Lately I’ve been running from zombies every morning to gather supplies for a small settlement of post-apocalyptic survivors. I know, it sounds like more crazy talk. No surprises there, but I’m serious about the zombies. They’re virtually wheezing down my neck me every morning. And of course, like any reasonable person, I’ve been running away. [EDIT: I bought this during a promotion, so the price is actually more like $8 instead of $4.]
Before you start thinking that I’ve actually managed to misplace my few remaining marbles, I should tell you that I’m talking about an iPhone game. For the price of a beer, I bought an interactive radio show with game components and interval training blending in somehow. Get this… you can only play it while you’re running. And there are zombies. It’s called Zombies, Run!
You can get the story from their website, but I’ll sum it up by saying that it’s part radio show, part town-builder. As you run, you automatically collect supplies. Those supplies can be used to upgrade the town, which unlocks missions, etc. The missions themselves are well-written and extremely engaging. I find myself looking forward to the next mission, the next show. I’ve already fallen completely in love with the cast of characters.
It’s engaging in a number of ways, but the neat thing is that you can’t play this from the couch. You actually have to get up and move around. And of course, for a zombie game to be complete there needs to be some element of risk. I mean, what use is a running zombie game if you don’t actually run from some zombies?
Running from the Actual Zombies
Well, have no fear. There’s a special feature called “Zombie Chases” that you can enable in the app’s settings. Occasionally you’ll be informed that zombies have been detected, and you’ll need to pick up your pace to evade them. Seriously, you have to run faster for up to a minute. If you don’t make the pace, then you’ll drop an item to distract them.
I have no idea why a bottle of water or a packet of underwear would distract a zombie, but it seems to be rather effective. It also comes with a warning. Even though it’s really exciting to hear zombies moaning at you as they try to catch up and steal your tinned food or batteries, you should remember to pay close attention to the real-life cars out there. For this reason, I strongly suggest long stretches of road with few intersections, or a trail somewhere. The Burlington Bike Path is ideal. 🙂
I’ve been insanely entertained for the past couple of weeks, which is good because the psychological effects of the game are a bit creepy sometimes. The sun is rising earlier now, but when I’m out there before sunrise it’s pretty easy to imagine that other runners or walkers are making a play for my brains. Or that old shirt I found earlier. Or something.
Anyway, it’s a sweet game. I recommend it. If you haven’t played it yet, I encourage you to give it a try. If you’ve already played it, please feel free to leave some no-spoiler comments!