A Tourist’s Guide to Abel

The zombie apocalypse isn’t always filled with cheer; there’s the looming threat of the hungry undead, mad scientists vying to ‘fix’ everything, and the loss of all the things we take for granted – like clean running water and a supermarket stocked with as many Curly Wurlys as we can stomach.

But not everything is bleak! Today we take a look at some of Abel Township’s most entertaining features!

Tequila Shack

The Tequila Shack. Come and enjoy a shot of Pepe’s finest British tequila. Shame lemons are in short supply!

With its twinkling fairy lights salvaged from a Christmas shop and the giant tequila bottle sculpture stood outside, the Tequila Shack is definitely Abel’s most unique building. It’s full of the chatter of living humans, rather the moans of the zombie hordes, and someone has even found a game of Twister to liven things up. Next to the drab housing blocks, the Tequila Shack is a glowing point of welcoming light.

The Tequila Shack was introduced in Season 2 Side Mission 2 ‘Headcount’, where you head out with Janine to attempt a census of the post-apocalyptic world, with varying degrees of success.

Kitten Pen

It’s like a cat cafe, except without the coffee and cake and relative certainty that you’ll survive the night.

Cats: not only are they a pragmatically excellent choice for a post-apocalyptic companion, what with being able to devastate the soaring rat and mouse population, they’re also really cute. With Abel Township growing, it was inevitable that cats would show up sooner or later. Janine insists that it just makes sense to have them to protect the foodstores. Everyone else just likes the comfort of a familiar sight and the therapeutic qualities of stroking a cat are not to be dismissed.

The Kitten Pen was introduced in Season 3 Mission 11 ‘Stray Cat Strut’ where you accompany Zoe and Phil on a feline related adventure that turns up more information than expected.


Concert Area

It’s not exactly the O2 Arena, but it’s also not as expensive as the O2 Arena!

The Concert Area can’t really compare to somewhere like Wembley Arena, and after what happened there during the start of the apocalypse, no-one’s keen to replicate it. But you can always find someone there practising on a rescued instrument or performing an impromptu soliloquy. And who can forget Abel’s monthly slam poetry open-mic evening!

The Concert Area was introduced in Season 2 Side Mission 5 ‘Top 40’, where a hunt for CDs turns into a brush with stardom as you encounter a pop Diva and her moaning fans.

Rollercoaster Car

We’re thinking of doing an experimental Shakespeare performance using it. What if Richard the 3rd, but on a fairground ride?

A relic of a bygone age. While we might have joked about the queue to the biggest ride being full of zombies, that’s become a bit more literal since the apocalypse. A single car isn’t as impressive as an entire rollercoaster (and Janine won’t spare the supplies to build one for some reason), but it’s still become a bit of a tourist attraction at Abel. Sit back and stare up at the sky while imagining a death defying plunge towards the ground, and try not to think too hard about the younger residents looking at it like it’s a piece from a history museum.

The Rollercoaster Car was introduced in Season 3 Mission 60, where you stop a villain and need a quick escape.

Cultural Centre

It’s important to celebrate the things that make us different, especially when the zombies are all the same.

Now more than ever it’s important to remember where we came from. Sure, life has changed dramatically since the apocalypse, and we’re getting the impression that things won’t ever go back to the way they were. The Cultural Centre lets us remember the important things about life before the end. Be it a favourite recipe passed down through the generations, music, or a traditional outfit, you’ll find it here. There’s even a group planning Abel’s first Lion dance event!

The Culture Centre was introduced in Season 4 Mission 11, where you help Sam go shopping for some important items.

Meet The Fans: Emma St. John

Working on Zombies, Run! we’re lucky to have a very dedicated, creative and overall lovely fanbase. We try to celebrate that whenever we can, so we’ve been talking to some of our fans and would now like to introduce the first of our fan interviews!

Today we talk with Emma St. John about music, fanworks, and top tips for using Zombies, Run!

Some of Emma’s amazing Zombies, Run! fanart!

What got you into Zombies, Run!?

