Thursday, February 28, 2013

Zombies, Run!

Source
Okay. I'm basically always the last person to gain interest in trends, so I'm sure 10 million other people have already told you about the slice of pure awesome that is Zombies, Run! I vaguely remember hearing one of my friends raving about it last year when I was lazy and led a sedentary life, so I didn't pay much attention. However, with "developing healthier habits" being one of my 23 Before 24 Goals, I decided to suck it up and purchase the app to help make the tedious task of working out just a little bit more fun (the fact it was 50% off also helped. I'm a sucker for a sale).

First off, I recommend approaching this app with an open mind and a willingness to at least try to use your imagination. While it's marketed as a game -- and for all intents and purposes is -- there are no sparkly graphics or Ooo shinys to be found within Zombies, Run!. Honestly, it's more of an audiobook -- an audiobook with occasional appearances of imaginary zombies at your heels, that is. I've always had a pretty active imagination, so that format is perfect for me, but if you're more on the square side, you might not like it unless you really, really like running.

From the moment you plug your headphones in and start a mission until you finish it, you're expected to run, though I'm pretty sure walking is okay too. The game uses your GPS if you're running in the real world or something called "experimental accelerometer technology" if you're on a treadmill to track how fast and far you run (I personally didn't have much luck with that setting). At the start of each mission, you have the option to enable or disable zombie chases (more on that shortly). If you plan on walking the entire time, I don't recommend enabling this setting, though honestly, I think the game would be really boring without it.

Left: Mission home screen // Right: Mission "Start" screen 
So basically, the format of the game is this: You start a mission, and listen to a short story segment of about two minutes in length that sets the scene for you. Then, music from a playlist on your phone will start playing as you run, and then it cuts to another story segment. This alternates back and forth for anywhere from 30-45 minutes depending on how long the songs on your playlist are. During the story segments, an assortment of different characters will give you instructions, describe scenes, tell you stories about the background of the zombie outbreak, and ultimately send you on missions to collect supplies to better the little settlement you're staying in called Abel Township. During the music times, you "pick up" collectible items (bandages, ammunition, bottled water, clothes, etc). You don't have to stop or go out of your way for these; a robotic version of Mr. Moviefone will simply announce over your music that you snagged them. After your run, you put them to use upgrading your settlement and leveling up your buildings. It's also during this time that the infamous zombie chases ensue.

My township is growing!
While you're busy running through the halls of an imaginary hospital or making your way across a field to inspect a strange item hanging in a tree, zombies can smell your fear from a mile away and will begin to converge on you. When they get a little too close for comfort, robotic Mr. Moviefone will unenthusiastically announce in your headphones that zombies are about to turn you into an afternoon snack, and that's your cue to pick up the pace. Normally, a thirty second sprint is enough to shake them, but alas, zombies can be persistent when they're hungry and Mr. Moviefone might announce that they're getting closer, so you'll need to whip out an extra burst of speed or risk being eaten alive and having to start the mission over. Assuming you successfully evade the mob -- the game will tell you when this happens -- you're safe to walk, jog, crawl or move at whatever pace you want until the next mob strikes.

So that's pretty much all there is to the game. After each mission you unlock the next and the story moves forward. There's also optional supply gathering missions, a 5k mission and a 10k mission outside of the main story. I wanted to write an overview for people considering buying Zombies, Run! because, while I absolutely love it, I'll be honest and say it is very different from what I expected. There are also a few minor things I dislike -- specifically the lack of ability to skip songs and the fact I have to log on to a website outside the app to view my map and stats -- but the developer says many changes are in the works so this could change in a future update. More missions are also going to be added.

On a parting note I thought I would share the playlist I jam out to while I'm dodging the zombie hordes. Personally, I think the music you have sets the stage for the game and makes it easier to really get into character. I imagine the illusion of being chased by the living dead would be slightly diminished if say, Ke$ha kicked on while you were attempting to escape a mob. All of these songs, in my opinion, are great for post-apocalyptic ambiance. You can find and purchase any of these songs on Amazon or iTunes if you like what you hear. Hey! Then we can outrun zombies together in musical spirit!
Zombies, Run! by bronwyn judith on Grooveshark

Friday, February 22, 2013

all alone


During my last trip to Georgia, my cousin Courtney and I spent a few days driving around compiling film clips to make this nifty little video of some of my favorite spots near my dad's house, as well as some interesting places we found along the way. From historic graveyards and creepy abandoned churches to haunted houses and consignment shop interiors, we traveled far and wide for these three minutes of footage -- mostly in the rain and mud, I might add.

A few fun facts about some of the locations featured in this video:

  • The little church featured several times is off a dirt road in Mt. Zion. Next to it is a small graveyard, also shown throughout, that has graves dating back to the 1850s. The church is abandoned and has no handle on the front door, but every time we visit the blinds are in a different position (*cue "theme song to the Twilight Zone"*) Courtney and I have had some pretty freaky experiences out there at night, though I suppose our interactive imaginations and superstitious natures could have been to blame.
  • The stately manor on the hill shown at 1:25 is known as Key's Castle, and the woodlands around it are called Devil's Kitchen. Located in Tallapoosa, the house has a long history of death and other terrible things associated with it. Teenagers made a habit of breaking into it, so as you can see, it is now boarded up and surrounded by security cameras. You can learn more about the history of the house and Devil's Kitchen here.
  • The staircase at 2:43 is inside a shop in Carrollton that is home to one of the oldest working cash registers in the country. Supposedly, their fully-operational register is older than the one in the Smithsonian, or so Courtney tells me. 
  • The "Forbidden Fruit Creates Many Jams" church sign had Courtney and I laughing for hours -- and craving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Somehow, I don't think that's the effect the church was going for. 

The song I used is "All Alone" by Nick 13, which you can purchase here. I claim no ownership or rights to the music.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

time out

Source: AMC
I would just like to take a moment to screech and squee in epic fangurrl excitement over the fact this is happening tonight.

And also, THIS:

Source: AMC
That is all. Carry on now.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

a wishlist, of sorts


Wishlists seem to be a popular phenomenon in the Blogosphere, and come on, who doesn't love jumping on a bandwagon every now and then? My 23rd birthday is fast approaching (ew), so I thought I would throw together a wishlist of some of the things I'm desperately lusting after at the moment. I've had my eye on the ouija board wallet for quite some time, so I'm pretty sure I will be buying that as a gift for myself, because yes, I totally am one of those people who gets myself a present every year.

Friday, February 1, 2013

This Blood is Forever

First posts are undeniably awkward. Instead of rambling on and making myself sound stupid, let's keep things simple, shall we? I'm Bronwyn. Nice to meet you. The end.

Also, here's a picture Bill Moseley autographed for me when I met him last October. He's probably one of the most humble, polite, hilarious and overall awesome famous people ever.


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