Race Medal Roundup!

Lots of things have changed since 2015. We’ve made 5 seasons of Zombies, Run!, created a board game and released a book!

We also started making our Virtual Races. The first race came out in October 2015 and now, in Spring 2020, we’re releasing our tenth Virtual Race, ‘Five’, where you will investigate the Abel Manor Murders and solve a crime that has been repeating down the generations.

In honour of this, we thought we’d do a roundup of ten races worth of medals!

VR1

A medal with a running figuresaying 2015

Virtual Race 1 sees Runner 5 take part in a friendly race against other survivor settlements, to be the first to claim a golden surprise! But the other participants might not be all that they seem.

VR2

A medal showing a stylised 5

In Virtual Race 2, you are part of an elite taskforce, sent to infiltrate a town under lockdown, and disarm a nuclear device that could wipe out the UK!

VR3

A medal showing a strand of  DNA

With a deadly train of flu sweeping the country, Virtual Race 3 sends you into the abandoned remains of a high-tech pharmaceutical company to find the vaccine! but there are more than zombies hunting you down!

VR4

A medal showing two crossed axes with stars around the edge of the medal

Virtual Race 4 sees you as part of the European Rescue Force, a squad dedicated to helping people trapped in emergency situations. You’re sent out to rescue a train caught in the middle of the Channel Tunnel, but there may be more going on than you realise.

VR5

A medal showing a running figure and a giant hand reaching for them

Virtual Race 5, our first Halloween race, sees you investigating the dark arts, when a monster is summoned through a D&D game gone awry! But can you trust everyone around you?

VR6

Join Sara Smith in Virtual Race 6, and go up against Xenobia, an infamous thief, who has their sights set on the Crown Jewels! But the mysterious Xenobia is a wily enemy. Can you escape their clutches?

VR7

A mysterious scientist. An island of horrors. A clock running down to your escape! Virtual Race 7 sends you to Tomorrow Island on the trail of a scientific discovery that could save thousands of lives. But the island is filled with horrific monsters, and they’re not always who you’d expect.

VR8

A rectangular medal that looks like a train ticket

It’s all aboard the New Oban Express in Virtual Race 8! A train at the cutting edge of technology makes its maiden voyage. But there’s a mysterious plague spreading through the country, and not everything on the train is up to code.

VR9

A circular medal showing a circus big top

Roll up! Roll up! It’s all the fun of the fair in Virtual Race 9! A mysterious funfair has come to town, promising respite from the undead hordes. But there are worse things than zombies in store behind the gates.

VR10

A medal that looks like a police badge

It’s here! The Virtual Race 10 medal takes the form of an investigator’s badge as you try to solve the centuries old mystery at the heart of Abel Manor.

Fear not, you still have time to get your hands on this medal by joining our race. Sign up now at https://zombiesvirtualrace.com/

Which New Adventure should I play next?

With the release of Run with the Ancestors, we now have ten New Adventures waiting for you to try in Zombies, Run!, and plenty more to come. Whether you’re waiting for Season 9, or need a break from Abel Township (impossible!), we’re sure you’ll find something to keep you company on your next run with the help of our handy guide!

I just need something to tide me over to Season 9! I miss Abel!

You should try some of our other missions set in the Zombies, Run! universe! We have the Race Missions, for longer stories set in Season 1, Supply missions for when you aren’t sure how long you want to run for, Interval Training, for when you want some more intensive training,  and try catching up with Radio mode to satisfy the craving while you wait.

I do like zombies, but want something a bit more like The Walking Dead.

Try Dystopia Rising! This post-apocalyptic adventure sees you joining a band of mercenaries set to guarding a caravan of traders and travellers as they head towards a new settlement. But there are terrible things waiting in the woods, and secrets waiting around every corner.

I’m a bit of a sci-fi junkie and I’ve run out of episodes of The Expanse.

Check out Venus Rising!

Set in the future, you’re heading to Venus Colony One to investigate why the colony has cut off all communications. Explore the settlement, search for survivors, and discover the deep secrets of the planet.

I  love sci-fi, but I’d like to learn more about space in reality!

We can do that! Escape orbit and train to be an astronaut, with Run the Solar System.

This British Science Association run will put you through your paces as a trainee astronaut, and then guide you through local space to explore the planets that make up our solar system.