I actually got into ZR on the recommendation of a friend, about six years ago now. I was just about to finish up high school and the season for my sport of choice was ending, and I was looking for something to help keep me active. She suggested the app, and while at the time I was wary because I wasn’t super into zombie media, I gave it a shot.

I wound up loving it so much that I wound up going out on more and more runs more often, up to the point I was using it four times a week and getting into the ZR 5K trainer! It totally turned me from someone who always hated running to someone who seriously loved it.

You mentioned that you weren’t really a fan of zombie media. Do you think there’s something about ZR that makes it appealing, even to people who don’t like zombies?

I do think there’s something about ZR that makes it appealing to people who don’t/don’t usually like zombies – I do think there’s something very special about it. I mean, to start, I do think one of the things that helps it be more approachable that most other zombie media is the lack of visuals – there’s a slight level of disconnect from the elements of horror that are usually implemented in zombie media, because there’s no actual visual gore or blood with ZR – it’s all done through audio storytelling.

There’s several other aspects to it for me, but the biggest ones I’d say for sure are the stories and the way it’s written, and the characters. The story was absolutely what got me sucked in when I first started playing – I wanted to find out what happened next so badly it really motivated me to go out on that next run. The overall themes of hope and teamwork and unconventional skills being useful in the apocalypse is something that really appealed to me as well. And then the more I learned about and got to know the characters, the more I totally grew to adore them. They’re so diverse and inclusive, it really felt like there was someone for pretty much everyone to look up to/get attached to.

How do you prepare for a run? Do you have a special routine?

I wouldn’t say I have any sort of particular routine, not really. I try to make sure I run about three times a week, with a few extra walks sprinkled in. I usually get up, prepare myself an ice water for when I get back, feed my dog, and grab my gigantic armband for my phone and head out!

Part of Emma’s running route

What’s your favourite music to run to?

I definitely prefer energetic music – a good tempo keeps me moving. For every season I usually wind up building a new playlist to suit the tone of that season in particular. My ones for the earlier seasons were all very upbeat, and as they seasons go on the music I wind up picking as increased in intensity to match the seasons themselves.

I’m in the middle of working on my S7 one now, actually, because I just wrapped up Season 6. So far it’s being centered around “Champion” and “The Last of the Real Ones” by Fall Out Boy.

Emma’s Season 6 Playlist

Your playlist is really cool! How do you go about deciding what songs to centre your playlists around?

I usually look for lyrics that I find fit the theme or mood of the seasons – for the ZRS6 one, for example, ‘Werld is Mine’ is one I really liked because I could sort of find bits of different characters in the lines for the chorus. “Ghosts in Empty Houses” from ‘Interim Semper Currans’ I thought was a great foundation because it felt like it could even possibly be from the perspective of Runner Five.

And then for the one I’m working on for S7, both “Champion” and “Last of the Real ones” had lyrics that made me think of Five and Abel; “If I can live through this/I can do anything”, “You’re the last of a dying breed”, “There’s been a million before me” – all little things like that that just give off a ‘ZR vibe’ are things I like to look for. 

You’re involved in making fanworks. Do you have any fanfic/fanart recommendations?

Of course I do! I’ve always loved the art and fic this fandom creates. Some of my favorite works include Typelikemad’s Season 1 Epsiode illustrations this drawing of Sara by tumblr user Thaumivore (though sadly I think they’ve deleted their blog) and this super cute Hoodie 5 by illustratedacorns, and some of my favorite fics are “Scavenger” by Straydog733, this post-Season 3 Fic about Jamie, Maxine, and Five being bros by Puptart (big S3 spoilers warning on this one) and “Wolves” by TheTalkingCrocus (season 4 spoiler warnings)

More of Emma’s fanart, featuring Runner 5!

What is your top tip for using Zombies, Run!?

Honestly my top tip has always been just ‘have fun’! ZR is something that I’ve loved very, very dearly, and I’ve always loved the attitude the creators have about making fitness fun, because that’s what ZR did for me. I’ve been using it for ages now, at every level of fitness – there were times at my most fit where I was running five miles/8 km per mission, and there were times where I just listened to it while walking my dog because that’s the most I could manage. And it’s always been something I’ve wanted to come back to, something that’s made me enjoy getting out and moving and made me want to do it more.

