Zombies, Run! is an ultra-immersive running game and audio adventure created by Six to Start and award-winning novelist Naomi Alderman, available exclusively in the ZRX app on iPhone and Android. Over ten million players worldwide run to the perfect mix of heart-pumping audio drama and pulse-pounding songs from their own playlists.
We deliver the story straight to your headphones through orders and voice recordings - and when you get back home, you use the supplies you’ve collected while running to build and grow your base.
- Developer: Six to Start (UK)
- Original Release Date: 27 February 2012
- Platform: iPhone and Android
- Website: zrx.app/zombies
- Subscription: $39.99/year or $5.99/month for a standard subscription, $89.99/year for VIP (USD)
- Walk, Jog or Run Anywhere: Zombies, Run! works anywhere and at any speed. Players can jog in a park, run along a beach, or walk along a trail. It even works on treadmills!
- A World Of Stories: With 500+ missions to date and new missions added every week during our annual new season release, players can enjoy a thrilling story every run.
- Zombie Chases: Our signature Zombie Chases simulate a incoming horde, and players have to increase their speed to escape. It's interval training... with an exciting twist.
- Free Cloud Backup: All players have access to our free ZombieLink service, to backup their runs and track their progress online.
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Originally launched as a successful Kickstarter project in 2011, Zombies, Run! is the world's most popular smartphone fitness game, available on iOS and Android. Over one million players bought the app at a price between $3.99 to $7.99, with hundreds of thousands playing every month.
In May 2015, Zombies, Run! became free-to-play, with new players given unlimited access to the first four missions and the ability to unlock one additional mission per week. An Abel Runner's Club membership is available on a monthly and annual basis, which unlocks unlimited access to all missions and game modes.
As a thank-you for their support, existing players who previously purchased the app were given unlimited access to the first three seasons and all existing game modes. These players also receive a significant discount on Abel Runner's Club membership.
Icons and Logos
- "Instead of offering mundane fitness tracking, Zombies, Run! 3 makes a game out of being active."
- Vignesh Ramachandran, USA Today
- "I think the Zombies, Run! team has succeeded in something no one has before, not even Nintendo; it honestly makes geeks get off the couch. Congrats, team. You deserve a cookie."
- Mur Lafferty, The Escapist
- "A few weeks after my first mission, I was still motivated to get out and jog, eager to take on the next zombie threat."
- Caelainn Hogan, The Washington Post
- "[#2 Most Innovative Company in Fitness]... This Kickstarter-funded app is one part audio book, one part video game, and one party sneaky personal trainer."
- Kate Rockwood, Fast Company
- "Zombies, Run! is a really cool way to get outside and exercise. If you've needed some added motivation, try the fear of an untimely and horribly gruesome death."
- Adam Dachis, Lifehacker
- "How an indie took on Nike, challenged the rules of narrative design, and started the Kickstarter revolution."
- Mark Walton, Gamespot
Credits and Crew
Full credits for each episode and mission are available in the ZRX app. View the Crew details.
About Six to Start
Six to Start is a UK company specialising in fitness, gameplay, and storytelling. They’ve co-created Zombies, Run!, the world's most popular smartphone fitness app with ten million players, and The Walk, the first smartphone fitness game funded by the UK's Department of Health.
Founded in 2007, the company has designed games and interactive experiences involving millions of players for the BBC, Muse, Microsoft, the British Museum, and Disney Imagineering, along with cutting-edge fiction for Penguin and Macmillan that's been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art.
About Naomi Alderman
Naomi Alderman is a writer, broadcaster, academic and technologist. Her most recent book is the international bestseller The Power, which is published in more than 30 languages, won the Baileys Prize for Fiction and was chosen as a book of the year by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times and President Barack Obama. She’s worked in games writing for 15 years, she's Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, she presents science programmes for BBC Radio 4 and writes Doctor Who stories for the BBC and Penguin. She is currently show-running the TV show of The Power for Amazon Prime Video.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where did the idea come from?
The idea came from two places - Six to Start CEO, Adrian Hon, used to hate running as a teenager and only got into it with the help of gadgets like the Garmin Forerunner GPS watch and Runkeeper. They're a great way to help you improve running, but even then, they don't actually make the act of running any more fun for beginners, so he has always wanted to make a real 'running game' that motivates you to go further and faster.
As for lead writer Naomi Alderman, she had joined a 'beginning to run class' where they asked everyone why we wanted to learn how to run. One woman said: "to escape the zombie horde" which became a sort of class joke, we'd say it all the time. So when Adrian said "running app", Naomi said "something where you run from the zombie horde!" and it all came from there.
How successful has Zombies, Run! been?
We’re very pleased with the success of Zombies, Run! so far. After launching in February 2012, the game has consistently been among the highest grossing Health and Fitness apps in the world, with over 10 million downloads to date. We've been featured as Editor's Choice multiple times on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, and we often have hundreds of thousands of monthly active users.
What are your future plans for Zombies, Run!?
Every year, we launch a new season of missions, just like a TV show. And we're committed to continually maintaining and improving Zombies, Run! to take advantage of all the latest features and opportunities on the iOS and Android platforms, including wearables and health tracking.
How is Six to Start structured?
Six to Start has around 20 staff based around the world. We are fully owned by OliveX, a health and fitness company based in Hong Kong. Additionally, Naomi Alderman, Zombies, Run!’s co-creator and lead writer, works with a number of writers to help develop the scripts.
What was Six to Start’s history before Zombies, Run!?
Six to Start was founded in 2007 by Adrian Hon, Dan Hon, and Lisa Long, who had all previously worked at Mind Candy on the Perplex City alternate reality game (ARG). Adrian had been the Director of Play at Mind Candy since 2004, and is currently the CEO of Six to Start.
From 2007 to 2011, Six to Start was a digital agency that worked with companies and brands like the BBC, Penguin, Disney Imagineering, the British Museum, and Death Cab for Cutie to research, design, develop, and run ‘game-like stories and story-like games’ online and in the real world. These included “We Tell Stories” for Penguin in 2008, which won Best of Show at SXSW, “Smokescreen” for Channel 4, which won Best Game, and “The Code” for BBC Two.
Six to Start’s original goal was to create and publish their own games, and with the idea of Zombies, Run! and the launch of Kickstarter, we were finally able to realise that ambition.
How was Zombies, Run! originally funded?
Zombies, Run! started life as a Kickstarter project in September 2011. In just 30 days the game attracted 3,500 backers pledging $73,000 in support, making it not only the most successful videogame on Kickstarter ever at that point, but also the project with the most small donations in all of 2011 (interesting fact: Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Adventure videogame swiftly broke our record with over $3 million in pledges).
As you can see from the Kickstarter page, we exceeded our target funding by a considerable margin, which allowed us to focus on creating the game without having to take on contract work. It also meant we had complete creative control to make the game we wanted to.
You can find the Zombies, Run! Kickstarter page here.
Like most games, Zombies, Run! required funding to be developed. Funding can come from many places, including angel investors, venture capitalists, games publishers, bank loans, grants, and now, crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter. We chose Kickstarter because it was not only a great way for us to assess demand for a highly unusual and innovative idea (which a lot of traditional funders might think risky), but because it was much quicker than going through the conventional routes. Kickstarter also gave us the freedom to keep complete creative control of the game - something that is often impossible with other routes.