The City of the Future is about to become history in our Halloween 2020 Virtual Race, Die Rise!
A tower block under siege. A hostile police force on the streets. A race against time to save the world. Welcome to New Oban, Runner 5 – and watch your step. If you fall, it’s a long way down…
To get your briefing from Janine and follow the path to New Oban, open Die Rise in Zombies, Run!
Training Missions start from 7th October, and the Race from 22nd October.
How to Enter
It’s simple: become a Zombies, Run! VIP member! You’ll get access to all ten existing Virtual Races plus three Virtual Races launching in the 12 months! VIP membership is only $89.99 USD/year and includes everything in Abel Runner’s Club, plus amazing benefits including a 20% discount in our official shop.
To join or upgrade to VIP, just tap Die Rise > Enter with VIP!
Die Rise continues the epic story that began in our Train to Oban Virtual Race, available to all VIP members!
Spotted the sting at the end of our Die Rise Trailer? That’s right – your favourite Radio Abel hosts will be returning in our new Early 2021 Virtual Race, Jack and Eugene’s World Tour!
We can’t wait to share more with you, but here’s one detail you’ll like: Jack and Eugene’s World Tour is in addition to our usual Spring and Halloween Virtual Races, which means this will be the first time we have three virtual races in a single year. So if you become a VIP member to play Die Rise, you’ll get our Early 2021 and Spring 2021 races as well!
But there’s more: all VIP members can get a 20% discount on everything in our official shop, including Virtual Race gear! Visit your ZombieLink account to get your exclusive discount code.
ZR9 is here! We can’t wait to tell you about everything we’re bringing you this year, from our new Virtual Races feature and our continuing Home Front workouts, to all our incredible New Adventures!
But first, check out our awesome launch trailer:
The Home Front
When gyms closed around the world, we wanted to help you keep moving wherever you were. That’s why we introduced our first-ever set of home workouts in The Home Front, for people of all abilities.
The Home Front has also been our way to continue the main Zombies, Run! story with the characters you know and love, from Sam and Janine to Jody and Phil and Peter. We’ve been delighted by how much fun it’s been to write and produce these workouts, which are recorded and edited completely remotely. It’s not always been easy, but it’s worth it, especially when we hear how much the workouts have meant to players:
I have really appreciated having The Home Front as I am currently deployed with the national guard within my state to help monitor COVID-19. It gives me a sense of normalcy and motivation to work out. So in a few short words, thank you and please keep the story going. – Dawn Alexander
I just wanted to say thank you for putting together The Home Front. My roommate and I are both immunocompromised and aren’t leaving the apartment for any reason, so these missions have been a lifesaver.
The workouts are great, the dance breaks are fun, and hearing all of the actors talking about isolation and fear while staying hopeful and connected keeps me thinking positive. – Casey S.
At first, we only planned to create ten workouts, but this week we released Mission 14 – and today we’re announcing The Home Front story will be continuing through this year, with plans for over 20 missions in total, and counting!
Even better, The Home Front workouts will continue to be ad-free and fully unlocked for all players. We’ve never done this for any other mode before and we hope this will help even more people have fun while keeping physically and mentally fit!
All 10 Virtual Races Now Available!
When we started our Virtual Race series in 2015, we had no idea how popular they’d be, and how far we could take the concept. Since then, our epic 5K/10K races have added training missions, secret websites, puzzle books, ID cards, exclusive merch, and even minigames!
We’ve loved the movie-style stories we could tell, from rescuing a train trapped in the Channel Tunnel with the European Rescue Force, to retrieving vital technology from the deadly Tomorrow Island.
So it’s no surprise that the millions of runners who’ve joined since 2015 have wanted to play our past races! And in ZR9, that’s finally possible through our new Virtual Races feature.
For the first time, you can get instant digital access to all ten of our Virtual Races from inside Zombies, Run! And these races aren’t just missions – they come with a wealth of story extras like emails, websites, leaflets, videos, so you’re getting the full Virtual Race experience.
All the races are set during the early days of the apocalypse, so they’re tailor-made for all Runners 5 and contain no spoilers for the main Zombies, Run! story! And for dedicated runners, we’ll have special Souvenir Packs as an optional purchase, with a themed finisher’s medal and certificate, and exclusive physical race extras! More on that soon…
But how do you get digital access to the Virtual Races? Just become a VIP member!
This is our new highest membership tier and it includes:
All the benefits of Abel Runner’s Club (500+ unlocked missions, Custom Zombie Chases, Interval Training, Airdrop Mode, plus full access to two whole extra fitness games: ZR 5K Training and The Walk)
10 past Virtual Races, compromising 28 epic missions set during the early days of the apocalypse – newly enhanced with in-app digital story extras!
