Zombies Run At Mission 7 With Ingress

Zombies Run At Mission 7 With Ingress

Or how I learned to stop worrying, start walking, and love the Zoms.

Zombies run landing page

 

It’s no secret that I am not the healthiest puppy on the farm. I mean I’m trying to make a career out of sitting on my ass playing video games and tweeting for John Smith’s sake.

At ~250 lbs. and 6’2″ according to the bmi scale I am borderline morbidly obese. Sedentary lifestyle + eating wrong + mental health issues = mid 30’s heart attack. According to the bmi scale, I should be floating at around 170 lbs. that means I gotta cleave off 80 lbs. just to get to “normal.”

So how does an aspiring video game journalist get motivated to stop wandering the post apocalypse and start wandering the pre? Well you give them a game to play. A game that revolves around running in a post apocalypse. Running from zombies. Running from zombies and saving the world.

Zombies, Run! is a streamlined, unobtrusive, immersive experience. All it needs are headphones, location tracking, and a steady pace. Go for a walk, pop them phones in your head, hit shuffle all, and just go. The app does the rest.

There are settings that allow you to customize the experience to your comfort and fitness level with 25 and 40 minute missions. These are accompanied by absolutely fantastic, immersive radio plays that feel like The Walking Dead by way of Doctor Who. Intrigue and conspiracies abound as you meet fellow runners tasked with scavenging the wastes in the hopes of keeping the settlement alive.

zombies run map view

 

These radio plays serve as immersive world building that allows you to close your eyes for a minute and picture the devastation around you. The app knows how far you travel and peppers the audio plays at regular intervals providing the background and action for your current mission. Whether it is exploring an abandoned, zombie infested hospital or running circles around the camp with a fellow runner to distract the horde, Zombies, Run! provides just the right amount of distraction to keep your mind off the exercise. In between story logs you can use any media player to provide a soundtrack for your run. When you reach the next checkpoint, your media gets paused so you are always immersed in the world.

As you go walk about, the game randomly notifies you of pickups. These run the gamut of edibles, consumables, craftables and other assorted post apocalypse detritus. These can then be used to build the base in a built in Farmville like. There are no paywalls and no timers. The only way you get the supplies to improve the settlement is by walking with the app and collecting them during missions.

It is this system that brings a bit of score counting and gamification, short of just seeing how far you can walk or how much story you can hear. You get invested in providing your improvements and are motivated to scavenge for supplies. Of course without any risk, this may eventually prove too little of a justification to go that extra mile.

zombies run summary view

 

Another optional setting is the ability to add chasers to your run. These are randomly occurring zombie attacks that you literally have to run from in order to avoid having your supplies stolen. Imagine just walking calmly at your own pace, listening to the story or your music, when suddenly the operator screams, panicky, in your ear. “Oh no, they’re right on you!” He says, “You’re gonna have to run!” As the moans and groans and sounds of the horde suddenly get closer and closer in your headphones. Now, you literally have to run if you want to make it home with all of your supplies intact. The feelings of dread as the zombies approach, the thoughts of “Fuck I’m tired but I really don’t want to lose any of this good stuff, the people need these meds!” add a nice bit of activity and urgency to what is otherwise audio book walking simulator.

If there is one criticism I have is that the runs are a bit aimless. You can walk in circles and still receive the same experience as walking to the mall. There are no destinations in mind. The story says go north but the app doesn’t care. There’s no response if you go toward where the story says is a horde instead of the mission objective. These are just static radio plays.

It can break the immersion a bit knowing that you really aren’t walking north to a perceived objective. Keeping that immersion is key to keeping the motivation to continue the run. Getting invested in the story and scavenging pushes you to go those extra few yards. Without it, you might as well be at home playing Fallout.

zombies run base building view

zombies run base construction view

 

It is with an effort to alleviate this problem that I recommend downloading another similar app called Ingress. Ingress tells the story of a hidden war between two powers vying for control of a mysterious energy. You pick your side and are instantly shown a scan of your immediate area. You can see the energy around you and the portals and missions nearby that gamify the experience. Ingress is a worldwide phenomenon, recently featured on LifeHacker, where I first came across it. There are meetups all over the world where fellow players converge and compete for territory.

QuickMemo+_2015-06-17-04-08-20

 

The idea is that real world sculptures and tourist attractions were built because of the presence of these energy portals. A local park, a school, a bit of modern art all serve as real world battlegrounds between the Enlightened and the Resistance. In a major urban area you have a good chance of coming across players in meat space ready to become your new best friend and bond over the common experience.

It is for these reasons that I suggest using Ingress as a companion to Zombies, Run! Ingress can navigate you to any portal in the world giving you a destination to head towards. While there is no official compatibility between the two apps, it is not hard to do it yourself. Zombies, Run! tells you to go north, so you set Ingress to take you to Central Park. All the while collecting Ingress energy and audio logs, and completing your zombie run. Who knows you might even happen upon a massive battle once you get there.

QuickMemo+_2015-06-17-04-09-16

 

I hope I have adequately relayed how amazing these two apps are. The immersion and world building are comparable to the best hardcore experiences. There is no need to rig a treadmill to your Xbox to burn calories while you burn zombies. You can game while you work out and still scratch all of those same itches. All with the added benefit of actually going outside. There are even random encounters between the chaser events of Zombies, Run!, and the chance of meeting fellow Ingress players. Level up your own stats. Actually be the lone wanderer or the chosen one. Couple these with Habit RPG and add even more game to your game so you can game while you game game. The only limits are your stamina and imagination, and you can level them both up just by playing.

