Zombies, Run! or How I lost weight (and friends) in the undead apocalypse

Zombies, Run!

The world is in shambles. What is left of humanity has broken off into reinforced settlements to stave off any attacks. Since the outbreak, our once flourishing society has fallen to hordes of the shambling undead. Well that’s not entirely true, some of the corpses run, but then so do I. I am Runner 5. I have taken up the mantle since the previous runner met a rather…um…sticky end.

Zombies, Run RobThis is the premise for the fitness/narrative/game Zombies, Run! wherein you play the role of Runner 5, a mysterious stranger who finds themselves in Able Township, a fortified settlement kept protected and supplied by a band of fleet-footed runners. Guiding you on your runs are a series of Abel citizens who tell you what your running for; it could be food, information, military drills or entertainment*.The app plays on your iPhone or Android, with a GPS function that records your distance, duration, speed, pace and calories burned (Yes, you physically run). The app works with your music playlist allowing you to listen to your own music while you gather supplies for the township, which you spend on expanding your fortress. However, the best part of Zombies, Run!, the thing that will keep you running again and again, is the well written story and wonderful characters. You honestly get attached to the people that speak to you while you run, feeding you bits of narrative and mystery.

Zombies, Run LDG

My “Living Dead Girl” run. The first in a series of Halloween bonus missions.

The cast of actors portraying the characters in the story are played primarily by UK performers**, giving the story of a world where the dead have returned to life an international vibe for us Yankee cousins. The thing feels a bit like 28 Days Later meets Land of the Dead. The citizens in this world are more comfortable than Rick Grimes and his group, but not too comfortable. In fact the most dangerous part of Zombies, Run! has to do with dealing with other factions of humans, but isn’t that always the hardest part?

Zombies, Run! ABEL

My current iteration of Abel Township. I clearly need to expand. The place is a bit of eyesore after Season 1

Zombies, Run! has just released their Season 2 finale, but they continue to support the app in the run up to Season 3 (Right now their are over 70 missions ready for you to run). One of the most wonderful things about this season of Zombies, Run! is the fact that they’re releasing three Halloween missions, the first of which came out yesterday. “Living Dead Girl”, written by Nebula Award Nominee, Emma Bull (“War for the Oaks”, “Bone Dance”), has you in search of a mysterious album recorded by a dead rock star. However, you’ll have more to contend with on this mission than zombies, occult rumor and a rabid rock fan also play a part.

I had a chance to run this mission, and I have to tell you, it was a great deal of fun. The plot was engaging and creepy, peppered with humor, keeping me guessing as to what would happen next. In other words, I kept running. It’s my job, I’m Runner 5.

*There is a really funny D&D referenced episode where you go in search of a tabletop RPG to mitigate the boredom of post apocalyptic life.

**There are a few Canadian and American voices in there too.

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