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Zombies: your new running partner (a QotM answer)

February’s Question of the Month is brought to you by Kevin from The Mental Attic: video game player, fiction writer and opinion sharer. To find out more about him and his site, as well as how you can get involved, take a look at this post.

If you were guilty of over-indulging during the festive season (I know I was), your New Year resolution may have been to get healthy or improve your fitness. Unfortunately though, research has shown that over half of us fail to keep them due to a lack of commitment or a loss of motivation so how do we give ourselves a fighting chance?

Kevin posed us the following challenge as his submittal for this month’s QotM: which video game character do you recruit as your personal trainer to get you back into shape? And I have the perfect answer: zombies.

For the past few years I’ve entered the British 10K for as part of the team for SpecialEffect, a charity which helps those with physical disabilities play video games to increase rehabilitation, confidence and inclusion. While I love feeling as though I’m doing my bit to support this amazing organisation, I absolutely hate training; I’m not a ‘natural’ runner and I find it difficult to drag myself outside when it’s cold and wet.

Raising awareness for SpecialEffect and burning a few calories while doing so is a worthy goal, but sometimes a little extra incentive is needed for an added push to get up off the sofa. What if that incentive was having hundreds of lives counting on you, knowing you need to rebuild your base and collect supplies to save shivering survivors and learn the truth about the zombie apocalypse?

That’s where Zombies, Run! comes in.

Co-created with award-winning novelist Naomi Alderman by Six to Start, this app is advertised as ‘an ultra-immersive running game and audio adventure’. After pulling on your trainers and sticking your headphones in, each run becomes a mission where you’re the hero at the centre of your very own zombie story as a series of dynamic radio messages and voice recordings play between your own music.

Every time you run, you’ll automatically collect supplies like medicine and food which you can then use to help your community and strengthen your defences against the zombies once you get back home. And if saving the world wasn’t enough, you can activate ‘chases’ to kick things up a notch; can you escape every mob or will you have to drop some of your hard-earned supplies to distract them?

I have to admit that I’ve never tried Zombies, Run! or any fitness app like it so I can’t say whether it works. But having a pack of growling zombies snapping at my heels along with the ability to turn a training session into a game would probably give me that extra motivation to get moving, even when it’s raining outside. I’ve not yet signed up for this year’s British 10K but if I do, this app will be the next thing on my purchase list.

If zombies aren’t your thing, Six to Start have a couple of other options which might appeal. The Walk is a techno-thriller which encourages people to walk 10,000 each day while they’re on the run from terrorists; and Superhero Workout is encourages users to complete high-intensity workouts at home while defending Earth from an alien attack. Both sound way more fun than Wii Fit ever was.

More information can be found on the developer’s website and Zombies, Run! can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play. I’d be interested to hear from anyone who’s ever used this or other fitness apps: did they work for you?

13 thoughts on “Zombies: your new running partner (a QotM answer) Leave a comment

  1. I tried to use Zombies, Run about three years ago when I decided to force myself to be a runner. And while I LOVE the concept and enjoyed listening to something awesome instead of plain, old music, I’m couldn’t stick with it. I just hate running so much not even this app could keep me hooked. But I know lots of people who have used it and enjoyed it immensely. I think if you’re going to be a runner, whether you enjoy running or not, this is a great gamer way to keep at it. The story was intriguing enough that I wish I could have listened to it without running and building up your fortress would give you lots of motivation to go back out. However, if you’re like me and running will (apparently) never be your thing, I don’t think this app’ll keep you coming back for more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great mini-review there, Teri Mae!

      I don’t mind the physical aspect of running but I struggle with the mental side. When I’m out on my own, I often end up counting my paces which makes the whole experience tougher; so I thought something like this app might give me something else to focus on. It’ll be interesting to test it and see what happens… although looking outside at the rain now, I think I’ll wait until next week. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      • If it’s all mental I think you’ll love this app. It could be a great motivator. After trying a million things I finally landed on weight lifting and roller blading as my exercises of choice. Sometimes I wish I could like running. There’s a guy out there who calculated the distance from the Shire to Mordor for Frodo and Sam and it’d be a lot of fun to claim I’ve purposefully run that distance!

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        • Roller-blading? Wow, I’m very impressed. I wouldn’t even be able to stand up!

          That would make a great charity event: a fun-run with a geeky connection. Hmm… 🤔

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  2. What a neat idea! Running from zombies is certainly good motivation. I bet you’d also find good motivation running from velociraptors, werewolves, and pirates. 🙂 One of these times I’d really like to study parkour. Even if I never do any of the fancy stunts, it just seems so useful for malign a speedy retreat! Thanks for the article!

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    • I lack any sort of coordination needed for parkour… I’d end up doing myself some serious damage ha ha ha! Although it would be cool to be able to go all ‘Dying Light’ on a pack of zombies. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I tried this while back (along with my pokewalker). I hate running – and suffer from bad knees and currently a bad foot, but I loved the concept. There’s also a slimmed down couch to 5k version I think.
    And I think there’s a more Mario-esque rescue the princess app that’s similar.

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    • Did you find it worked for you? I thought an app like this might help with motivation and incentive to get out – as well as distract from the distance in front!

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      • If I was out anyway, it gave me motivation to walk instead of taking a bus or something, but I hate running – it didn’t do much to get me out the door if I didn’t need to go out.

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  4. I joined in a zombie run in an abandoned brickworks a few years back. Those actors took their roles a bit too seriously for my liking! Would I survive a zombie attack? Hell, no! I guess this means I need to get fitter?

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