Or you can learn about the surface of Mars, as you climb the tallest mountain in the solar system with Run Olympus Mons!

Let’s bring it back to Earth. I am a fan of science, but also… disaster movies!

Not a problem. We think you’ll love Volcano Race!

Become a technical intern for a team of Volcanologists studying Mt. Archie. But when the mountain erupts, you’ll have to run for your life to escape the ash and lava flow!

I like a bit of period drama, with a darker edge. Think Ripper Street or Sherlock Holmes.

Allow me to recommend Track the Ripper! Join up with the City of London police and explore the streets of Victorian London on the trail of a notorious killer.

No, more historical than that!

We understand! Delve into Rule Britannia! It’s Gladiator meets Zombies, Run! Travel almost 2000 years into the past and become Roman Legionary Quintus and help to stop a war with the Picts along with your good friend Sam. Eh… Samnium. 

Even more historical! I mean, really historical!

If you want to go into the far reaches of history, then explore the origins of humanity itself in Run with the Ancestors!

This run from the British Science Association will take you a million years back in time, to the very earliest humans in Britain. Follow the development of our species and the landscape right up to the present day.

Ooooh, I do like documentaries! Do you have anything like the Blue Planet?

Run to the Deep, made with the British Science Association, will definitely scratch that itch!

Go diving with expert explorers and scientists, and explore our oceans. Discover the incredible variety of life that the waters of our planet harbours, as you travel from the surface down to the blackest depths.

I’m not good with depths, but I do like the idea of exploring.

Then check out Lewis & Clark! You’ll travel back in time on a historical tour of an expedition to reach the west coast of the USA. See all the preparation that went into the expedition, and join it as they travel up the Missouri river and cross the Rockies on their way to the Pacific.

Whatever your interests, we’re sure that you’ll find something to get you running! What’s your favourite New Adventure?

App Update February 2020

In the run up to the Spring Virtual Race and Season 9 of Zombies, Run! we’ve been hard at work on the app, so it’s now more stable than ever!

On both Android and iPhone we have:

  • Added a New Adventure category screen. With nine New Adventures, and many more to come, we thought it was about time we made those easier to find
  • Added more useful information to the Support screen. It will now show your subscription status and ZombieLink username if you’re logged in, as well as the same information about app version and what type of phone you’re using.
  • Moved the Race Missions to the Season 1 Missions list. All you’ll need to do to reach them is tap Missions > Story Missions and scroll down to find these essential parts of the story!

On Android (version 8.6.2) we have:

  • Improved 5K run log display
  • Fixed Google Fit integration
  • Improved Navbar, Home, and Membership screen accessibility when using TalkBack
  • Fixed creating/editing Interval Training workouts for Legacy users
  • Fixed GPS setting for new users
  • Fixed Wear countdown bug
  • Added other bug fixes and performance improvements

On iPhone (version 8.6.1) we have:

  • Fixed mission unlocks not working for S1-3 (from 8.6.0)
  • Added various crash fixes and performance improvements

Where have Races gone?

You might have noticed a change on the Missions screen in Zombies, Run!: the Races section has vanished!

But never fear, Races have not been removed from the app. Instead, they’re now in the Season 1 story list! This is because they’re an important part of the Season 1 storyline, and we wanted to make that more obvious. We’ve had plenty of people miss them while running because they were tucked away in a different section, and hopefully this will make them easier to find!

All you’ll need to do to reach them is tap Missions > Story Missions and scroll down to find the Abel Township and New Canton race missions. We haven’t changed how they work: Abel Runner’s Club members can run them all immediately, while free users can use their weekly unlock to get access.

Zombie Taxonomy

Zombies are everywhere these days, and we don’t mean in a ‘do we really need another remake of a Romero film?’ way. As soon as you step outside the walls of your settlement, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll spot at least one on the horizon.

You may think that one zombie is very much like another; they’re all just groaning corpses, right? 

Wrong! There are as many variations on a zombie as there were zombie movies before the apocalypse. Knowing which kinds you’re likely to encounter in the wild could be what saves your life!

