06/20/2013 05:19 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Zombies, Run! Turns Your Daily Run Into a Race for Survival

By Mai Garti-Bar

If I said I wasn't a gamer girl, I'd be lying. Ever since I was introduced to the addicting world of virtual zombie slaying, I've developed a taste for showing the undead who's boss. If only the less-than-productive hobby of video-gaming could somehow benefit something more significant than just my hand-eye coordination...

This weekend I tried out a new way to make my jogging sessions pass with greater ease. "Zombies, Run!" is an app that provides gamers with a physical outlet by integrating actual running with gaming. The title of the app makes it clear: the long anticipated zombie apocalypse is here and now it's our job to outrun the walking dead while collecting supplies for our base. Who isn't motivated by human lives hanging in the balance?


The app was co-created by a novelist, so the storyline is engaging as its fed through your headphones. The missions are of varying difficulty from serious sprints or long distance jogs. The app even has interval training, periodically requiring you to speed up because the zombies are hot on your trail. Zombies, Run! goes beyond most run-tracking apps. It doesn't just record your distance, speed or calories burned; it appeals to your imagination and leaves you with the fear of being some dead guy's dinner.

You don't need to leave the app open and be constantly looking at it, since there is no specific path you need to follow; your interaction with the app is merely listening to what comes through the headphones. As you listen to transmissions and pick up items, a log of what you accomplish on your mission with a time-stamp racks up under your time, kilometers covered and pace. At the end of your mission, or if you decide to press the "Stop Mission" button, you get a "Run Complete" summary page where they quantify how many supplies you collected, how many materials you earned, and how many zombie mobs you evaded. After you've been using the app for a while, you can see your progress quantified in the "Statistics" section when you go to the "More" menu. If you are so inclined, you can share the link of your completed mission on your Facebook or Twitter.

This post-apocalyptic world doesn't end once your exercise is over. The supplies you gather on each run go towards helping other survivors and restocking your base. You call the shots as to who gets what supplies, and where your base is reinforced (think: SimCity for survivalists). The bigger you build your base gets, the more missions you unlock for new running challenges.

Listening to your favorite tunes is great but a run really changes when the fate of mankind hangs in the balance. Being the heroine or hero of a storyline will definitely keep you running on a regular basis.