Season 4 is Coming!

Out of the darkness and cold of winter, a new dawn is emerging: yes, Season 4 of Zombies, Run! will be launching this Spring!

When Zombies, Run! launched, there were only 23 story missions, 7 supply missions and a handful of Radio Abel clips to entertain all 5000 of our early-adopting super-fans. Three years later, we’ve released over 150 missions to over one million players. No matter how thrilled we were at the success of our Kickstarter, we could never have imagined this. And we certainly couldn’t have imagined that we’d still be going, preparing for our fourth season.

But numbers only tell part of the story. What’s really important to us is knowing how Zombies, Run! has motivated so many of you to keep walking, jogging, and running, despite all the odds – and how much you love the characters, the world, and the game we’ve created.

So this year, we’re going back to basics. We’re taking what’s great about Zombies, Run! and making it even better.

The Story

Naomi Alderman, our co-creator and lead writer says: “I’m incredibly excited to see the fan’s responses to Season 4 of Zombies, Run! We’ll be releasing 40 new missions in this season written by our core team of me, Rebecca Levene and Andrea Klassen, with a few guest writers we’ll be announcing as we go. Just like every year, we’re trying out some new ideas about how to keep the stories we tell super-tight, engaging and above all, fun. 

“I’m thrilled about how the season’s panning out – cutting back on mission numbers has meant we can keep it all killer, no filler, and has freed me up to start thinking about some other ZR Universe projects we have in the works!

“It’s hard to know what to say about Season 4 without giving spoilers, so all I can really tell is that there’ll be some tears, some joy, some running away from zombies and that, oh what the hell, the longest-running mystery in the whole game will finally be solved. And there is at least one mission in there that I sobbed like a baby while writing. Just so you know that I suffer with you.

“Radio’s always been one of our fans’ favourite elements of the game. I’m still sad to have had to say goodbye to Jack and Eugene, but we’re going to be trying out some new hosts over the season, with more radio than ever before. I’m really on tenterhooks to hear our fans’ responses to our new radio ideas, so do let us know what you think!”

The App

Over the last few months, we’ve spent a lot of time reading Tumblr, Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and meeting Runners 5 in London and Edinburgh (and next month, in New York!). We’ve asked a lot of questions to figure out how best to improve the app, for existing and for new users.

The answer? Concentrate on what makes Zombies, Run! so effective, and make that as smooth and easy to use as possible. Here’s a taste of what we’ll be launching in Spring and Summer 2015.:

  • Full two-way run log syncing: All players will be able to edit and delete run logs from inside the app, and changes will sync in both directions between the app and the website! It’s one of our top feature requests, and we’re delighted to introduce it in Zombies, Run! 4
  • Improved music playback: A lot of people now use Spotify, Pandora, and other streaming music services. We’re improving the way we integrate with these third party apps, and we’re going to help you discover great new music to run to.
  • Estimated mission duration: In times past, it was a complete mystery how long a mission would take. Who knew when they’d need to raise the gates for your return? No longer. We’ll estimate your mission duration so you know how long you’ll be out for – plus you’ll be able to see your current mission progress while out on a run!
  • Autoplay next mission: Run out of Radio Abel and want all the missions as fast as possible? Now you’ll be able to autoplay the next mission in your list – perfect for long-distance runs or binge-running the latest missions!
  • Zombie Chase difficulty: Too many chases? Too few chases? Not any more. Set your own difficulty, and sprint to your heart’s content.
  • In-app mission synopses: What happened in Season 1 Mission 9? When did we meet Nadia for the first time? Ask no longer, because you’ll find all the answers directly inside the app itself.
  • Halfway-there notification: Sometimes you want to be home and dry right when you hear the “Mission Completed” buzzer – after all, it’s dangerous out in no-man’s land! Now you’ll know exactly when to head home, as we’ll give you a heads-up when you hit the half-way point of your mission.
  • New user interface: It’s the little things. Changing your tracking settings. Choosing your playlist. Finding what you need on the home screen. You do them every time you head out for a run, and we think it’s about time they got some love and attention. So we’re taking a good long look at our UI design, fixing all those little niggles and making everything look absolutely gorgeous. Just wait til you get to look at it. It’s going to blow the caramel out of your curly-wurly. Even better: Android is getting Material Design.
  • Interval Training on Android: We realise this has taken much longer than we promised, and we’re sorry for the delay. The reason behind this is because we’ve completely rewritten the ZR mission engine on Android, along with other major app components (see below), all of which were tied into Interval Training. The good news is that Interval Training will definitely be here with the launch of Season 4 – and believe us, we’ll make the wait worth your while.

The most important changes are the ones you won’t see, though. With Season 4, we’re completely rebuilding the mission engine in Zombies, Run! making it more reliable than ever before. It’ll also be much more extensible, allowing us to create radically new kinds of game and running modes; and to take advantage of new hardware and wearables. We’re making similar improvements to ZombieLink, which will be much faster than before.