Shamblers

Your standard ambulatory zombie. Chances are you’ve already beaten in the skull of at least one of them. Seen in various states of decay. The fresher they are, the faster usually, but you’re still likely to be able to outpace them if you put on a burst of speed. Getting to the roof of a building can help if there’s only ladder access, as can climbing a tree. 

The real danger comes when they’re in groups. A pack of zoms can quickly overwhelm you and all it takes is a scratch before you’re joining the horde. Always try to shake them off quickly, because one or two zombies tend to attract more, and over long distances, your stamina will give out long before theirs!

Crawlers

You’d think that zombies without legs would be pretty useless. However crawlers have their own special set of risks associated with them. These zombies have a nasty habit of hiding in undergrowth or under rubble, ready to nip at the ankles of the unwary like your former neighbour’s demonic chihuahua (before your neighbour became a zombie too).

Thankfully they’re even slower than normal shamblers, so as long as you’re careful, you should be able to escape them. If you’re travelling through fields, or areas with a lot of damaged buildings, it’s worth taking a long stick along with you to test out the ground and check for any nasty surprises.

Fast Zombies

These zombies are the worst that you’re likely to see on an everyday run. They’re fast enough to keep pace with a normal jog, and may even be able to speed up to catch you if you pick up the pace. Be prepared for a hell of a sprint if you encounter them.

However fast they are though, they’re no more agile than the normal undead, and no smarter either. Lose them by ducking through buildings, or climbing ladders to higher ground. The McShell maneuver is also a possibility here, although you’ll need to be pretty confident of your terrain to pull it off.

Groupie Zombies

It’s been suggested that zombies are often driven to keep doing the same actions as they did before they died, albeit with more decay and risk of horrific death. Everyone has a story of that one zombie postman who kept shambling his route months after his death. 

So what happens when you get groups of dedicated fans suddenly turned into zombies after a concert or event? Groupie zombies. These zoms tend to keep following the object of their affections no matter what. It has been rumoured that a zombified Taylor Swift is still out there, leading her own pack of obsessively loyal undead.

The best way to escape these zombies is to distract them with the voice or image of the person they’re obsessed with.

Underwater Zombies

Photo by Daniel Jensen on Unsplash

You’d think that you would be able to find sanctuary on the open ocean, or in the middle of a lake, but sadly, even the high seas are infested with the scourge of the undead.

These zombies tend to be even more rotted than the usual land-based monsters, and can often be found covered in sea weed, abandoned fishing lines, and the remains of long since punctured rubber rings. You might even see some weird barnacles or weird red coral growing into them.

Your best bet to evade these aquatic undead is to get up on dry land – they tend to fall apart fairly quickly once the water pressure isn’t holding them together!

Organised Zombies

Potentially more rumour than fact, it’s not difficult to find stories of organised zombies if you look on Rofflenet. There’s always someone with a tale of zombies marching in formation, or working together as more than a mindless horde. Supposedly there have even been sightings of zombies using tools and weapons!

Of course, most of these stories are probably just that – stories. Things got very confused during the apocalypse, and it’s easy to give the undead more credit than they deserve. 

However, there are an awful lot of stories like this, and it’s not always possible to tell what is the post-apocalyptic community’s version of creepypastas and horrible coping mechanisms, and what may have a grain of truth to them.

Meet the Fans: Tom

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 another of our fan interviews!

Today, we’re talking to Tom about creativity, and their favourite characters!

A photograph of part of Tom’s running route.

What got you into Zombies, Run! In the first place?

I think initially I saw a post about it on Tumblr, maybe around 2013. I was never one for physical exercise when I was younger, but thought that maybe this app could help kick things into motion. Now I can’t spend a single day without getting out and moving, even if it’s just a 30 minute walk. I came for the promise of zombie chases and stayed for the very lovable characters and the plots surrounding them. In fact, I don’t use the zombie chase feature that much nowadays. 

Was there a point during your initial run of ZR which hooked you? A point where you went ‘yes! This is for me’?

I actually started listening to Radio Mode first because I didn’t know where to “properly” start. I think I listened up to the point where it’s official that Jack and Eugene are together and I think that’s what really hooked me. I remember thinking “wow, there’s queer representation in this game!”, I didn’t know at first and it made me really happy. After that, I ran a couple of regular story missions and everything just kind of fell even more into place as I met more characters and the plot developed. 