2+ new Virtual Races every year
Invitation to our private Rofflenet forum
Brand new “Evergreen Leaderboards” for every past and future Virtual Race (coming later this year)
Exclusive benefits including merchandise discounts (coming later this year)
At $89.99 USD/year (that’s just $7.50/month!), we think VIP Membership is great value – especially since it includes everything in Abel Runner’s Club ($34.99/year). And we’re working on making it even better value in the coming months and years.
For all the answers about VIP Membership and Virtual Races, check out our FAQ at the end of this post!
Alongside The Home Front, we have a wealth of incredible new stories coming this year. These are just some of the New Adventures we’re launching:
Dinosaur Dash (out now) by Andrea Phillips. Join a top secret research expedition and encounter the last of the dinosaurs!
A Study in Ichor by Mary Goodden and Naomi Alderman. An unfortunate heir, an industrialist bent on changing the world, and a menace stalking the streets of Victorian London! Can you stop it before it’s too late? Starting July 20th, featuring the main Zombies, Run! cast!
Between The Lines by Tom Crowley. A man with mysterious motives, a long abandoned house and a secret that bled into the ground itself. Will you discover the truth in this mystery/horror story?
Wreck Runner by Mur Lafferty and Alasdair Stuart. Join Captain Duffy and the crew of the SolFleet vessel Juno as you salvage space wrecks and rescue survivors! Coming August 2020
Grand Canyon by Alex Acks. Explore the length of the Grand Canyon, and discover the secrets of its history. Coming August 2020.
Nellie Bly by Jessica Wright Buha. Join the adventurous journalist Nellie Bly as she races to travel around the world in 72 days!
Matchmaker by Emily Short. Can a matchmaking service using all the latest tech really find a perfect match?
Little Red by Corvyn Appleby. Dare you go into the woods at night? You’re a mercenary hired to protect one small girl visiting a relative, but there’s a monster on the loose, and grandmother’s house is so very far away…
The Signals’ War by Avin Shah. In the First World War, join Sapper Five through their assignments across East Africa, Turkmenistan, and all the way to Archangel in the far north of Russia. The messages you carry are vital and the situation is dire…
And believe it or not, we have even more New Adventures coming this year that we’ll be announcing closer to the time, so keep your eyes peeled!
For full access to every single one of these New Adventures as soon as they launch, make sure you join the Abel Runner’s Club!
Later This Year…
Though Six to Start is a fully remote company, we’re a small team and we’ve still been impacted by the lockdowns. But we’re committed to keep improving Zombies, Run!, and here are just a few of the features we’re working on that’ll be launching later this year:
A dedicated Home Workout mode to enhance The Home Front
Big improvements for Apple Watch
Our Halloween Virtual Race: DIE RISE!
Virtual Race “Evergreen Leaderboards”
And much, much more…
VIP & Virtual Races FAQ
What if I’m already an Abel Runner’s Club member?
You can upgrade directly in the app in More > Membership! Your new VIP subscription will begin immediately and you’ll automatically be reimbursed for any unused time on your existing subscription.
I’ve already entered a past Virtual Race, do I keep my access?
Great news: yes!
Will there be other ways to enter future Virtual Races?
We don’t have anything to announce on this yet, but we’re always evaluating new ideas!
Will there still be medal packs and add-ons available for Virtual Races?
Yes! VIP membership gives you digital entry to the race. We’ll have special Souvenir Packs as an optional purchase, with a themed finisher’s medal and certificate, and exclusive physical race extras! We’ll also have the same great T-shirts and tech tanks for races. VIP members will receive an exclusive discount to use on our official store for all merch including Virtual Race gear, which we’ll give more details on soon.
If I don’t subscribe to VIP will I lose my Rofflenet access?
No. If you already have access to Rofflenet you will not lose it if you don’t subscribe to the VIP Membership.
If I already have run past virtual races will I lose access to these in the app?
No, if you have paid for any previous virtual races you’ll always have access to these in the app.
Does ZR9 mean Season 9 is coming soon?
ZR9 is the latest version of the app, it does not refer to Season 9. When we wrote the scripts for Season 9, we planned for them to be recorded with multiple actors in the same room for extended periods of time. Due to COVID-19 restrictions still in place in the UK, we can’t do that safely. We’re constantly reviewing the guidelines and will get back in the studio as soon as it is 100% safe for our actors and staff to do so.
If I don’t subscribe to VIP can I still buy new or old Virtual Races individually?