Four Seasons And A…*

… No, not a movie. At least not yet. But this list is just the start. We have a lot planned for Zombies, Run! in 2015 and beyond, including some announcements that will change the entire shape of the ZRU (Zombies, Run! Universe, of course!).

Stay tuned – and stay safe out there, because Season 4 is coming.

Happy Birthday, Runner Five!

That’s right, today is the three-year anniversary of ZR’s release to an unsuspecting world. Three years of Sam, three years of close escapes and three years of our now-infamous “crying-while-running” experience. 

It’s been an utterly amazing three years. We’ve gone from twenty-three missions to one hundred and fifty, from 3,464 Kickstarter backers to over one million players, and from bedroom-recorded passion project to the most successful fitness game in history. We could not have done this without you all. We love you, Runners Five. Happy birthday. 

To celebrate our birthday and to thank all our fans, we thought we’d share a sneak peek at something we’re really excited to bring to the next version of Zombies, Run! this spring: In-App Mission Previews! 

One of the biggest reasons for ZR’s success in the past three years has been how Naomi’s compelling, addictive story encourages you to get out there and run in order to find out what happens next. 

That’s why, this Spring, you’ll be able to hear an in-app audio preview of the next mission right there at the end of your run, including heart-pounding scores by our expert composer Ben Miles. We’re making these previews for every single mission – from the start of Season 1 all the way through to Season 4. Check out the preview videos in this post – we think they’re pretty damn exciting. 

We’re also working hard on making Zombies, Run! look even more beautiful than ever, with our amazing artist Estee Chan creating stunning art banners for every mission in the game. 

You can catch a sneak preview of these gorgeous pieces in the videos we’ve attached to this post. We hope you think they’re as wonderful as we do!

These two new features are just a selection of the massive improvements we’re making this Spring. We’ll be sharing more details on the rest in an upcoming blogpost, so keep your eyes peeled and make sure you’re following @zombiesrungame for all the latest news. 

New York ZR Meetup


New York! Clear your diaries, mark your calendars and prepare to wear your nicest-looking training gear: the Zombies, Run! team are coming to New York City! 

Here are the details:

Date: March 31st

Time: 7.30pm

Location: Stitch Bar, 247 West 37th Street in Manhattan

Table: Booked for “Zombie Runners”

Team Six to Start: Me (Matt W, writer of Radio Abel and audio director), Adrian Hon (ZR co-creator, lead designer and CEO of Six to Start) and Alex Macmillan (Former Zombies, Run! lead developer). 

Look for the “Zombie Runners” sign when you arrive to find us, or keep an eye out for the people in the ever-stylish Abel Township apparel. We’ll also be on twitter for the evening, so be sure to follow us at @zombiesrungame there!  

We’re super excited about this event, and we’re looking forward to meeting you all! Stay safe out there in the meantime. 

February Community Roundup

Calling all Runners Five! Dig your way out of that pile of roses, fish the novelty chocolates from your favourite sports bras and step away from the zombiefied love-heart teddy bear. It’s time for the February Community and Press Roundup and this one is a doozy. 

Wonderful Sam Yao Valentine by muterunner5

Wonderful Sam Yao Valentine by muterunner5

No Morality in Exercise by Naomi Alderman

Not content with breaking all our hearts, forcing us to weep buckets while running and generally creating the best post-apocalypse storyline the world has ever seen, ZR lead writer and co-creator Naomi Alderman has released a wonderful, insightful article on her experience of exercise and her relationship to her body this week. It’s received tons of well-deserved attention and has sparked a heart-warming and essential discussion on the nature of exercise. This is a must-read for ZR fans if you haven’t already devoured it. 

Podcasts: Daft Souls and Brew / Drink / Run

This month, Zombies, Run! has featured on a couple of great podcasts. We know you’re all big fans of audio storytelling, so go check them out!

Firstly, the excellent video gaming podcast Daft Souls made everyone here at Six to Start feel very warm and fuzzy with their glowing discussion of Zombies, Run! and fitness gaming in general. Thanks guys!

Secondly, ZR was discussed on a podcast that has possibly the best combination of subject matter ever: craft beer and running. Brew / Drink / Run is a must listen if you you like either of those things, and we’re super glad to have featured. 

Alright, that’s enough about us! Let’s get on with the main show: all you amazing fans. There’s a ton of great stuff this month, so hit the read more to unleash the wonder. 

Valentine’s Day at Abel Township

Say what you like about the holiday itself, if there’s one thing Valentine’s Day is great for, it’s inspiring an absolute Runner-Five’s-backpack-full of amazing art, stories and discussions from our wonderful fandom. 

First up, runn3rfive went above and beyond the call of duty to spread love and good wishes to the fandom at large with their “Abel Township Valentines”. Just another sign that we do have the nicest most wonderful fandom in history. I’m going to pretend it didn’t break my heart not to receive one. SOB. 

