When I first heard of Zombies, Run! last year, I was excited. Who wouldn’t want to imagine themselves in a zombie apocalypse, running and eluding them slow-witted lumbering corpses? So I was eagerly awaiting for this app to appear in Apple’s App store.
I took it out for a spin this morning. I was due for a 10-kilometer run and was excited to try it out. As soon as the game started, I heard the rotors of a helicopter, some talk of a guided missile, followed by a helicopter crash. Before I knew it I was some sort of runner running out into a world populated by zombies. The game story unfolds in between songs in your playlist and you are picking up supplies as you run. While you run, there will be moments that some zombie horde will chase you and you have to speed up to avoid them. The zombie chase lasted about a minute, so you can look at this game as some sort of interval training routine. There are 13 missions in the game. I completed the first mission in about 30 minutes, and in those 30 minutes I think there were two occasions when I was chased by zombies. Once you get back to base, you can distribute the supplies to upgrade base facilities.
Sounds fun? It was. I specifically enjoyed the moments when there were zombies hot on my trail. I looked at my Garmin data and yes you can see when I had to pick up the pace to avoid being caught. I also noticed that, versus the first time I encountered zombies, I had to run faster the second time. Does that mean that succeeding batch of zombies will be faster?
Sadly though, at $8, this app did not actually meet my expectations. My hopes were probably too high. I am of the old-school Dungeons-and-Dragons mold, where I enjoy the experience of being immersed in a fantasy realm. Maybe it was because of the cheesy script, or maybe because I expected a world similar to the Fallout RPG game series, but I didn’t feel the dread and despair of living in a zombie-apocalyptic world. I particularly didn’t enjoy that, after a mission, you are switched over to a “radio mode,” where two disc-jockeys are bantering in between the songs in your playlist.
Still, it’s an entertaining concept, and it does add an element of fun and variety into your workouts. The game does have potential. I would like to believe that the there are twists and turns in the story and that the developers have some tricks and surprises under their sleeve.