When I read about app The Walk, I was excited. Created by the team behind Zombies Run but with the backing of the NHS, it sells itself as a storytelling app/game that you use while you walk. Hit a set number of steps and you unlock the next chapter. It sounded great so I paid my £1.99 and hit the streets. And then I went home again and waved my phone at The Boyfriend while muttering in a voice so high that only him, and the dolphins, can hear it……’It’s not working, there’s no noise.’
Much button pressing ensued and somehow he got it to speak. Sadly, as we shall see, I wasn’t watching what he did to get this to happen. Off out the door I go again.
The story starts….and yes, you can spot the Zombies Run connection immediately. Without spoiling anything, the tale is that you’re the only person who can save us from a mystery group called The Burn! But I’m already confused. It’s not making much sense and I’m wondering if I’ve missed some kind of introductory speech or back story screen that tells me who The Burn are and why they’re so bad. I stand on the corner of the road pressing buttons again but I couldn’t find anything. Trying not to let it bug me, I kept going.
The story is quite intriguing, but, perhaps because I don’t know who or what The Burn are, I find it a bit sinister. There’s lots of ‘look, what about that guy over there’ going on that I found actually put me on edge while I walked. Okay, maybe that’s a good thing as a lone female walking with headphones in, but it wasn’t fun like Zombies Run is. I found it a bit threatening.
The idea is fairly simple. It tracks your steps and once you reach a certain number you get to press a speech button on the screen which gives you the next part of the story. Unfortunately, the bits are too short, the screen turns itself off between check points which makes for annoying amounts of swiping and, as I found out after the first four chapters, the timing can be a bit screwed up. At one point my ‘2 minute walk’ to unlock the next chapter took approximately six minutes – six minutes of silence and button pressing while I tried to work out what was going on. And after that, nothing. It had gone back to no little speech bubbles on the screen and no story.
I’ve since found out from reading more about the app, the idea is that you leave it on all day and as you walk around it tracks your steps unlocking bits of story as you go about your daily business meaning should you then go for a longer walk to exercise you get to play more in one go.
As someone who works from home at a desk all day that’s a bit rubbish for me and I would have preferred to be able to use it as a standalone exercise app like Zombies Run. For those who carry their phone all day though it could be a good way of keeping you moving. for me though, it wasn’t worth the £1.99. I’ll stick with Zombies Run.