Right now, all our races are available to VIP members. We don’t have anything to announce right now about how race entry will work in the future, but we are reading all of your feedback and we’re always considering changes and new options.
At a time like this, it might feel odd to be thinking about games. But while Zombies, Run! is a game, it’s here to keep you fit and healthy. It’s also good for your mental health to have a break from the world and spend time with characters you love.
So we’re doing whatever we can to keep you fit and strong.
Introducing The Home Front
Starting today we’re launching a ten-mission programme of Zombies, Run! home workouts. All ten will be completely free and fully unlocked.
These workouts are designed for beginners and intermediate exercisers, and they don’t require any special equipment. They’re also fun! The first is by Naomi Alderman, lead writer and co-creator of ZR, and it stars Sam Yao as your operator.
So whether you’ve just arrived at Abel Township or you’re a veteran runner, you can play and enjoy these non-spoiler side missions. Some will be tied into our book, Zombies, Run! Keeping Fit and Living Well in the Current Zombie Emergency – and we intend to release extensive excerpts from the book for free next month.
You can find The Home Front by tapping the Missions tab at the bottom of the home screen. We’re hoping to release these missions roughly every week, but since we’re writing and recording from our own homes as we speak, please be patient if we’re delayed!
How to Run Safely
While you shouldn’t be visiting gyms, in many places you can still take on missions for Abel Township.
“You can use your garden, if you have one. You can also leave the house to exercise – but stay at least 2 metres away from other people.”
The New York Times has great advice on walking, jogging and running outside. But don’t push yourself too hard! There’s no need to set any records right now. And please check with your local and national guidelines on exercising outside.
Season 9 is Delayed
We’ve decided to delay recording the first 15 missions of Season 9, due to the impact of coronavirus in the UK. This means we won’t be able to launch Season 9 in May as we’d originally planned.
We’re disappointed we can’t share one of the most exciting seasons of Zombies, Run!, but the health and safety of our team and actors – along with the need to practice social distancing for the good of everyone – is our highest priority. We’ve always tried to record all our audio in person, with as many actors in the same room as possible, so we can ensure the best quality and performances. These existing processes make it harder for us to adjust the production of our mainline Zombies, Run! missions to current circumstances.
Our hope is that we can record and release all of Season 9 later this year, but it’s impossible to know when it’ll be safe to do so. What we can say is that we’ll keep you updated when we’ve made new plans.
But we still have plenty of missions for you! We were able to record our Spring 2020 Virtual Race, which will go ahead as planned next month. We also recorded A Study in Ichor, a five-part New Adventure thriller/horror story set in Victorian times and starring a whole host of beloved ZR characters, and we’re sure you’ll love it. We’ll be releasing it, and other New Adventures, in the coming months. And of course, there’s The Home Front.
All Virtual Races Available Later This Year
Finally, in a few month’s time, we’ll be releasing all past virtual races for sale; from Runner 5’s quest to win a treasure trove of Werther’s Originals, to stopping a rogue general with stolen nuclear bomb, to your visit to the deadly Tomorrow Island. This will take a little longer to set up as we have something special planned, but rest assured: it’s definitely happening.
Stay Safe Out There!
Abel Township needs you fit and healthy, Runner 5. We’ll get through this – together.
We’re looking for someone to help us manage our content on Zombies, Run! and our fast-growing New Adventures segment! You’re ideally ambitious, highly-organised, with multiple years of experience in the media industry – whether that’s as an Editorial Assistant in publishing, or in production in the film/TV/audio/games sectors.
This is a remote-only, part-time position for 3.5 to 4 days per week, with the potential to become a full-time position dependent on performance and company requirements. Our core hours are 10am to 4pm, UK time.
We’ve got great news: subscribers to our Abel Runner’s Club in Zombies, Run! can now unlock full access to two additional games – Zombies, Run! 5K Training and The Walk. Even better, your subscription now works across iPhone and Android, so if you switch platforms, there’s no need to subscribe again. And you get this all at no extra cost.
We know it can be a big commitment to subscribe and this is one of the ways we’re making the Abel Runner’s Club even more valuable. Internally, we call it the “unified subscription” and we’ve been working on it for months.
There’s a lot of shared DNA across our three flagship games. They’re all designed, illustrated, and developed by the same talented people at Six to Start, and they’ve all been written by a team lead by the amazing Naomi Alderman. You’ll even hear a lot of familiar voices while playing!
So if you love Zombies, Run!, you can be sure you’ll have a blast on our 500 mile epic adventure in The Walk, and you’ll love hearing about Runner 5’s early days at Abel Township in Zombies, Run! 5K Training.