So get out there hero! The world ain’t gonna save itself.

 

Both Zombies, Run! and Ingress are available at the Google Play Store.

 

 

 

Infamous 2 at 100%: Lightning Strikes Twice

In May 2009 Sucker Punch Productions released Infamous to widespread critical acclaim.  Offering a new spin on the classic everyman gifted with powers premise, players followed Cole MacGrath as he struggled to find the answer to the question of “why him?”  Taking place one month after the events of the original, Infamous 2 finds Cole on his way to the New Orleans inspired New Marais on the quest for new powers and the strength to fulfill his destiny.  Does the sequel fulfill its destiny by surpassing the original? Read More »

Kirby’s Epic Yarn at 90%: Cute as a Button

Known around the world as the cute little cream puff that sucks up all that stuff, Kirby has appeared on every Nintendo platform.  Being able to suck up and copy enemies is to Kirby as throwing a fireball is to Mario.  What if for some reason he couldn’t?  What if he were forced to embody something else?  What if it were yarn?  Would it be worth playing?  Would it even be a Kirby game? Read More »

Ghostbusters the Video Game at 83%: Bustin’ makes me feel…?

Children of the 80’s rejoiced when it was revealed that the boys in gray would return in a new video game across every platform.  The joy reached epic levels when it was confirmed that Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis would write the game and that all four Ghostbusters would reprise their roles. In fact nearly everyone from the movies would be returning to lend their talents.  With all of this hype and excitement as well as 20 years of waiting, could the game possibly live up to all of that?  Well…Yes and no. Read More »

Green Hornet issues 1-4 review

In the new Green Hornet comic series, written by Kevin Smith and published by Dynamite Entertainment, you will find a slightly by the numbers and possibly predictable origin story. However it is the way this story is presented and the way the dialogue is written that makes this series worth a read.

The current run of this series is an adaptation of Smith’s own abandoned screenplay. It carries Kevin Smith’s trademarks: cliches, tropes and hilarious dialogue.

The Green Hornet has been a part of American culture dating back to the days of radio serials. The character and his sidekick, valet, manservant Kato are best remembered for their depiction in the 1960’s tv program where Bruce Lee played the latter role.

The history and past exploits of this other quite dynamic duo is not needed in order to enjoy this latest spin on the character. In the opening pages, Smith clues the reader in on all that is needed to get the characters.

What followes is a classic origin tale sprinkled with Smith’s humour and ability to manipulate the audience’s emotions.

A tale of loss, honor and justice with enough chuckles to keep it snappy.

The Green Hornet has thus far held my interest and kept me hungry for more. With a myriad of titles competing for my Lincoln’s it is rare to pick up a title solely on its own merits.

This series is currently at issue 4 having started this past month and it should be no problem catching up.

Highly recommended for those looking for a series completely disconnected from larger universes and continuities, fans of the recent Zorro movies, na na na Batman, as well as Kevin Smith of course.

Blur impressions

got some footage of my initial reaction but here’s a rundown of what I think of it so far. unless there are people talking and not taking the game seriously it is pretty boring. I am waiting to rank up in order to try the new modes that were not in the beta. Single player is standard although there are more things to shoot for so having more to do in a racer than just place first is a good thing. there are also boss battles.

I feel that this game is more like a frankenstein monster than anything. lots of stuff from other games thrown into one game. call of duty’s multiplayer system, mario kart’s powers, and arcade racer.

you do get your money’s worth but so far I can’t say if it is worth spending it. This game is procedural so my opinion will definitely change for now split second is the game to get if you can get a deal its more focused. it has a simple goal and achieves it marvelously. Blur has a lot going for it but you will probably confused a lot of the time. If getting your money’s worth is all you care about Blur is the game for you and maybe it will end up being the game for me as well just not yet.

Bought blur today

On the way home to play it shortly. Just by flipping through the manual, a lot of my preconceptions have turned into misconceptions. I originally pegged this game as a soulless kart racer and i’m glad to see i’m wrong. I was expecting a mostly multiplayer experience but it seems like a fully featured career mode might be taking up most of my time.

look for more impressions and reviews for this game and others coming soon.

Prelude to the vlog 3

Ok so vegas finally rendered the vlog for the second time. Yes the second time because the first resulted in a double vlog. It somehow put two copies back to back. So now I have one video with one copy of the one vlog. So why isn’t it up yet I hear you scream? Blip.tv either hates my laptop or vice versa. I can’t access any blip no views no ups no downs. At first I thought they blocked my IP but they say no. So a big ol Wtf on that.

Hopefully, it’ll all be worth it in the end. At the very least i’m learning stuff.

edit 5:12 my laptop’s wifi card had to be reset and now after that, blip works. buuuut my ISP sucks and it will take like 4.5 hours to upload.

10 MINUTE CHUNKS OF ME IS ALL YOU’RE GETTING FROM NOW ON. uch man if I had a time machine I’d become my own grandfather then try to teleport myself to a desert island so I don’t buy this webspace.
DNA we miss you 42 my frood 42