'Zombies, Run!' Trains You for the Zombie Apocalypse
Let's face it: There's not a whole lot that can motivate me to run. Cute new running shoes? Maybe. Pants feeling snug? Eh—more dresses. Logging onto Facebook and seeing pictures of people posing with their medals at the half-marathon finish line? Unsubscribe!
Basically, there needs to be a zombie mob on the loose for me to get off my bum and get moving.
Oh, look: There's an app for that.
Created by Adrian Hon and Naomi Alderman, Zombies, Run! is an iPhone game in which you must outpace zombie attackers who want to eat your braaaaaains. A narrated story guides you through a post-apocalyptic world and explains your mission. As you run, you collect supplies—bandages, food, ammo—to bring back to fellow survivors at the base. Hundreds of lives are at stake.
Okay, OKAY, I'm running.
I download the app, plop in my earbuds and proceed to jog through the neighborhood. Immediately, there's a missile attack, and my helicopter plunges to the ground. "MAYDAY! MAYDAY!" a leader cries. I survive the crash, but we've landed in a "nest of hostiles." A man with an English accent orders me to "run!" I sprint as fast as I can past a real-life neighbor washing his car and an elderly couple walking a dog. I wonder if they notice the look of sheer terror on my face.
In between voice transmissions, my own music pipes through my headphones (a Kelly Clarkson album, if you must know). I continue jogging without anxiety until there's a new story development. All of sudden, they spot me. The zombies. My iPhone's GPS tracks my pace, and I must gain speed. Creepy grunts and groans grow louder in my ears, and I'm legitimately freaked. I peek over my shoulder to see if there are any actual zombies heading toward me—just in case. (There are not. Note to self: Never play this game at night.) I run faster and faster until I finally escape the brain-eaters and the sounds dissipate. With my heart still racing, I laugh at how much adrenalin that gave me and realize, "Wow, I've never run this far from my house before." Who needs a personal trainer when you can have zombie-induced cardio?
What's great about Zombies, Run! is that runners of any level can play. There are run logs that show your pace and distance, if you're into that sort of thing. Each mission takes about 25 to 30 minutes to complete, and when you're done, you can unload your supplies onto the base and unlock new missions, all which have you running for your life. Muahahaha!
This column appeared in print as "Training for the Zombie Apocalypse."
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