Zombies, Run!

Zombies, Run! is an ultra-immersive running game for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android…”

It is also the single most expensive app I’ve ever purchased having already cost me over $150 and more than a full 24 hours worth of work.

And it’s totally worth it. Let me explain:

Backstory: I own an iPhone 3GS. Because AT&T sucks – they wanted almost $1000 for me to get a phone line with them a year and a half ago when I bought my phone – it is jailbroken to T-Mobile; that’s awesome for me and my wallet but super inconvenient for updating my iOS and means that I couldn’t install the $8 game and fitness app Zombies, Run! because it requires iOS 5 or higher and I’m on 4.2.1. I did some researching and decided that it was safe to upgrade my phone. ( To be clear, when I say “research” I mean that I did one google search and scanned the first page that came up. )

Figure 1.1 - It was not this bad, the cracks only extended about halfway up the screen and the LCD was undamaged so it was completely usable

Turns out it wasn’t safe. And oh my gosh. My phone was completely destroyed. I spent 15 hours the first day and another 6 or seven the second trying to get everything to work again – just so I could make phone calls! Turns out I had to re-update my baseband to make things okay. Eventually I just gave up and downgraded – another five hours of research and finnicking and creating a custom signed firmware package ( if you ever need iPhone Jailbreaking help, I may be able to do something for you, let me know ) – back to 4.2.1. My phone now works beautifully again and everything is at peace. But that still leaves me without this app that I really want.

So I decided to buy a secondhand iPod Touch ( See 1.1 for dramatization. ). I bought an 8GB iPod Touch 4 for $75 including a case and some Hello Kitty earphones that I never got. It had a cracked screen but I thought “Ah, no problem. I’ll just take this to the kiosk in the mall that replaces screens.” They replaced it for me – for $80. They promised 3 days at the longest for me to have my shiny new iPod. 7 days later I got my iPod. 6 days after that the LCD cracked ( see figure 1.2 for actual photo ). So to review: I paid $80 to wait a week for those ridiculous crooks to first render my iPod UNUSABLE and second to say “Ah, well we have no guarantee so it’ll be another $80 if you want to re-fix it.” I took it to Shop B, they said “Why did that store use such cheap parts?”

To be clear: I did not drop or do anything terrible to my iPod. I even bought the freaking case that the first shop – who robbed me blind – suggested would protect my ‘pod. As far as I can figure the only things that could have caused the screen to crack would be either when it fell to the carpeted floor in the pocket of my jeans from about knee level when I was getting undressed or when I actually put it in my pocket as I have done with my iPhone for the past year and a half with no issue.

Shop B has offered to fix it for me for $60 after I told them of my plight – but I don’t know if they will still honor that as it’s been more than a month now. I haven’t been able to afford the money because of other and more necessary bills.

So my Zombies, Run! game has cost me the $8 of the App, $75 for the iPod, $80 for the trash screen repair, $10 for headphones because I really wanted to play it immediately, plus a future $60 for another screen repair bringing the total to a depressing $233. For the record, I could have ALMOST purchased a BRAND NEW 32GB iPod Touch for that price.

Figure 1.2 - a totally destroyed Nyan Cat.

But I’m still going to get the screen fixed again. Why? Because Zombies, Run! is the ONLY app I have ever purchased that I feel is worth that amount of money. It is an incredibly fun game that makes me anticipate and enjoy running. Me. Super un-fit, has-spent-her-whole-life-avoiding-anything-faster-than-a-brisk-walk-me now not looks forward to running as soon as she gets home just to play the next mission or even just listen to the radio and the adorable couple that broadcasts them. Or, I would. If I could play it.

The whole reason I wanted this app in the first place is because of my dire fear of zombies. I experience legitimate terror whenever I see or hear zombies. Playing this game I get a true and horrifying adrenaline rush that pushes me further than I’ve EVER been able to go. I can run longer – still a ridiculously short amount of time, but it’s about starting, trying and improving, you know? – and harder than I have ever been able to and that is wholly due to this app and my fear.

I want to Run For My Life in December. That’s a 5k obstacle course where you are chased by zombies. I also want to get fit. I want to be happy with my body, I want to be healthy, and I want to be able to run up 3 flights of stairs to my Chinese class so I won’t be late without arriving gasping for air. So far Zombies, Run! is the only way that has been working for me. I HIGHLY recommend it to you. Just…maybe make some better financial choices than I did.

To Summarize: I will have spent over $200 for this app, and I would do it again. IT IS AMAZING. You should buy it, play it, and get fit.

And be careful with that Runner 8 – I still don’t trust her.

ZOMBIES, RUN! – 5 out of 5 stars

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