Some of Tom’s artwork, featuring Jack, Eugene, Zoe, and Phil!

Who is your favourite character, and why?

Picking favourites is always hard but I think my top three would be Eugene, Simon and Janine. I love Janine for her resourcefulness and her ability to make hard decisions, we’re quite the opposite in many ways but I adore her. In Simon I can see a few bits of myself and his story is one of the most compelling to me. Eugene is one of the characters that made me fall hard for Zombies, Run! as a whole. I mean, who doesn’t have a crush on that guy?

What was your best ZR experience?

I think the early days of my Zombies, Run! journey has some of the best moments. I used to walk around the fields at my parents’ place. It’d be at night, in the summer, and I’d mainly use the app to keep me company or make me take routes I hadn’t before. It has a very nostalgic feeling to it. The app really helped me get out of the house, even during hard days.

In short, I found Zombies, Run! at a very low point in my life. It helped take my mind off of difficult thoughts that’d occur when I was outside. It sounds cheesy but Zombies, Run! will probably always have a very special place in my heart. It’s helped me through a lot.

Tom’s brilliant tattoo of Abel’s radio tower!

You draw a lot of cool artwork. Do you have a favourite ZR subject to make artwork of?

Thank you! Even though I tend to draw Simon or Jack and Eugene most of the time I usually just draw what I feel inspired to. Music is usually my go-to for inspiration so if a song that plays reminds me of a certain character then that’s probably who I’m going to draw. Overall I love drawing characters together, showing life in Abel and relationships without focusing on the zombies but rather people living together as a community. 

Artwork of sleeping arrangements in Abel Township

What’s your favourite music to run to? (Spotify playlist would be great!)

I have a lot of different playlists for running, all in terrible disarray. I tend to go for music that makes me want to move. Sometimes pace matters but sometimes the most important thing is to feel energized. There’s a lot of CHVRCHES in all my playlists. I put together a short playlist with some songs from my other playlists for you guys. 

Do you have any fanfic/fanart recommendations?

There are a lot of amazing creators in our community. I always feel a deep connection to the scenery in wubbelwubbwubb’s art. I don’t know how they do it but somehow they always manage to convey that deep nostalgic feeling I associate with Zombies, Run!. 

Yariem-alkahen does some really funny art of some of homeboundrunnerfive’s text posts which I really enjoy. It’s nice how an app about the end of the world can be turned into humour and memes. The world needs more of that, especially during hard times. 

Thank you Tom for speaking with me! You can find Tom on Tumblr and on Instagram!

A Tourist’s Guide to Abel: Part 2

The zombie apocalypse has put a strain on vital public services. No more nipping down the shops to pick up a pint of milk, no guarantee of finding a safe place to lie down after a hard day. It’s a dangerous world out there! 

So it’s good to know that Abel Township has all the essential services you’d expect from a thriving post-apocalyptic settlement. Today, we’ll take a tour around the most essential features of Abel Township.

Communications

One of these buildings always smells of Marmite for some reason.

Runners are the lifeblood of any post-apocalyptic settlement, but they couldn’t function effectively without someone watching over them. The Comms building is the nerve centre of Abel Township, handling Runner missions, sending messages between settlements, and of course, hosting Abel’s very own radio station! Whether it’s guiding people around hordes of the ravenous undead, or entertaining inhabitants with music and chat, the Comms building is essential in keeping Abel running.

The Communications building is available straight away in Zombies, Run!, but you’ll earn some extras like the encryption substation during Season 2.

Hospital

Best thing about the apocalypse, parking at the hospital is free and there’s always a space.

Sure, going grey may be the biggest threat to health around these days, but that doesn’t mean that we’re all suddenly immune to normal bugs and injuries. When running is essential for survival, a sprained or broken ankle can be a death sentence – and then there’s the inconvenient fact that the Junin-2 strain of ‘flu is still around! The hospital at Abel has everything that you need to keep you in physical health; bandages, syringes, and even carefully managed antibiotics! Overseen by Dr. Maxine Myers, you know that you’re in good hands!

The Hospital is available immediately in Zombies, Run!, but you can expand the scope of treatment during Season by adding extras like the Psych Centre and the Zombie Research Unit. 

Water Treatment Plant

Amazing how much we took fresh water for granted.

It’s not the most glamorous place, but the Water Treatment Plant might well be one of the most important. These days, finding clean, safe water is much more of a chore than simply opening a tap. Water-borne illnesses are no joke: a mild stomach bug before the apocalypse could lead to your last night on Earth today. This treatment plant means you can trust what you’re drinking, and it’s helped lighten the load on the hospital.

The water treatment plant was introduced in Season 2 Mission 7 ‘Mummy’s Hand’, where you escape from a zombie infested mansion with a little help from Jack and Eugene.

Farm

Better get ready for Abel’s annual ‘Biggest Vegetable’ contest!

There’s no getting around it: strolling to the shops for a packet of biscuits is a distant dream these days. While Abel certainly has an impressive stock of tins, after a while even peaches in syrup loses their appeal. So at Abel, you’ll find everything you need to keep a settlement on the go. Much of the land has been turned over to growing grain and vegetables, and residents can even look forward to a nice boiled egg every few days, courtesy of the chicken coops. Rumour has it that they’ll be expanding to orchards and even goats in the coming months!

Farms are available immediately in Zombies, Run!, but you can add some extras like grain silos and greenhouses during the course of Season 2.

Armoury

This is the UK. We’re not actually sure how Abel acquired so many guns.
Or a grenade launcher. Probably best not to question it.

Sometimes running away just isn’t an option, which is why Abel’s Armoury is an essential feature when it comes to staying alive. From cricket bats and noisemakers for dangerous Runner missions, to guns and explosives to keep the gates clear of the grey menace, Abel is well-stocked. But just owning the weapons doesn’t do much; Abel is backed up with a trained force to patrol the walls and keep an eye out for threats. You’ll be sleeping soundly in no time!

The Armoury is available right from the word go in Zombies, Run!, but you can make things even safer in Abel with add-ons like Heavy Weapons Storage during Season 2.

New Year, New Challenges

The holiday season is coming to an end in the UK, and the long slog through the rest of winter begins. It’s a time for reflecting on the old year, and looking forward to the new. We have plenty of new things planned for the next year at Six to Start, with a new season of Zombies, Run! content on the horizon, more of our New Adventures, and our tenth (10th!!!) Virtual Race, which is looking to be more exciting than ever, and includes a few new ideas and features that we’re excited to announce closer to the time.

Before that though, there’s our newest New Adventure coming this month. Rule Britannia will take you on a daring mission through Roman-occupied Britain, on a quest to stop more violence and bring peace to the land! We’ll be releasing one mission a day from Friday 3rd January. Don’t miss out!

And if the winter gloom is getting you down, why not try one of our New Year mini-challenges? New Year’s resolutions can be great, but they can also be something that leaves you feeling like a failure if your plan to run two marathons a month, overhaul your entire wardrobe, and become a Hollywood superstar, don’t pay off.

So here’s our suggestions for some very achievable challenges that might brighten the next few months up!

  • Read a book by an author you’ve never read before
  • Try a new hobby. Even if you don’t like it, you’ve gained more knowledge and tried something new!
  • Finish that season of Zombies, Run! you’re on before Season 9 comes out. Run, walk, cycle, clean the house to a mission, it doesn’t matter!
  • Play the shortest game on your Steam account. We too know the perils of the Summer Sale.
  • Draw something or write something, even if you’re terrible at it. Creating something can really give you a feeling of accomplishment.
  • Move more slowly! Take the time to slow down and appreciate your surroundings. Unless you’re being chased by zombies, in which case ignore this suggestion.
  • Try one of our New Adventures! Become an astronaut, walk the streets of Victorian London, or join an expedition across the USA!
  • Attend a free class or event at your local library or community centre
  • Buy some new socks so you can finally throw out the ones with holes in them. You know which ones I mean.
  • Try a new kind of fruit or vegetable
  • Give your running water bottle a good clean out and sterilise it, ready for the running season.
  • Create a new playlist on your phone!
  • Explore a new route for your next Zombies, Run! mission

Whatever you decide to try, all of us at Six to Start wish you the best for the New Year!

A Year of Artwork

Every year our amazing artist, Kascha Sweeny, creates hundreds of pieces of artwork for Zombies, Run!, New Adventures, and our Virtual Races. This year has been no exception! To give those the spotlight that they deserve, we’ve put together a retrospective of our favourite pieces of artwork from the last year.