To me, ZR really a really fun, unique experience. It’s something I love sharing with my friends and with the fandom. It’s always been a very important spark of joy in my life.

Thank you so much to Emma for talking with us! You can find her on Twitter and Instagram.


Season 8 Mission 15: Far Hebrides Map (Spoilers!)

This Season, we’re taking you on an adventure to the distant Far Hebrides archipelago in Scotland, where you’ll encounter a whole host of new friends – and enemies. To make your journey even richer, we’ll be publishing a map of the Far Hebrides, which will expand and gain detail as we progress through the series.

Today’s excerpt from the map features spoilers from the first 15 missions of Season 8, up to and including “Codified Likeness Utility”. Be Warned!

Stay Safe Out There!

S8 M15 Released and Hiatus Begins

We’re leaving you hanging off this icy cliff with the final Season 8 mission for now, Codified Likeness Utility.

You can download this mission right now from the ‘Missions’ tab. If you’re a Pro Member, you can download and play the mission immediately. Otherwise, you can use your free weekly unlock. Let us know what you think of the season so far on our social media!

We are neck deep in preparations for the second half of this chilling season. After our hiatus, you’ll start seeing new missions around mid August.

Meanwhile… we have something really special coming later this month: Venus Rising, an epic five-part New Adventure by Naomi Alderman and Elliot Gresswell.

Soon, you’ll discover some mysteries were never meant to be solved…

Season 8 Mission 14: Far Hebrides Map (Spoilers!)

This Season, we’re taking you on an adventure to the distant Far Hebrides archipelago in Scotland, where you’ll encounter a whole host of new friends – and enemies. To make your journey even richer, we’ll be publishing a map of the Far Hebrides, which will expand and gain detail as we progress through the series.

Today’s excerpt from the map features spoilers from the first 14 missions of Season 8, up to and including “Best Laid Plans”. Be Warned!

Stay Safe Out There!

Scheduled Maintenance Notice

We will be having scheduled downtime on our services over the next week. This includes our Content Distribution System, Zombielink, Rofflenet, and Racelink. Here are the likely impacts:

Rofflenet will be unavailable on Thursday 27th June from 11pm UK time (6pm EDT). It may be down overnight.

We will be switching Rofflenet to Read Only mode from 9pm UK time on the 27th to ensure that no data is lost. During this time, you will be able to read posts, but will be unable to make new posts or comments.

Our Content Distribution System will be unavailable for a period beginning 2am UK Time on Friday 28th June, and again from 11pm UK time . You may be unable to download new missions during the outage, and the service may be down overnight. This outage may also affect your ability to receive automated emails triggered by your progress through the game.

Our ZombieLink API will be unavailable for a period beginning 11pm on Tuesday 2nd July, and likely extending overnight. You will not be able to sync data to or from ZombieLink during that time.

Timeline

All times listed below are in UK time.

  • Thursday 27th June @ 9pm: Rofflenet switches to Read Only Mode
  • Thursday 27th June @ 11pm: Rofflenet maintenance begins
  • Friday 28th June @ 2am: 1st Content Distribution System maintenance begins
  • Friday 28th June @ 11pm: 2nd Content Distribution System maintenance begins
  • Tuesday 2nd July @ 11pm: ZombieLink API maintenance begins

S8 M13 & M14 Released

Mission Banner: a person being grabbed by multiple zombies

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, but we’d never let that stop us bringing you two new missions: On The Rocks & Best Laid Plans.

You can download these missions right now from the ‘Missions’ tab. If you’re a Pro Member, you can download and play both missions immediately. Otherwise, you can use your free weekly unlock to play either one.

Season 8 Mission 12: Far Hebrides Map (Spoilers!)

This Season, we’re taking you on an adventure to the distant Far Hebrides archipelago in Scotland, where you’ll encounter a whole host of new friends – and enemies. To make your journey even richer, we’ll be publishing a map of the Far Hebrides, which will expand and gain detail as we progress through the series.