Raise the Gates to my Heart by runn3rfive

Raise the Gates to my Heart by runn3rfive

There was also plenty of chat in the lead-up to the holiday about favourite pairings and ships. I’m going to my grave with “Phil / Lem” tattooed on my chest and there’s nothing you can do about it. They would absolutely destroy the Guardian cryptic every day and you know it. 

Next, what discussion of love would be complete without an in-depth examination of our favourite radio operator mr Sam Yao? Thankfully, the excellent folks at Podcast Detected have us covered with their very special 20th episode. Go listen! 

Finally, I couldn’t let Valentine’s day go by without highlighting this adorable picture of messrs Holden and Woods doing what they do best: breaking hearts and taking names. Utterly lovely work by get-out-of-the-rescue-closet


Jack and Eugene by get-out-of-the-rescue-closet

Fic Roundup

Fantastic artwork and being completely excellent to one another aren’t the only things that define the ZR fandom, of course. You’re all also bloody fantastic writers, and this selection of fic makes that point loud and clear. There is, as always, far too much great stuff to cover all of it, but here are just a few I’ve picked out. 

SoullessDaze has begun a really exciting serialised work over on their wordpress. I love this because it takes the form of diaries from a number of original characters, all of whom have really vivid voices. There’s a lot of imagination and dedication here, and it’s regularly updated which means you’ll never run out of great stuff to read! Start reading from the first update and make plans to get hooked!

Over at ArchiveOfOurOwn, debtdoctor has written this fabulous fic which is really insightful about a big part of why we all might love Sam Yao so much. I’ll let you go read the piece in full yourselves, but I loved this quote especially:

Sam is there when you feel too young for this too.

So true. Really great stuff. 

If these pieces haven’t tugged at your heartstrings enough, Zalia’s got you covered this month. True to form, the writing is evocative, powerful and really gets to the emotional core of the relationship between the characters. Massive warning: it’s a Janine / Simon fic, so there are spoilers right the way up to the current day, and there is some “disturbing imagery and general weirdness” (Zalia’s words). Here it is. Go read it!

Finally in our fic round up for the month, MaryFlanner has released the final chapter in the now-complete and totally amazing story of how Jack and Eugene came to be at Abel. It’s really great to read fiction that expands the world of ZR outside the canon timeline and yet feels so true to the characters. Great work! 

Phew! That’s a lot of excellent writing this month, everyone! If there’s anything I’ve missed that you think I should be reading, please do drop me a line: matt at 

More Art! 

I said this would be a doozy and boy, has it proved to be. I hope you’ve enjoyed all this as much as I have. But I couldn’t leave without highlighting a few of the other amazing pieces of fan art we’ve seen this month. As usual, there’s just way way way too much to highlight everything, but here’s a small taste. Just look at these:

Happy to Help by familynotblood

Happy to Help by familynotblood

Sempiternus by mousecarter42

Sempiternus by mousecarter42

Pier by pekasairroc

Pier by pekasairroc

Run! by ariabacon

Run! by ariabacon


Alright, there we go! Another mammoth community update post. We love seeing all the great work you guys make, so please do drop us a line if there’s anything we’re missing, or anything you want to point out to us especially. We’ve had some trouble picking up these suggestions in the past, so we’re now asking that you send any recommendations for the community roundup to matt at I can’t wait to see what you guys send in! 

Stay safe out there!

So Long And Thanks For All The Pics

You guys. You. Guys. What an evening! Our first ever live Zombies, Run! event was an absolutely storming success this past Friday, and it’s all thanks to our amazing fans. How do we love you? Oh, let me count the ways. 

1) So many of you turned up to see us on Friday night, and in such fantastic costumes! Here’s a group shot of the volunteer Runners Five who came along to help out with the event. How badass do they look? So badass they’d make Sara Smith back down. 


2) Seriously so many of you turned up that people were being turned away by the dozen. A reliable source told me that over 500 people attended across all three performances. That’s an entire Abel Township’s worth! (Depending on how many times you’ve upgraded your housing…) 


This is a lot of people. 

Look how many people. In just one of the performances!


3) ZR Fans look out for one another! When lindleyjo ran into some transportation problems that resulted in her being unable to attend at the last minute, collected-sports-bra stepped up and made sure she got a personal greeting from our very own Phil Nightingale and Jennifer Tan. So lovely! 

4) Seriously you guys check out this zombie. This is a terrifying zombie. Zombie: you are zombie-ing correctly. 


5) Check out all these awesome photos of the goodies (and videos!) our Runners Five collected! 

6) Oh my god people brought us presents and they were absolutely amazing. Just look at this stuff. 


Yes that is a hand-crafted Zombies, Run! logo. Yes it is basically the best thing ever. 

No wait, look! It’s tiny adorable Phil and Zoe and Zombie Runner Five! 

Oh. My. God. Yes.

It’s official. Zombies, Run! has the best fans in the world ever, ever, ever. Thanks for making our evening extra special, and for being so dedicated, creative and passionate. Stay Safe Out There!