December

Okay, it isn’t strictly this year, but Kascha’s gorgeous Hannukah artwork of Paula and Maxine always makes us feel warm! And we love the Twelve Days of Abelmas artwork, featuring some of our faves from Zombies, Run!

January

We love the sketchy and ominous style of our first teaser image for the Spring 2019 Virtual Race: Train to Oban.

February

We ran a competition to have custom character portraits drawn, and here are the results! Three of the Runners Five of Abel Township!

But Kascha isn’t only responsible for digital art. She’s also the designer of one of our favourite race medals!

March

Kascha’s fabulous leaflet for the New Oban Express, part of our Spring 2019 Virtual Race!

April

It’s all aboard the New Oban Express with this fantastic promo artwork featuring some truly terrifying zombies!

May

Kascha brings something truly horrifying to this Season 8 artwork! You can find more of her mission images in-app!

June

June saw the release of Track the Ripper, one of our New Adventures where you hunt down a killer, giving Kas to work on something a little different.

You always need someone to have your back, especially during the apocalypse!

July

I definitely wouldn’t want to run into any of these zombies, especially the one at the front that looks like its enjoying being undead just a bit too much!

August

August gave us our first sneak peek at the Halloween 2019 Virtual Race: Escape from Runaway Fairground!

It also brought us Kascha’s designs for our gorgeous Season 1 pack, featuring beautiful stickers, postcards, and a log book!

September

September was a busy month, starting off with the release of our New Adventure: Volcano Race! We love the simple, bold colours in this one.

A more serious tone this time, as Six to Start took part in the Global Strike for Climate. We believe that Climate Change is an existential threat to the world and humanity, and as a company we thought it was important to take part in these protests.

And the fabulous medal that Kascha designed for our Halloween 2019 Virtual Race!

October

Kascha put together this horrifying gaping maw for Escape from Runaway Fairground!

The race this year also included some of these gorgeous Tarot cards, featuring some of our favourite Zombies, Run! characters.

November

Our biggest sale ever required some new artwork, and Kascha delivered with this fantastic image of Sam Yao being menaced by the Black Friday hordes.

We have a lot of new content coming over the next year, with Season 9 of Zombies, Run! on the cards, as well as a host of New Adventures and our 10th Virtual Race, so keep an eye out for more of Kascha’s fabulous artwork!

You can find Kascha on Instagram

New Adventures: Dystopia Rising

For this month’s New Adventure, we’ve partnered with the Dystopia Rising LARP to give you three action-packed missions in their universe, unlockable today (and free for Abel Runner’s Club members)!

Generations ago, the Infection was released and spread across the world. Billions fell to the sickness, becoming ravenous zombies. Governments panicked and bombed cities and towns and countries, hoping to halt the spread of the Infection.

It was too late. Those that didn’t fall to the Infection, instead evolved, becoming something more than human. Now, these divergent Strains of humanity struggle to survive together among mutated beasts, raiders, and the ever-present zombies. Small pockets of civilization dot the irradiated wasteland as what is left of humanity tries to survive, and reclaim a portion of what was lost.

In this story, a ragtag band of mercenaries work together to help the New Reach Caravan travel across the dangerous wastes to establish a new town. However, there may be more to fear in the wilderness than just zombies. Will they survive their journey? Or will they succumb to the dangers around them? Join them as a rookie mercenary! Fight against zombies, confront raiders, and deal with everything the wasteland has to throw at you.

Dystopia Rising was originally created by Michael Pucci and Ashley Zdeb, and has expanded to include tabletop roleplay books, LARP, and other media. Hundreds have delved into this post-apocalyptic world, and now you can join in! This New Adventure was written by Catie Griffin from Most Improbable with punch up and graphic design done by Michael Pucci, also from Most Improbable. 

Cast List:

  • Eight Ball: Will Green
  • Mia: Eleanor Rushton
  • Bridge: Nesba Crenshaw
  • Arc: Rosalyn Mitchell
  • Riptire: Andrew Futaishi
  • M.I Agent: Tom Syms
  • Injured Mercenary: Phil Nightingale
  • Hardy: Thom Tuck

We hope you enjoy this adventure as much as we enjoyed creating it!