Today’s excerpt from the map features spoilers from the first 12 missions of Season 8, up to and including “Poison Whiskey”. Be Warned!

Stay Safe Out There!

Season 8 Mission 10: Far Hebrides Map (Spoilers!)

This Season, we’re taking you on an adventure to the distant Far Hebrides archipelago in Scotland, where you’ll encounter a whole host of new friends – and enemies. To make your journey even richer, we’ll be publishing a map of the Far Hebrides, which will expand and gain detail as we progress through the series.

Today’s excerpt from the map features spoilers from the first 10 missions of Season 8, up to and including “It’s Oh So Quiet”. Be Warned!

Stay Safe Out There!

New Adventures: Track the Ripper

To celebrate the launch of the latest in our Zombies, Run! New Adventures series, we spoke to Lulu Kadhim, writer of Track The Ripper about her thrilling dive into the story behind Victorian London’s most notorious denizen.

What made you pick Jack the Ripper as the basis for the race?

Who doesn’t love Jack the Ripper? The most fascinating thing to me is the fact we’re still captivated by the idea of him to this day. After spending much of my teenage years being obsessed with serial killers, I wanted to tackle Jack myself.

Catching Jack makes a great subject for a race, too — on the hunt through the old streets of London, all that atmospheric noise, and a burning question to be answered.

To keep it fresh, I tackled from a new angle: without going too far into spoiler territory, it was clear from the outset that the only satisfying way to end the run was to catch the Ripper. Therefore, I approached with a totally different question in mind: if the police caught him back in 1888, why don’t we know his identity to this day? This had all sorts of interesting implications, and I’m really excited to find out how people react to my answer!

How historically accurate is the race to Victorian London?

The race is set the night that Jack plans on a double homicide. I took some liberties here with history, since the double homicide night was not Jack’s last hurrah — he murdered one other woman afterwards, Mary Jane Kelly.

But in other aspects, I tried to be as accurate as possible. There’s very little light on the streets, there’s a fair amount of smog and there are tensions between the City and Metropolitan police officers.

My favourite part of the research for accuracy was forensics! There were a huge amount of forensic developments happening at the time, with handwriting experts, ballistics, pathology etc. all coming into general police use. So I had a lot of things I could use without making it complete fantasy.

As for the language, I had to make it easy to listen to & understand — you don’t want to be distracted trying to work out what the heck anyone is saying while out on the run — but also “sounded” Victorian-era. I think I struck that balance after some fiddling, and most anachronisms left in were probably done on purpose!

Which was the most fun part to write?

The most fun part to write was definitely the last scene, but since I can’t talk about that without spoiling the race, I think the second most fun part was when the police find the first body.

Audio can be very atmospheric, so I put a lot of thought into how I was going to make it so. I wanted it to be clear it was night, that there was some hubbub around the body, and for it to hit the runner hard. The audio design by done Mark Pittam is incredible, and he really brought that scene to life.

Anything you would have loved to include but had time limits?

I had a lot more about the tensions between the City of London police and the Metropolitan police, but I think I’m the only person who will miss those parts!

How did you go about planning and outlining the race script?

In the planning stage, I read a lot of articles and extracts from books to understand the Ripper murders, and the ways the police had handled them. I also went to visit the City of London police to get an understanding of the double murder, as well as police procedure at the time. I started collecting a folder of bookmarks with cool historical things I wanted to remember.

I then wrote 3 drafts of an outline, which went into details of what would happen each clip. The identity of Jack, and how it was revealed, changed each time, though the characters and structure stayed, more or less, the same.

Finally, on the third draft, I had that eureka moment, and realised there was a way for the story to work on more than one level, and for the reveal to be meaningful. That’s when I knew it was time to write it.

Is there anything you hope people take away from running it?

I hope they have half as much fun running it as I did writing it, really. While I baked deeper aspects into it, such as a look at power dynamics and certainly kinds of brutality common in the Victorian era (and arguably today), at its heart, it’s an exciting, fast-paced mystery!