Lots of you have surely already heard of Zombies, Run!, an application released in 2011 for iOS devices that was a pioneer in its field in terms of ‘gamifying’ parts of certain sporting activities. (To be fair, Nintendo with its Wii also has much to say in this regard.) Like Runtastic or Endomono, this is an app that measures your physical activity while you run, with the added benefit that you have to do it while virtually escaping from hordes of zombies. Recently, and given the surge in the free-to-play model, a free edition of the app was released.
Let’s be clear about what this program does: In Zombies Run! you don’t have to decide anything nor are you obliged to carry out any super-complicated tasks. Your athletic goals are simply ‘sweetened’ with a story where you have to survive the zombie apocalypse doing a series of ‘missions’ (big air quotes here) by running with your smartphone on your arm and the GPS system activated. Meanwhile it details your advance with audio notes.
Zombies, Run! is divided into missions that make up a story via seasons, as if it were a series. In each, you’ll hear audio narrations of your situation superimposed over your normal running playlist. Thus as you cover certain distances you’ll hear notifications to automatically indicate you’ve collected provisions, first-aid kits, or other tools. In turn, if you start hearing grunts it means you have the virtual undead close on your heels, meaning you should pick up the pace if you don’t want to lose the objects that you’ve gathered by the (literal) sweat of your brow.
Besides the athletic activity itself, you can use all your collected materials to upgrade your operations base, adding new items or improving the existing ones. Here, in addition to the missions themselves, is where you can check your progress, which is completely up to you and entirely optional. Otherwise, the app behaves like any other service with similar features, storing all the data related to the distance covered, duration of the run, and calories burned.
Although Zombies, Run! is now a few years old, it’s back in fashion with the release of a free version where you can play some of the missions and use most of the features of the paid app.