UK & World News
NHS Mobile Fitness App Aims To Beat Obesity
A mobile app funded by the Department of Health and built by the makers of a popular zombie game has been launched in an effort to get people fit.
The Walk, which is the first game paid for by the NHS, encourages players to walk in order to progress through a story and unlock audio clips.
Described as a mix of North By Northwest and The 39 Steps, the game begins with a fictional explosion at Inverness station which knocks out transport and communications networks across the country.
Players then assume the role of a character called Walker, who has to carry a mysterious package the length of the country.
The game is designed to be constantly on and tracks how far players are walking in their everyday life.
The further they walk, the more secrets of the story are unlocked.
Six to Start was given a six-figure budget from the Government to build the game after winning a competition to design an app to combat obesity.
Its last game, Zombies, Run! sold more than 500,000 copies and had joggers running away from imaginary hordes of the undead.
If the runner slowed down, the zombie groans got loader to simulate a chase.
Speaking from the launch of his new game, chief executive Adrian Hon said he hoped The Walk would be as successful.
"Zombies, Run! was huge for us, becoming the most successful smartphone fitness game in the world," he said.
"As part of the project with the Department of Health, we promised to get more people fit so we broadened the appeal by making it about walking.
"We used practical advice from scientists and doctors with the aim to get people to walk an extra five or 10 minutes a day to get fit."
The game is available on Android and iOS smartphones and will take players around three months to complete all 65 episodes depending on how much walking they do.
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