I realized last week when I did my first post-Indy runs that Zombies, Run! had updated itself.
As I’ve mentioned before, ZR is the app that I use to prevent myself from not running. It’s sort of a game, but more an immersive audiobook. Set in a post-apocalyptic, zombie-plague-having world (as all fictional worlds are!), you become a runner for Abel Township, an enclave of survivors trying to make it in this new world, and finally see their name up in lights on Broadway.
Actually, I think that last part may have been from another story.
Anyhow, as you run in the real world, you perform missions for your township in the game world—collecting supplies, finding clues to curing zombieism, and fighting off the surprising number of human enemies that the survivors have made.
I’m not going to comment on the new content, since I’m not there yet—this year is Season 4, and I’m just wrapping up Season 2 myself. (All the sads!) But the app itself has made a few refinements.
Most notably, there’s more precise control of how long the missions last. Before, you had two choices: normal or long mode. In normal, the app would play a segment of the mission content, then a song (normally, though if it was a real short song it would play two and if it was a real long one it might break the song in the middle), then more mission, then another song, and so on. Long was the same, but it would play two songs. Now, it plays mission content, then X number of minutes of music, then more mission, then X more minutes of content, and so on.
I think I like the change. The mission is much more likely to interrupt music in the middle of a song now (although not guaranteed—I suspect that if you’re within a certain amount of time before the next mission content is supposed to start, it will start it), which was unsettling at first, but now I like the better consistency for pacing. You also have a better sense of how long the mission will last. The old scheme was “about half an hour,” but that could easily be up or down six minutes. That didn’t really bother me, since I usually build in some walking cool-down at the end of my runs anyhow, but it may matter to others.
The interface has changed a bit, which is nice—I don’t think it’s a major change, but the important info seems to be a bit bigger now. The app also plays preview clips of the next mission when you’ve finished yours, which I’m not so keen on—when I’m done with a run I want to be done. And apparently the zombie chases now have adjustable difficulty. I’m still rebuilding my running legs so I haven’t tried that yet, but I suspect that’s a really good thing.
Also, it’s amazing how quickly I lose running endurance. I did a 10K the week before Citi Field; after a couple weeks off, it’s taken me three runs just to get back to 5K. Feh.