Zombies, Run!

App review by
Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Media
Zombies, Run! App Poster Image
Zombie-fueled workout fun, violent; adjust privacy settings.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Running app operates similarly to other running programs. Playing the base-defense part of the game is not necessary but will require the tutorial.

Violence

Running from and fighting zombies, including decapitating them, is described.

Sex

Story alludes to several romantic relationships between characters.

Language
Consumerism

Previous app content-free, but purchases or subscription necessary for existing players to access new content.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

App store mentions some drinking, drugs, and smoking, though none was included in the first season.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Zombies, Run! is a story-based running app that narrates an apocalyptic adventure while tracking a run. It records the same information as most running apps -- distance, average speed, a map of the runs -- while it motivates and entertains runners with stories of zombies. The user agreement asks that teens between age 16 and 18 get a parent's permission before registering, but registration is not required to run and listen to the stories. The stories are intense, featuring survivors of a zombie plague, fighting for their own survival. Characters die over the course of the season; zombies are fought violently. Teens can connect via Facebook or Twitter and share their runs, and they can connect with a community of Zombie runners online via Zombie Link, where kids can share running routes. The app and some initial content is free, but then a user must subscribe (monthly and yearly options exist) or make in-app purchases.

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What's it about?

In ZOMBIES, RUN! runners become "Runner 5" in a postapocalyptic community running from zombies and collecting supplies for survival. The story unfolds in episodes interspersed with the runner's own music playlist. Seasons one through three are included with the purchase, and additional episodes can be purchased in-app. Players can use the supplies they collect during their runs to build up their base and continue the fun after their runs.

Is it any good?

Zombies, Run! is a creative, adrenaline-pumping way to bring some entertainment and motivation to a running workout. It includes the features that most running apps include, as well as optional features such as an announcement of each mile as you run. Runners can choose kilometers or miles, set options to share runs automatically or not, and connect further online. The story is intense, though, and is best for older teens due to the violence and immersive nature of the story. The story line includes watching loved ones become zombies, including watching children being left by their parents before they turn into zombies. Also, older teens might better understand the privacy issues that come with mapping a run and sharing location information.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about choosing what information to share on Facebook or Twitter, including safety concerns with publishing maps showing their running routines. Work with your kid to adjust their privacy settings, if necessary.

  • Parents can preview summaries of each episode, if registered with Zombie Link, and talk about the plot with teens.

App details

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For kids who love health and fitness

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