We can’t wait for you to try our whole family of apps. We want to make exercise fun and exciting for everyone, and expanding the Abel Runner’s Club is our way of making that happen for even more people.
How do I sync my subscription to ZombieLink?
Open up Zombies, Run! on the phone you’re subscribed on.
Sync to ZombieLink. This should happen automatically but you can manually sync by going to More > ZombieLink.
Download ZR, ZR5K, or The Walk on iPhone or Android.
Open the app and sign in to ZombieLink (you may need to go to More > ZombieLink).
Everything in the app will magically unlock!
Which subscriptions does this work for?
It’ll work for any active subscriber to the Abel Runner’s Club, at any price. This includes legacy subscribers.
Wait, so there’s no price increase?
That’s right – we’re not changing the price of any subscription. Just make sure your subscription is active! It still costs just $34.99/year for new members to join the Abel Runner’s Club – that’s just 67 cents per week!
What about my Legacy status?
Unlike your subscription status, your Legacy status doesn’t currently synchronise via ZombieLink. However, if you subscribe to the Abel Runner’s Club using your Legacy discount, that subscription will sync.
I paid to unlock Zombies, Run! 5K Training or The Walk, do I get access to other apps now?
No, this only applies to Abel Runner’s Club subscribers. However, you will always have full access to the app on the platform you bought the unlock on.
Hello Runners! Today, we’re renaming our Pro Membership subscription to the Abel Runner’s Club.
We aren’t changing the price or anything else about our subscription, so if you’re wondering what happened to your Pro Membership or what this new Runner’s Club is, consider them the same thing: our monthly/annual subscription that unlocks all Zombies, Run! missions and features.
Later this year, we’ll be adding some exciting new benefits for members of the Abel Runner’s Club, so we wanted a fun new name to match – one that fits perfectly with the story we all love!
New in 8.0.5
This week we’re also releasing our 8.0.5 update, with a whole host of improvements!
New Adventures now gets its own section in the Codex, ready for Venus Rising
More reliable zombie chases
Back-to-back missions now work correctly
You can now cancel adding a building
Run share text no longer shows spoilers if you hadn’t completed the mission
Mission list captions now contain more relevant text
Redesigned Membership/Subscription screen
More reliable zombie chases
Improvements to playing back story clips from the mission screen
Redesigned Membership/Subscription screen
Improvements to how the Next Mission card on the home screen is displayed
Get ready, Runner 5, because you’re about to see one of the biggest updates to Zombies, Run! since its launch! We’re bringing new stories for beginners and veterans alike, and we’re adding one of our most-requested features ever.
Storytelling + gameplay = awesome running experience. We think Zombies, Run! has proven that handily, and that’s why, for the first time ever, we’re bringing new adventures to the app. Every month, you’ll see a new story, ranging from epic thrillers and races against time to exciting historical and scientific adventures.
We’re kicking off with Lewis and Clark, a two-part story by Alex Acks where you’ll follow the footsteps of two of the most famous American explorers of all time on their 6000km+ journey across the continent.
Next month, you’ll be hot on the heels of a murderer in Track the Ripper by Lulu Kadhim. Are you fast enough to stop the Ripper from cutting a deadly swathe through Victorian London?
And this summer, prepare for an epic five-part sci-fi adventure, Venus Rising, written by Elliott Gresswell and Naomi Alderman (ZR co-creator and Lead Writer). Featuring the ZR cast in an all-new setting, this is a run you can’t miss.
The best thing? All of these New Adventures can be played by anyone, no matter how far along you are in Zombies, Run! We’re incredibly excited to be making your walks, jogs, and runs more fun and we can’t wait to hear what you think.
Tomorrow, our biggest adventure – by far! – will continue in Season 8 of the main Zombies, Run! story, where you’ll be journeying to a mysterious location in the Far Hebrides, a chain of islands north of Scotland. Luckily, you’ll have some of Abel’s finest on your side – and for the first time, we’ll be releasing a map of your travels as you go along!
The first half of Season 8’s 30 missions will release weekly starting tomorrow, with the second half coming later this year…
In-Progress Run Saving
There’s nothing worse than discovering your phone has run out of battery during a mission, and losing your hard-earned progress and supplies in Zombies, Run! That’s why, starting with ZR8, if the app quits during a mission for whatever reason – battery running out, closed by mistake, a crash – then we’ll save all of your run log, distance, time, supplies, and progress up to that point.
This is possibly our most-requested feature ever: one that we hope you’ll never need, but one that you’ll be glad to have if you do! Even better, you don’t need to do anything to make this work; when you restart the app, you’ll just see your in-progress run log saved in the usual place.
