You are "Runner 5" set out on a mission to collect supplies and accomplish different objectives in a post-apocalyptic world... that involves the occasional zombie chase.
I think we all knew it would come to this one day. Zombies. Frankly, you can't say we haven't been warned. The CDC published the official Zombie Pandemic preparedness 101 guide in 2011.
We don't know much about zombies. For instance, why do they want to eat brains? In my omnivore days, I did love sautéed calf's brains on toast with lemon caper butter. Are zombies just misguided gourmands? Possibly. However,I for one, am considerably less sympathetic to being the host of their locally sourced human offal delights.
What's to be done? Sure you can stock up on shotguns, barricade yourself in the hollow shell of a run down building and go all Mad Max on anything that moves. Me? I'm more of the out run and out last sort.
Admittedly, that raises the question: Can I outrun the zombies?
That's the premise of Zombies, RUN!, a new smartphone app designed to help encourage cardio fitness. Users fire up their phones and an audio story unfolds that starts with you, Runner 5, being chased by zombies. Along your mission, audio queues prompt you to zig down one street, or zag down another to collect supplies like water or toilet paper. Run too slowly, or not far enough and the zombies get your brains.
I haven't been this excited about a health related app in a long time. What a brilliant innovation on the gameification of health and behavior - add an interactive, fantasy layer.
For years, I've heard techies and entrepreneurs propose games where people with chronic conditions give away their health maintenance data in exchange for points, badges or real world stuff. Post your blood glucose readings and win an xbox... I find ideas like those condescending at best, teetering on malicious.
This also ushers in an entirely new concept for video games - ones where you actually work. This isn't pushing buttons, swiping your finger on a screen or flicking the Wimote around. You actually have to run. How interactive is that?!
Will Zombies, RUN live up to my expectations? We'll have to wait until February 27th to find out. But you can count on one thing... I'll be out there with my running shoes on collecting supplies for those of us who survive the zombie apocalypse! (And, assuming this blog is still running, I'll report back what I think of the app).
Here's the NPR storie with the game's creator:
Here is the creator's promo video: