able Township base (the one previously mentioned) through a radio controller, Sam Yao, who can see where you are as you race to them with what supplies you can carry. You pick extra up as you run around the area of Able Township i.e you own actual park, streets etc etc. These items you collect help you build your base (which you can then upgrade and add to on any other device once you get home as a game).
The app tracks your progress, distance, pace, time and calories burned on each mission through GPS and if you opt into the Zombie Chase option then you, as Runner 5, need to run faster for short periods of time to get away from zombies during your run. If you don’t, you need to drop some of your items you’ve collected to distract them or even fail the mission…I dropped a lot of items, ha! But come on, it was my first run!
In between each audio narration that progresses the story, there are silent gaps that are only interrupted by your progress report; what items you pick up, how far you’ve travelled, if there are zombies near you. This is when your own music can kick in, that’s right, you can add your own playlist to your running game.
I’m already hooked, as you can tell, and the fact that it has a 5k training download too is also a bonus (every app costs a little as well as any extras you add on though). You can walk, jog, do interval training and you can even do it on the treadmill while connecting your progress through Zombie Link to share your runs with others.
So, if you’re feeling a little bored about your own exercise routine, give it a shot. It might just help you outrun those zombie hordes if it actually happens one day…you never know! Until then, why not join the game. By the way, the video doesn’t do it justice. Give it a try to feel the real experience.