It's been two weeks since I completed my first 5K run and as I sit on the couch munching potato chips I find myself looking for motivation to keep running. (Apparently, the health benefits aren't enough for me.) So, when Mark sent me a link to a running app called Zombies, Run! I couldn't resist. After all, fear has been a major motivator for me all my life, why would it be any different for running?!
The app combines the fun of a zombie game with a boring running app. The goal of the game is to rebuild civilization after a zombie apocalypse… it could happen. To do this you have to go out and run around in the real world. As you do, you collect items, find clues, take orders, out run zombie mobs and listen to a story unfold as you run. The running app functionality records your distance, time, pace and even let's you play your music in between instructions.
I've only completed one mission and the production value and interactive aspects of this app are impressive. The sound effects are so realistic I found myself screaming out loud (SOL… just a little bit) and flailing my arms as I leaped into a fear-induced run when I heard… "They're coming. There are 30… no 40… oh crap! Just run… RUN!!!"
For maximum effect, I picked the late evening to do my run, alone, on a desolate country road. I was surprised that the zombie moans and groans would actually sound closer when I slowed down and disappear when I out ran them. Brilliant. I definitely shaved a good 5 minutes off my 5K time.
At a hefty price of $8 to download I suspect the missions will reveal more. And, I haven't quite revealed the whole gaming aspect of this app. But, I have a feeling this might become a little obsession. It has definitely got me running. I guess the only negative side effect is the slight paranoia that is developing.
Now, it's time to save the human race. Headphones in. Are you ready? Start mission… I think my geek status just went up another notch.