We’re building on the foundation of our complete redesign in ZR7 by making ZR8 even easier and faster to use, particularly for finding and starting runs. Run settings are now re-organised and easier to find, and we’re making better use of the screen so we can show you more information and options.
There’s also new helpful tips and advice for the thousands of Runner 5s who join us every day, and lots of tweaks and improvements for veteran residents of Abel!
Faster and More Reliable
Behind the scenes, we completely reworked the content management system in the app, which means it’s faster and more reliable, particularly on older devices and Android phones.
And More to Come…
We’ve got a lot more planned this year, which we’ll be sharing here on our new blog! Not just updates about the app, but also interviews with our writers and behind-the-scenes looks at our production process. Stay tuned, and stay safe out there, Runner 5!
With Season 8 of Zombies, Run! on the horizon, it feels like we’ve been around forever. A lot of things have changed since we first launched Zombies, Run!, and with plenty of plans for the future, we thought it was time to take a look back at where our apocalypse began.
Back in the mists of time otherwise known as 2011, Six to Start boss, Adrian Hon, and novelist Naomi Alderman came up with a thrilling idea; a fitness app that made you run by tapping into your desperate need to escape hordes of the undead. And so, Zombies, Run! was born.
The Kickstarter launched in late 2011 asking for the modest amount of $12,000. The enthusiasm for it was overwhelming, and in the end, it raised over $70,000 – a smashing success for the early days of crowdfunding.
We’d never made anything quite like this before, so the development was a bit of a learning curve. We didn’t have a studio so audio was recorded in a bedroom in the director’s flat. Not the most high-tech of setups!
But it all paid off. We released Zombies, Run! in 2012 when it quickly became the top grossing health and fitness app on iPhone. The Android version of the app quickly followed. What we’d anticipated being a story that lasted for a single season, quickly became so much more.
The 5K training app was released later in 2012, and we already had bigger plans ahead. Season 2 development was well under way, and this time there were no more duvets on bedroom walls to muffle the sound – we had a sound booth!
Seasons 2 and 3 brought a lot of changes and let us stretch our legs a little. We completely overhauled the app and introduced the base builder in the form that we know and love today. With 60 missions each, these seasons were bigger than ever. We brought on more writers and even got a cameo appearance from Margaret Atwood herself!
These seasons allowed us to play around with our format. In Season 2 we introduced side-missions – extra stories that added a bit of variety to the season.
In Season 3, we tried our hand at introducing multiple choice missions, where runners could choose what story branch they wanted to take. It was fun to experiment with our format and play with what we could do with audio storytelling!
2015 was a year of big events for us. In January, we hosted our very first live show at the V&A museum. Fans volunteered to be made up into gruesome zombies, or to play Runner 5 and be chased around one of the galleries, acting out a mission written specially for the night.
The biggest change came with the release of Season 4. Apps had changed a lot since 2012 when we first released Zombies, Run!. There was more competition than ever, and freemium apps had become the norm. The change to having a subscription system allowed us to make Zombies, Run! our focus, and also to enact a few other plans.
Our very first Virtual Race also made its debut in October 2015! This was much more limited in scope than our current race, but the enthusiasm for our Runners 5 was undeniable, and that spurred us on and the races have become a fixture of our calendar with the eighth virtual race coming up.
By 2016 we’d settled into our season release format, and turned our sights to other projects. 2016 saw the release of the Zombies, Run! Book and our audio drama ‘The Way of All Flesh’, a prequel to the main story which contains a few familiar voices.
We also launched the Kickstarter for our very own board game! While we had a prototype ready to go, the Kickstarter let us go into production with it, including creating a fully voiced companion app. This was finally brought to fruition in late 2017 when we received the final copies of the game, and were able to launch it at long last!
We’ve settled into our groove since then, producing two races a year, alongside a full length season of Zombies, Run!. While we might have been a little quieter, that doesn’t mean that we’ve been slacking. As always we’ve been working in the background to make improvements to the app and to add a few new features such as our Statistics screen. We’ve also been able to add support for the app on Apple Watch and Android Wear, and late 2018 saw us introduce Siri integration to Zombies, Run! on iOS, letting people really ‘raise the gates’ at the start of a mission.
And we’ve definitely been thinking about the future. Next month, we’re launching Season 8 of Zombies, Run! alongside our 8.0 update to the app – and our latest big addition, ‘New Adventures’. Stay tuned…
We’re getting ready to roll out our latest huge update to ZR next month, and we’d like you to help make as it good as it can be by joining our beta test groups. It’s easy and fun and you get to check out all the latest features early – although because these are pre-release versions, there is a chance the apps could be a little less stable than usual!