Red in the face, puffing and panting and ready to give up and that’s BEFORE I start running. Zombies Run! is a game I’ve had on my phone for ages and only recently got around to playing. It’s clever. At it’s heart it’s a running app but it does it from an angle that will appeal to a gamer. In this case running for your life from packs of zombies.
The game itself consists of a number of episodes which can be set to either half or a full hour. You start off at your own pace and a story plays out where you’ve been sent to a survivors base and wind up becoming a runner for them and have to scavenge resources from the locality. As it plays along a number of characters are introduced and a back story expands. The whole time you’re jogging (or in my case stumbling) speed-ups are introduced to your pace by the appearance of zombies whom you need to outrun by increasing your pace. The program tells you how close they are and a handy sonar type blip lets you know if they’re gaining or you are losing them. A few minutes running is often enough to outpace them.
On your travels you also pick up random items such as medi-kits, food, clothing and so on all of which can be used later in the game. What’s really nice about the app is you never have to touch it while you’re running. It handles your inventory by itself. The story and voice acting is good. We’re not talking James Earl Jones but it’s good enough quality and very believable in the setting. So far the story is interesting and enough mysterious events are introduced to make you want to find out what’s going to happen next.
Items you find in the game can be dropped to distract zombies if you’ve run out of puff and those you keep after you complete a episode can later be used to build and expand able station via a simple farmville type interface.
There’s a number of extras outside of the episodes like a radio station that plays your music as tracks whilst inter spacing it with chat and events, challenges like running to a GPS point and back to recover supply drops and there’s a little bit of multi-player which I need to investigate.
So far it’s early days for me with this, but I’ll do another post on it when I’ve used it a bit more.
All in all I’m really enjoying it. It’s clever. The sounds of zombies closing in as you sprint is exhilarating and how the whole thing fits around your play list of music it very well done. This is my first proper Augmented Reality (AR) game and it’s better than I expected. I have high hopes for this whole area of entertainment. It’s surprising how the brain is fooled into a slightly different reality just through the audio and on the first run I was nearly looking behind me to see if I was being pursued or expecting to see a building that was being described to me as being just around the next corner. I struggle with running, it’s not something I’ve ever been really good at but I do see this as a big help with training. More soon.
Now if you’ll excuse me a pack of zombies are closing in, I have to run