Saturday, June 16, 2012

I am Runner 5

The anticipation is finally over.  Zombies, Run! is at last available on Android.  Better still, I now have it on my phone.

To fair it's only version 0.9 for Android as they keep ironing out the bugs for the specific platform.  Fair play, I don't even care.

The clips are well voice acted for what I was expecting, and it was fun to play "peg the accent" (I hadn't looked into development prior to know the team wasn't from North America) while it gets you into the prologue and crafts the world around you.  A good time to be tying up your shoes.

Funny thing, I didn't realize it uses my music to run to inbetween clips.  Related: if you don't adjust it it goes with the first playlist you have alphabetically.  ...For me, that was one entitled "Disney Afternoon".  After being told to RUN post-crash landing, I melodiously advised to be true to my heart (á la Mulan).  I dare say it was a little mood-breaking.

So I paused and quickly switched it to the broader selection of what was on my phone...which is still mostly pop oriented.  For the curious in between chapters it went:
True to Your Heart - 98º  ft. Stevie Wonder

Domino - Jessie J
1, 2, Step - Ciara
Tik Tok  - Ke$ha
In the Dark - Dev  ft. 50 Cent
Escape - 30 Seconds to Mars
Music is My Life - Don Diablo
etc... (I can't remember the rest, but you get the idea)

That was a learning experience.  I strongly suggest at least having some more...aggressive music, as opposed to songs that entice your feet into chorographed routines.  (Ciara, you're going to get me eaten!)  Definitely making a specific more appropriate list to keep myself immersed.

Also of note, the time in between  clips is always the length of one song.  Can't adjust that.  This means episode will never be the same length twice if your playlist is random.  Something to keep in mind when you have everything from TV theme songs (Call Me, Beep Me, 01:02) to iconic rock (In A-Gadda-da-Vida, 17:04).

It was fun hearing the occasional "You picked up [item]" during the songs, reminding you of the story you're in.  I thought I had "Zombie chases" checked on when I started, but I guess not.  I really hope they get more...intrusive.

So here's my first run's story.  (Spoilers for the first episode, if you care)
Though the map feature is blank, harkening back to why it's version 0.9.  According to the GPS, though I ran for 46 minutes I never took a step.  No biggie, but it's a shame since I would be interested to know where the heck it was I actually ran as I decided to make up a totally new route - and consequently got a tad lost for a bit - to celebrate finally having the app.

Amusingly, I almost believed the GPS was working the way the route consistently lined up with what was going on in the story.  Seriously, it was actually a little freaky.  Coincidence of course, but trés bizarre.  Example:
Crash in Story - Running in familiar streets
Yao starts to act as guide into unfamiliar territory - Veered off into not-quite-sure
Head for the Tower - Discover odd giant-ass staircase in middle of forest
Dubbed "Runner 5" - A little put out at receiving a used mantle (Okay, that has nothing to do with the route, just saying.)
Doc directs me to retrieve items from Hospital in ghost town - No idea where I am residential side streets
Zombies become more prominent threat - breaking back into the forest at a random point, off path
Getting close to Town - Finally reoriented myself with the part of the forest I knew (close to home)
Arrive at Abel - Made it back to my block

Also, I assumed that once the mission/episode had reached it's conclusion the whole thing would stop.  Not so.  After the last clip, the music will pick up again, and just play song after song for as long as you're running.  This makes sense, of course, but I wasn't thinking on the same lines and kept waiting for the music to stop to stop running.  The music that kept going.  ...Yeah.

Overall, absolutely adore this app, early bugs notwithstanding, and hope the writing and developers et al keep that love alive. (I have faith they will from the team's obvious dedication plus little I've heard of other users that have had it longer on iPhones.)

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