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This fan-made video from Mars Rising Films explains this game better than I possibly could, so watch this first (I’ll be here when you get done) and then read my review afterwards….

Looks pretty cool huh? Would you believe me if I told you it’s even better than the video leads you to believe? Impossible you say?

I am telling the truth.

In past reviews I have mentioned Endomondo Pro, and my MotoACTV as my preferred running apps. Yesterday I was looking through Tribesports and I came across a thread dedicated to this particular cross-platform app. It looked like fun, so I read some more reviews, and decided that $3.99 was worth it. (It was on sale at the time)

I have also mentioned my love of “The Walking Dead” and my excitement to compete in the “Run For Your Lives” Zombie infested 5k….sooooo Mixing Zombies and Running, its like…well …it’s like Chocolate and Peanut Butter:

I purchased and downloaded it (close to 300mb !) and glanced it over quickly, so I wouldn’t be trying to figure it out while I was rearing to RUN! I am glad I did, because “Zombies, Run” uses music playlists found on your device, but only from certain programs…Google Play Music, my preferred app for music onΒ  my Samsung Galaxy S II is not one of those apps. It wasn’t a huge problem, it just meant that I had to load some music on my device’s 32gb external storage and re-install Android Music Player. Luckily, I had just set up my MotoACTV, so I had a folder full of “running tunes” already set up and ready to go.

With the music loaded, I then had to build a playlist in Android Music Player for the Zombies, Run app to access…No biggie really, I have been listening to the same tunes every run, 2x per day, for several months, so it was high time I changed up the playlist!

I spent the rest of the day waiting for my chance to go for an evening run…time moves soooo slowly when you’re excited about something!

I finally got my chance, and headed out. I decided to track my run with both the app and my FrankenACTV, using my phone for “Zombies, Run” and FrankenACTV as a GPS Pace-tracker and HRM.

The app, although large, loads quickly on my SGS2, with no noticeable load times or hang-ups. I got both my devices ready, hit start almost simultaneously and trotted off in search of fun…

Having nowhere better to start, I decided to begin with Mission #1- “Jolly Alpha Five Niner”

Immediately upon starting the game, you are immersed in rich audio (depending on your headphones quality of course!)

The first Mission starts off with a chatty helicopter pilot pumping you for intel. You pick out clues to what the game is about while listening to her talk to you. She calls in to Abel Township for permission to land, and you meet (over the radio) Sam Yao. Sam Yao is an interesting character and the game makers have done an awesome job of making him seem like he’s a regular guy that has been thrust by circumstances beyond his control into a sort of paramilitary life. He tries to sound official and militaristic, but ends up coming off rather weakly before simply resorting to plain speech. I have met plenty of these guys in the US Army (I was one too!) …we could learn how to speak military, but were never really comfortable doing so, probably due to the fact I thought I sounded ridiculous.

This little detail really drew me in…

****SPOILER ALERT*****

After Sam clears your pilot to land, your aircraft comes under hostile fire, and crashes…

You hear Sam going bonkers, since he can’t see you and has no way of knowing whether or not you are even alive.

He informs you that 30…no make that 40..oh-no… LOTS of “Zom’s” are headed in your direction, presumably drawn by the noise of the crash. He tells you, “if you can hear me, your only chance is to run…RUN!”

I freakin’ RAN… I am not ashamed to say that I got immersed in this app and was so invested in it, that when Sam came on (between songs on my selected playlist) and said, “see that tower” or , “see those trees to the west”…I looked in whatever direction he indicated before remembering it was part of the game and those landmarks didn’t really exist.

I won’t ruin the rest of the story for you…seriously, you just need to try the app!

I was holding my phone in my hand for my first run, and I think that the swinging of my arms may have affected the GPS tracking. I got caught by two of three encountered zombie hordes, even though I ran my A$$ off when they were coming… the track on it is very jagged as well… the next two missions I ran saw my phone in a hip pack, and the GPS track is smooth for those runs… weird huh? I also didn’t get caught again…

After you complete each mission, you return to Abel Township with the supplies you collected, and you then decide how to help the community grow by distributing those items to the food bank, the hospital, the armoury, etc…

So it even gives you something to do later on, when you aren’t running!

You can review your run data on the website by creating profile online, logging into it and syncing your data from your phone. Here’s mine! The website also allows you to choose privacy filters, so you can choose to share, ir not to share your runs publicly. Kudos.

There are some bugs that the developers need to work out, (hence the 9 of 10 rating) mostly with the website portal and music interface: EG: I have to power cycle my phone before it will upload my runs to the website, auto posting to facebook seems broken, and the website doesn’t seem to like Mozilla Firefox at all.

So, if the developer’s get a chance to read this, here’s a wish-list of a few features that could possibly improve the game:

  • Ability to skip tracks
  • HRM sync
  • Google Play Music integration (if possible)

This game rocks though! I am three missions in, and planning on attempting to complete at least three more tomorrow… after all there’s supposedly a child alone out there!

I mentioned TribeSports earlier in the post. It’s another awesome athlete’s tool…so go and check it out!

My Tribesports Bio

Zombies, Run Tribe on TribeSports

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